Break Habits and Take Control of Your Life

It will take hard work, but you can break and stop living the consequences of a bad habit.

Breaking habits can take a lot of work.


Breaking habits can take a lot of work.

Rafael Cruz, Columnist

Habits, good and bad, form subconsciously after doing something a number of times. Good habits often help us in our day-to-day lives by offering organization and routine. They can also help with things like adjustments to diet plans or exercising regularly. Developing a good habit might be tough, but they help you take control of your life greatly.

While habits can be beneficial, bad habits are very common and can include things like biting your fingernails, slouching, not taking care of yourself, being disorganized, and procrastinating. These habits may seem easy to get rid of, but Mind Soother says otherwise. Neural pathways form, making the habits harder to break. For example, if you bite your nails once and enjoy it, your brain releases the dopamine hormone, producing a good feeling. This means that you now want to keep biting your nails because it gives you a sense of happiness, creating a neural pathway that will be used each time you bite your nails. Therefore, habits are hard to break, because you crave the dopamine you are getting from it.

How can we break a bad habit? Well, there are many methods, but first you should recognize the impact it has on your life. If it’s nail biting, you damage your nails and the surrounding skin. With disorganization, you don’t seem put together, and become messy. Even If it’s procrastination, you’re always worrying about work or school because you put things off. Methods for breaking a bad habit include identifying a trigger, or what causes the want for a bad habit. Lemonade says that you can chart your behavior with that habit and see where and why you have it. Many methods also suggest that you can replace this bad habit with a reward. For instance, if you didn’t pick your nails an entire day, you get a piece of candy. This creates a neural pathway itself by thinking when you don’t act on that habit, you get a reward.

Healthline states that a great way to break a bad habit is by asking for a friend’s support. You can both rely on each other and stop each other from giving into the habit and cheer each other on. Having somebody there to talk to when tempted can help.

Whether it’s a small habit or a big habit, and whether it needs a lot of work to get rid of or just a little, you can break free from a habit with enough time and effort.