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How To Break Bad Habits: 7 Psychological Tips

As good habits improve your lifestyle and make you a good person, just like that bad habits also exist that damage your life. Bad habits play the role of a parasite. Just as termites take food and shelter from trees and in return eat their wood. Bad habits also enter your the same way. First, you adopt this as a seldom activity, then they become often, then regular, and then habit. And this is not done yet. If you don’t quit these habits in time, they take the shape of addictions which is nearly impossible to quit. First, we elaborate on the three steps in which habits develop. And then we’ll discuss how to break bad habits.

Habits develop in 3 steps:

  • 1- Trigger (Doing something bad to relieve stress and boredom, or being influenced by friends)
  • 2- Reward (When you get a reward after doing that thing, it could be intense pleasure or taste)
  • 3- Repetition (When you do that thing again and again)

After repetition, a habit develops. When you feel relief in doing something first, next time to feel relief, you have to increase the dose. Which leads to the next level of habit, addiction.

How to beak bad habits

As you got the three ways how a habit develops. Now, will discuss “how to get rid of a bad habit?” When you will be aware of the harms of bad habits then you can decide and motivate yourself to break and quit them. Because until you are stuck to a bad habit, thinking that you are not doing anything wrong, you can’t break it. Ater awareness you can now work on strategies to break them.

Habit can be quit in just three steps:

  • 1-Awareness (Get yourself aware of the harmful effects and threats of that bad habit)
  • 2- Reduce (Just follow the step line upside down which you used to develop that habit)
  • 3-Replace (Replace that bad habit with a good habit)

In the first step, you have to tell yourself that you are involved in a bad habit. You are not damaging your life but the lives of all those who are related to you. After that, you have to use the previous strategy upside down. As you started from “seldom” and reached to “regular”. You have to decrease that habit from regular to often, often to seldom, and seldom to quit permanently.

After quitting, replacement is a very crucial step because there is always a threat that it can return to your life again. But when you find an alternate activity to get relief, the chances to return to that bad habit decreases.

Now we’ll discuss 7 tips that will help to break bad habits.

How To Break Bad Habits- Commit To A Goal
How To Break Bad Habits- Commit To A Goal

1- Commit To A Goal

Goals and aims are the important in fact compulsory parts of life. Goals protect a person from distractions. Because when you have set your goals and are determined to achieve them, you will stay focused. Any distraction that will come on the way, can not distract you. Bad habits are just like distractions. When you set your goals and are sincere to them, you will refuse any bad habit coming on the way saying “Sorry, I’m busy right now”. So in this way committing to a goal can save you from adopting bad habits.

When you are sincere in your goals, you will feel happy and relieved in the hustle to achieve that goal. And during that hustle, if a bad habit comes to you and says “Please adopt me?” You will think “bad habits are adopted to feel happy and relaxed. When I am already happy in that hustle, then why should I get myself involved in a bad and toxic habit ?” The answer to this question will motivate you to say “NO” to that bad habit which is actually a hurdle on the way to your goals and destination. Ultimately your goals have saved you from getting involved in a bad habit.


Let suppose you are already involved in a bad habit like smoking or something else that is affecting your health. You get aware of the harmful effects and decide to break this bad habit. Now you have to set a goal of working out. You have to set an aim that for three months you are going to do anything required to become a bodybuilder and quit anything that affects it. When you set a commitment to that goal and make it your first priority, you will automatically get rid of every habit that is a hurdle in the way of bodybuilding.

Now you are focus on your goal and feel happy in that workout. Bad habits that you adopted for the sake of happiness and relief, you will automatically quit them because you have found a better alternative to them. So this is the way, committing to a goal can help you to break bad habits.

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How To Break Bad Habits- Identify the Triggers
How To Break Bad Habits- Identify the Triggers

2- Identify the Triggers

Triggers are the main reasons that a person involves in bad habits. There are many types of triggers that make you involved in bad habits finding a solution. Usually overthinking, tension, stress, and boredom are the triggers to bad habits. Even people get involved in bad habits just because of getting hurt in relationships. Usually, to overcome this stress they adopt many bad habits like smoking, drugs, drinking, and negative self-talk. And when they come to know about the damages of these bad habits, the bad habits had affected them very much.

So when you decide to leave a bad habit, first find the trigger that forces you to get involved in that bad habit. For example, if the stress of a relationship forces you to adopt any bad habit, you have to think about all the other people in your life that love you so much. And you are very important to them Their happiness is linked to you. When you start thinking about your family, what will happen to them if something bad happens to you, you ultimately quit and break all those bad habits. Because sometimes you care about your family more than yourself.

After identifying the trigger

After finding the trigger, you have to find the alternative to that habit to overcome the same trigger. You don’t have to change the trigger but use the same trigger positively. For example, stress is triggering a habit. You have to find an alternative i.e spend time without family which will make you feel relaxed and make you realize that some people are present that still love you very much.

You can start spending time with nature, enjoying birds chirping, and the arts of God. This will make your mind feel relaxed and make you realize how beautiful life is. So identifying the triggers also plays a key role to break bad habits.

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How To Break Bad Habits- Visualize The Results

3- Visualize The Results

Visualizing the results plays a key role in breaking a bad habit. This step is actually related to awareness. As mentioned earlier that to leave a bad habit, first you have to analyze and adopt that the habit is bad and is toxic for you. In this step, you have to get yourself known about the results of the bad habits in which you are involved. This is also a hypothesis of the future. You have to think about the results of all those bad habits in the future in which you have been involved. The visualization of bad habits motivates you to remove them.

If you are at the initial level and thinking that this is the minor level and will not affect you, you are wrong. You have to see yourself after some time that where you are standing after some years. What will be the results of this? For example, if you start smoking, think that you are at a low level that has no bad effects and think that you will quit this soon. You are wrong because this sort of thinking is never going to help you in breaking that habit. In fact, this will motivate you to increase that addiction.

