How to stop bad habits

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Stopping bad habits

In my previous article Breaking the habit tonight i gave many effective advice that can help people stop bad habits however some people come and told me that they return back to their old habits after quitting them for a long period of time.

A friend of mine has stopped smoking few months ago and each time we meet she says that she misses smoking so much and she keeps telling me how everything reminds her of smoking and how she can't forget about it. My friend didn't know a very important concept that anyone who wants to stop a bad habit should know which is anchor removal.

How to stop bad habits

After developing a new habit every time you do it your mind will associate it with the situation that you are doing it in. For example if you started smoking for the first time while spending a good time with your friends then smoking might be associated in your mind with good time.

When you smoke right after eating, smoking gets associated with that period of time and so you will feel like wanting to smoke each time you eat. When you smoke while being stressed smoking gets associated with stress and so you will feel like smoking whenever you become stressed.

In my book The ultimate guide to break any bad habit i explained how anchors can be the main reason that prevents someone from breaking a bad habit. if the person learned how to break these anchors he will surely get over the bad habit.

Anchors and stopping bad habits?

If you kept smoking for 10 years then most probably you developed hundreds of associations that will make you miss smoking every time you remember one of them. When you decide to quit you will crave for smoking every time you remember one of those associations and that's why you might be finding it hard to stop the bad habit.

The good news is that If you ignored these associations or anchors and moved on without responding to them then after a short period of time these associations will weaken and you wont miss smoking anymore. For example if you stopped smoking and ignored the craving you get whenever you feel stressed then after a short period of time you won't feel like smoking when you become stressed.

Why does it take a long period of time to stop a bad habit?

Because you have developed hundreds of associations in your mind that are connected to the bad habit getting rid of them all will require some time. That's why breaking a habit gets easier everyday you don't do the habit because more and more associations get removed.

This is the same exactly that happens after breakups. In the beginning Everything reminds the person of his partner because of the associations that was formed. In my book, How to get over anyone in few days i explained how ignoring these associations can make you forget your old partner as soon as the associations are removed provided that you don't strengthen them again by listening to romantic music, by thinking of him or even going to the same places you used to go to together.

Whether its a bad habit or a break up you must understand that you will suffer for a while until those associations weaken and then you wont find any problem in getting along with your life without even remembering that habit or that person.

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