Breaking A Habit Is Actually Impossible: This Is What You Can Do, Instead
Have you ever wondered why breaking a habit is so hard? Would you like to know how to break bad habits? A lot of us would.
Did you know that when you're breaking a habit, you're trying to break away from an integral part of yourself and, hence, face internal resistance?
Before you learn how to break bad habits, you need to know why breaking a habit is nearly impossible.
The response to this question is quite spiritual in nature and very simple. The universe doesn't believe in any void.
As a human, you're a creature of habit. Your habits make life easier for you. Nearly 90% of what you do is out of habit.
The way you wear your pants, brush your hair, eat your food, and sign your checks are all done a certain way, unique to you, and out of habit. Every simple and complicated task that you do, you do it subconsciously.
Your subconscious mind is 88% of who you are.
Like any machine, you've programmed yourself through repetition, the way you speak, think, act, and feel. Your likes and dislikes are stored in and arise out of your subconscious.
So, when you're trying to do something different, it’s hard — nearly impossible — because you're going against what’s familiar.
You're literally trying to tell yourself that your past is wrong and what you recently heard, read, saw, touched, felt, or tasted is the new thing you need.
Your subconscious mind doesn't understand how something new can be important and the old is immaterial and must go away.
Your critical mind’s job is to keep you safe, no matter how sad or sorry you are. Safety first is the motto of your critical mind.
What needs to happen for bad habits to break?
You have to come up with a good habit to replace each of the bad habits you need to break. Or else, your subconscious mind will pick something familiar and convenient.
That way you can still feel "good" about your choices, decisions, and actions while staying safe.
For example, since most tobacco is cured with various types of sugar. When you decide to break the bad habit of smoking, you start seeking food that is high in sugar content.
The first thing that happens after people quit smoking is either their emotions fluctuate between extremes or they consume food high in sugar, or both.
The easy solution here is for you to pick a habit that helps you replace a bad habit that has been hurting you until now. An average smoker takes ten puffs of a cigarette over five minutes.
Going with this, if you want to break the bad habit of smoking, you have a few options.
Take a tall glass of water with a straw. Take ten long slow sips of water from the glass over five minutes. Your urge to smoke will get replaced with sipping water in the same pattern as smoking.
How do you break habits easily and effectively?
To answer this question, here's another example of losing weight using hypnosis. Eating fulfills both a physical and an emotional need. You eat because you feel physically hungry and you also eat because you feel emotionally hungry.
Physical hunger can be satiated with physical food.
When your physical stomach is full, you can’t eat anymore. But, emotional hunger needs emotional food. When your emotional hunger is not met, you reach out for emotional food or activities that you feel might satiate your emotional needs.
Your emotion is your energy in motion. The more it stays in motion, the longer it stays in motion. And the longer it stays in motion, the longer it needs to stay in motion.
It picks up momentum and gets carried away in this wave of emotional needs. It gets greedy and you reach out for what is commonly known as comfort food.
Now, how truly comforting for your body is your comfort food?
It’s only comforting for your taste buds, not your stomach, your body, or your soul. While all this logic is dandy, when you are experiencing an emotional hunger, you have to aim for something like water.
You could either add lemon, an herbal tea bag, or a powdered multi-vitamin to a tall cup of water and sip it until it’s all gone. I call these drinks fortified water.
Most hunger pangs are actually pangs of thirst. But because you reach out for food, your brain interprets your need for fluids as a need for solid.
When you have all your drinks ready for the day and within reach, each time you feel hungry, reach for the drink instead and notice how good you feel.
Negative emotions like anger, sorrow, fear, hurt, etc. can be addictive and are bad habits that break you if you don’t break them.
Negative emotions can be quelled by sipping water as well.
When emotions run high, your ability to rationalize is low. Get into a habit of keeping fortified water close by. When you drink water, you can’t be angry.
In fact, when you're drinking water, you can’t feel any emotion, whether it’s anger, sorrow, fear, hurt, shame, pain or doubts, or any variation of either of these emotions.
You can over-eat food, but you can’t over-drink fortified water. Your body will always flush out excess water, but hold on to solid food.
Also, when you're hungry and your blood sugar is running low, your emotions can run a riot. It’s better to keep healthy food close by.
You cannot eat a lot of healthy food because your brain realizes that the body has received an ample amount of nutrients and doesn’t need more.
But when you're eating food that brings comfort but lack nutrients you can eat a lot of it and still want more while your stomach is exploding and saying "no more."
You need to train your brain to stay in sync with your body, notice its needs and follow through.
So you see, breaking a bad habit can be nearly impossible if you do not know which good habit to replace it with.
Doing it alone can be hard, but when you work with someone who understands your needs they can help you pick what's beneficial for you.
Keya Murthy, M.S., is a #1 international best-selling author and Clinical Hypnotherapist, and Spiritual Life Coach at the Ventura Healing Center.
If you are interested in moving beyond your circumstances to find your purpose and authentic happiness Keya is available for a clarity call with you.
Keya's latest book The Book On Happiness: How to Have Peace and Stability for the Working Mom is available for you.