Why Quitting Bad Habits Is So Hard

Of course, nobody is perfect. However, not all bad habits are equal. Some just might be irritating to the people around you, while others could put your health at risk. Nevertheless, bad habits have something in common: They usually are hard to quit. As a result, many of us feel demotivated and weak when it comes to creating a self-improvement journey. It’s not that we don’t want to become a better person. We don’t know how to make it work! Here are the top four reasons why quitting bad habits is hard

Because it’s a habit

The first clue is in the name. It’s a habit, and therefore, it is an integral part of your routine. As a result, quitting cold turkey and without any preparation can be incredibly difficult. Instead, the best approach is to mentally prepare yourself to turn a page by setting a quit date. Keep your goals realistic, though. If you’ve been a smoker for the best part of your adult life, you probably don’t want to quit tomorrow. Instead, you can use your quit date to gradually reduce your intake of nicotine until it becomes bearable for your body to sustain low quantities. 

Because it helps you cope

Why do we develop bad habits? Your habit is a response to a situation. Some patterns are learned, such as copied from your parents as a child. Others are chosen to fill a void. Destructive habits that put your health at risk typically act as a coping mechanism that helps you deal with stressful events. Highly functional drinkers, for instance, don’t drink because they like the taste but because they can’t function without the relief of alcohol. As a result, sober living centers have developed dedicated support to help people not only identify the underlying problem but also manage it more effectively. The same principle applies to a variety of harmful habits. You need to focus on addressing the triggering issues first. 

Because it’s part of your social image

Some habits are developed to facilitate social integration. Social drinking, for instance, is a natural behavior for people with an extended circle of friends. After all, friends who drink together stay friends forever (or so they say). Consequently, it can be difficult to build healthy habits, as you might worry about social isolation, whether you want to quit alcohol or junk food – two of the most prevalent unhealthy behaviors among friends. 

Because it needs replacing

You can’t just drop a habit and hope for the best. When the habit disappears, it leaves a void you need to fill. Smokers, for instance, have an established routine, from the first cigarette in the morning to the last puff before bed. If you don’t build a healthy replacement, you are more likely to give up and return to your bad habit. Introducing a new habit helps you to create a new gesture and pattern to rely on in your day-to-day life. 


Can you quit your bad habits tomorrow? If the answer is no, you needn’t worry. Nobody can quit without notice, because your habit is part of your life. You must detach yourself from this side of your personality to create room for something positive in your routine.



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Why Your Mental Health Is Just As Important as Your Fitness

Most people tend to focus on the surface and deal with physical fitness only, however, looking after your mental health and your brain functions is just as important as working out. An increasing number of people develop Alzheimer’s and other old age illnesses that can reduce their ability to enjoy life after retirement.

If you would like to stay sharp and balanced, take a look at the reasons why your mental health is just as important as your physical.

Keeping Your Brain Active

It is important that you get enough stimuli to think and use your brain, or you will get lazy. There are plenty of ways you can engage with your environment and exercise your different senses without having to enter chess competitions. Reduce your screen time and read, so you can use your imagination. Check out Readings With Matt for inspiration. Try to complete jigsaws, start playing logical games, or do online crosswords. If you don’t relax your brain every now and then, your thoughts will keep on circulating at night, causing insomnia.

Memory

Your short term and long term memory depend on your mental health. You need to maintain a close relationship with reality, keep up with technology, and make sure that you keep an eye on your mental abilities. There is nothing worse than worrying about whether or not you turned off the oven before you left the house. If you often find yourself double checking things, and it begins to impair your daily functioning, you might want to think about seeing  a mental health professional to find out whether you are in danger of developing OCD and how you can improve your short term memory.

Dealing with Challenges

If you look after your mental health and ask for professional help whenever you feel overwhelmed, you will be able to learn new ways of dealing with challenging situations without causing harm to yourself or others. You need to practice mindfulness and make sure that you accept yourself before you can start trying to solve your problems.

Staying Flexible

If you would like to keep yourself in the best health possible, chances are that you are on a rigorous exercise routine. Do you get stressed if you don’t hit your weight loss target or get beaten by your teammates? If this is the case, you will have to learn how to stay flexible and give yourself allowances. Befriend yourself and accept your limitations, so you can stay flexible and adjust your life to your personal needs.

Developing Helpful Coping Mechanisms

If you look after your mental health, you will be able to find ways of coping with difficult people, situations, and relationships in the most positive way. If you don’t invest in your self-help, you will find yourself making things worse and being disappointed with yourself. Today we are facing much more stress than previous generations, so you have to learn how to switch off and relax.

Preventing Psychosomatic Illnesses

Some scientists believe that there is a much closer relationship between mental and physical health than most of us believe. The idea of psychosomatic illnesses is not new in science, and you might have experienced that you are more prone to infections, mood swings, and even serious long term conditions if you are not happy with how your life is going. People who don’t sleep enough and are always stressed are more likely to become sick.

Staying Focused

If you can clear your mind sometimes through practicing meditation, or mindfulness, you can get more focused on your tasks, and even your fitness plans. Whenever you feel like you are suffering from information overload and cannot see what’s ahead of you, take a step back and try to reflect on your situation. Notice and acknowledge the negative thoughts and let them go so you can keep on working towards your personal goals.

Better Clarity of Thoughts

Once you are able to think things through and take a step back from your busy life, magical things can happen. You will be able to see your situation clearer, without the emotional charge. Whether you have to make a challenging career-related decision or are dealing with money issues, seeing clearer will always help.

 

Some people think that exercise alone will sort their lives. However, if you don’t look after your mental health, you might end up getting injured or developing unhelpful coping mechanisms that will have a long term impact on your life. Take your mental health as seriously as your physical one and you can enjoy a happy and content life.


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