The Easier Way To Overcome Unhelpful Habits

We all have a range of habits, good and bad, that make up our daily experience of life. But if you are keen to try and live life as fully as you can, you will probably want to think about what you can do to overcome some of the less helpful or more harmful habits you might have. As it happens, that may be easier to achieve than you think. In this post, we are going to take a look at some of the ways to overcome your habits much more easily and readily, thereby improving your quality of life considerably.

Understand How Habits Form

The more fully and comprehensively you understand how a habit forms, the better-equipped you are to overcome them, as you will have an intuitive grasp of the structure underlying those habits. In essence, what happens with a habit is that it develops and deepens a specific neural pathway in your brain for that particular action or event. The deeper this becomes, the more ingrained it is, and the more likely it is that your brain automatically carries it out. You can probably see how this informs the creation of addictions. Appreciating this helps you to be free of such addictions.

Try Urge Surfing

If you have not heard of urge surfing before, it’s certainly something you may want to try out for yourself. Initially developed and coined by the clinical psychologist Alan Marlatt, urge surfing relates to a way in which you treat your urges dispassionately, as though from an outsider’s perspective. When an urge occurs, rather than either giving in to it or fighting it, you simply objectify it by labeling it as an urge. You can then gain a modicum of control over it, and over time this makes the act of breaking a habit so much easier to do.

Rely On Your Network

Sometimes you just need some help if you are going to be able to successfully overcome a particular habit, so it’s important to get that help when you need it. Relying on your network is not a sign of weakness, but of strength - it shows that you are able to respect yourself enough to make use of whatever resources you need. Whether that is attending alcohol rehab or simply speaking to friends, having a network and utilizing it is really powerful, so make sure that you are doing this if you are keen to overcome a habit.

Spot Your Cognitive Distortions

We all have cognitive distortions, and they are very often a major player in how and why we form and engage in unhelpful and unhealthy habits. When you have particular thoughts attached to a habit, you need to question what those thoughts are - and normally, there will be all sorts of cognitive distortions associated with them. Seeing those for what they are is going to empower you to know how to overcome your unhelpful habits more successfully. This is a surprisingly powerful thing that you should try to do.

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