How To Break A Habit


Habits can be positive and healthy. When a person turns exercise into a habit or waking at a certain time to be sure he or she makes it to work on time, without rushing into part of their routine, the resulting effects can reduce stress and lead to noticeable benefits.

In fact, it can be argued that most of life is habitual. Studies have shown that 50 percent of life is habitual: patterns before heading to bed, meal times, activities, phrases used during speech and even the way we relate to other people can all be considered habits.

But, habits can also be harmful and detrimental to our health. When drug and alcohol abuse become driving factors in our lives, or eating disorders become compulsory, habits can turn into negative compulsions that have negative consequences. These compulsions can become full blown additions.

While habits may seem difficult to break, it’s sometimes necessary to do so to avoid compulsory actions and life-controlling addictions. But, how does one go about breaking a habit?

Learn Your Cues

As shown in the 12 Palms video graphic, cues are categories of behaviors that lead to specific, habitual actions. Each person has different cues. Perhaps it’s a smell, like coworkers’ lunch choices that lead to negative or over eating habits. To others it may be stressors that lead to habits like nail biting or binge-drinking. To others, fatigue may be a cue that leads to a caffeine habit that eventually becomes something more.

If you’re looking to break a habit, learning, understanding and acknowledging your cues are a necessary part to making the change.

Interrupt Your Routine

By knowing your cues, you’ll be able to interrupt your routine (which generally leads to habitual behavior). When possible, learning to ignore or completely avoid the cues that lead to ne

James is a freelance writer and founder of InfoBros. In his free time, he enjoys hiking, cooking, and blogging about health, tech and communication.