How to break your bad habits

WELL_gabby_3c_408

Throughout my life I’ve given up many bad habits. Most recently I got off coffee. Letting go of coffee was not easy. In fact, strange as it may sound, it was even harder than when I got sober eight years ago and gave up drugs and alcohol. Caffeine was my last drug, and because it wasn’t killing me I continued to give myself permission to drink it.

One of the main reasons we stay stuck in habits we know don’t serve us is because of our permission-giving thoughts, such as “One cup of coffee a day won’t kill me,” or, “I only drink on weekends.” These thoughts keep us convinced that there is nothing wrong with our behavior even though deep down we know it isn’t right.

In many cases we use our bad habits to avoid dealing with something much more difficult. In my case, I was using coffee as a final vice. As a sober woman I felt I deserved to have something I could turn to when I felt I needed a jolt. This habit seemed harmless, but when I got honest with myself it became clear that I was just using the coffee as another drug. Upon genuinely reviewing my behavior I came to realize that I had to stop giving myself permission to drink coffee and that it was time to change the habit.

Transitioning out of a bad habit can be really uncomfortable at first. To help you ease into the process, I’ve outlined the three steps that worked for me when I put down the coffee.

 

Step One: Keep it in the day

One of the main reasons we get tripped up when we try to change a habit is that we start future-tripping. For instance, when I was first letting go of coffee, I’d project onto the future with thoughts such as, “What will I do when I’m in Europe and I want a cappuccino?” What helped me most during these future flip-outs was to simply keep it in the day. I would tell myself, “I don’t need to worry about tomorrow. Today I choose not to drink coffee.” One day at a time I’ve stayed committed.

Step Two: Change your breath pattern

The moment we change our breath pattern we change our energy, thereby changing our experience. Whenever you notice yourself about to relapse into your negative behavior, take a long, deep breath. As you change your breath you change your energy. Your calm and centered energy will support you in positive behavior and stop you from indulging in your bad habit.

 

Step Three: Make it joyful

Letting go of a negative habit doesn’t have to be torturous. In fact, it can be joyful. To really create change we need more than just willpower: We must find the joy and curiosity in it. Letting go of a bad habit is really just creating a new habit. In that new habit you can find happiness. In my case, I chose not to dwell on the loss of coffee and instead I fell in love with organic tea and have become a tea connoisseur. When you find joy in creating a new habit you can effortlessly let go of the bad one.

 

If you’re ready to let go of that nasty vice, use these three steps. Keep it in the day, breathe through the transition and find joy in creating new habits.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking

Local

K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.

National

Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.

National

Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.

Movies

Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.

Arts

Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…

Television

Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.

NBA

Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.

NFL

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…

Tech

Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.

Tech

Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.

Tech

Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.

Style

Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.