Sometimes bad habits are unconscious and you come to know when are affected. Imagine that you are slowly dying and damaging yourself. And you think that this is a personal matter and this is just affecting you. Now imagine that your son is doing the same in front of you, and damaging himself. Imagine that situation. Come back to reality and understand that your loving ones and suffering from the same situation.

You have to ask yourself the questions:

  • Am I able to bear the loss that can happen as a result of this habit?
  • Am I not killing myself?
  • What will happen to my family and my loving ones if something bad happens?
  • What will happen to my goals if I don’t quit these bad habits?

These questions will help you to break all those habits that are harming you because when you find the terrifying results, you will ultimately try to quit every bad thing happening in your life.

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How To Remove Bad Habits- Develop An Alternative Plan

4- Develop An Alternative Plan

This tip is related to the third step of leaving bad habits. Because the cause that makes you adopt a habit can be overcome or it can be replaced with a good habit. For example, if you have adopted a bad habit just for the sake of fun and joy, you can find another good habit for happiness and fun. When you start feeling happy in that good habit, the previous bad habit ultimately breaks. And after some time you get addicted to the new alternative habit and start enjoying it as an entertainment activity.

You can adopt many good habits for entertainment. Some of the good habits are:

  • Fishing
  • Painting
  • Photography
  • Writing
  • Poetry
  • Meditation
  • Sports
  • Shooting

These good habits are alternatives to bad habits. If you adopt any of these or some else good habit that comes to your mind, as a source of relief and releasing stress, You will not have r free time to get involved in bad habits. Because many habits are just adopted because of free time. Youth utilize their free time in wasting their abilities.

For example, you have the bad habit of drug drinking. Now have decided to leave this bad bad habit. This will come to reality if you put all your efforts to break this habit. To leave this bad habit you have to develop another habit that must be opposite to this bad habit. When this new habit will get priority over the first one, you will automatically quit drinking. So this is also a very important tip to break bad habits.

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How To Get Rid Of Bad Habits- Do Opposite Of Your Desires

5- Do Opposite of Your Desires

This step is related to your desires and self-control. In this step, you have to control your desires and make them run according to your order. This plays a key role in breaking and quitting any habit. Because when you have a strong grip on yourself, you can get anything you want to achieve and leave anything that you want to leave. In fact, when you have self-control, you cannot develop habits easily. To practice this, you have to run against your desire.

For this you have to follow these steps:

  • Eat when you are not hungry.
  • Sleep when you are don’t want to sleep.
  • Force yourself to sleep when you are not feeling asleep.
  • Eat the food you don’t like.
  • Put yourself in challenging situations.
  • Challenge your comfortzone.

Though these steps sound weird and difficult, these are the smart steps for self-control. You have to practice this just for forty days. After forty days you will be able to work without the permission of your mood. At that time, your desires will not run you, you will run your desires. And at that time, you have learned to stop every bad habit. You can get rid of every bad habit, whenever you want. For example, you are a smoker, and one day you decide to quit this bad habit. You will not find it difficult because you are not dependant on that.

So you learned how opposing your desires help you to leave any bad habit. Start opposing your desire. when the desire of that bad habit arises, you have to oppose that desire.

How To Get Rid Of Bad Habits-Change Your Environment To Break Bad Habits
How To Get Rid Of Bad Habits-Change Your Environment To Break Bad Habits

6- Change Your Environment To Break Bad Habits

Your environment has a major and prime impact on your life. Because the environment by which you are surrounded affects you a lot. If you are surrounded by a bad company that has bad habits, they will force you too to involve in that habit. They will tell you the lush benefits of that bad habits and try their best to get you involved in that bad habit. First, you start because they force you, after some time you also get addicted to that bad habit. The real harm is that they never make you feel that you are doing something wrong. In fact, they appreciate you on that habit.

You have to check the following things while choosing a company:

  • Are they ambitious?
  • Will, they motivate you to achieve big?
  • They are not involved in bad habits.
  • Are they hustlers?
  • Are they humble?

These are a few questions. If you find positive answers to all these questions, you should immediately add them to your friends’ list. Because these sort of people motivate you to achieve big. They force you to set goals and stay focused on those goals. When people in your circle are not involved in any bad habit, no urge arises in you. In fact, if you adopt a bad habit, they will motivate and guide you to leave that habit. So circle plays an important role in leaving a bad habit.

If you are involved in a bad habit, simply change your circle. You will automatically start getting the motivation to quit that habit. Because in a good circle, you can get rid of bad habits easily.

How To Quit Bad Habits- Reward Yourself For Making Progress
How To Quit Bad Habits- Reward Yourself For Making Progress

7- Reward Yourself For Making Progress

This tip is actually passively linked to this topic. But also has its own importance in helping to break bad habits. In this step, you have to reward yourself whenever you achieve anything. When you reward yourself, this keeps you motivated and determined. And when you become ambitious to achieve any target, you have no time left to get involved in any sort of bad habit.

So whenever you make progress, you have to give yourself a reward or gift. You can go on a holiday, picnic, watch a movie, or take a break for fun. This reward will make you realize that you have achieved something. And thus the dopamine that releases while you are involved in any sort of bad habit, is released when you make progress or complete a task. You start working with more devotion and making progress becomes your aim. You don’t have time to get yourself involved in any bad habit. This is how this tip works you break any bad habit.

How to break bad habits:

  • 1- Commit To A Goal
  • 2- Identify the Triggers
  • 3- Visualize The Results
  • 4- Develop An Alternative Plan
  • 5- Do Opposite of Your Desires
  • 6- Change Your Environment
  • 7- Reward Yourself For Making Progress

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