What makes our bad habits hard to give up?

How many bad habits do you have? And how many have you tried to give up? How many have you successfully overcome? Difficult isnt it?

So what makes a bad habit hard to give up?

I am sure there are many of you that have tried to overcome addictions or annoying bad habits – and no matter how hard you try – the addiction or habit remains. What you have to understand that more often than not – a habit has an unconscious positive intention. However annoying or bad for us the habit is – we generally learnt if for a reason!

For all those smokers out there – how bad was your first cigarette? If you are like me – it was disgusting.  So what makes us continue to smoke? The positive benefit we get from smoking is the reason we ‘learn’ the habit and maintain it and it is this same positive intention that makes it almost impossible to give up smoking or bad habits.

If you are struggling to give up something which you know is harming you in some way – either financially, health or relationship wise – consider what benefits you are getting from the habit. I used to pull out my hair and went for hypnotherapy to help me overcome it, however the hypnotherapist only addressed the bad habit and not what the habit was doing for me – so needless to say the habit remained!

Most habits and addictions provide us with something positive such as stess release, a way to reduce emotional distress or anxiey or even relieve boredom. So the pain that we associate with them may be high but the pleasure (or benefits) are even higher and until we replace these benefits with another more positive ‘habit’  such as relaxation, exercise etc – the bad habit will remain.

So in order to successfully overcome your bad habit – address the benefits you gain from it (these may be unconscious but with some investigation are easy to discover!) and then chose a more positive and constructive habit to replace the old one. It you associate more pleasure with the new habit then you will easily replace the old bad habit.

If you are finding it hard to overcome an addiction or habit – give me a call – I am always willing to help. Been there – done it and often wore the T-Shirt!