Habit is an involuntary and repetitive action that works with the cadence of the mind. From cracking knuckles to drinking incessantly, habits can take any form. They take a toll on the “victim”. Sometimes they’re so bad that they could be renamed “self- destruction activities” or “addiction”. The propensity of the mind to stalk an activity every idle second is sometimes harmful for the body.
Habits are either good or bad. Good habits are hardly picked up and easily left. The bad habits are the ones that make all the difference. As a person consistently follows a routine behavior, it gets more deeply associated with the folds of the character; it almost assumes an importance of breathing.
When the habit becomes a strong urge, without which you feel the world will go berserk, it is generally referred to as Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). There is severe mental distress on continuous callings of the body to achieve the same task again and again. For example, counting the number of polka dots on that woman’s dress might have been a time pass when first attempted, but as a habit, it seriously keeps the mind overworked.
Chewing nails to invisibility, cracking knuckles till they hurt, looking infinite times in both directions while crossing the street, twirling and licking hair, sucking the thumb, picking on the skin etc. all are familiar customs most of us are friends with, or maybe the bestest friends with. Well, in the long run these habits might just give you a run for your money, considering a whole lot of body language studies show such habits display an inherent under confidence, lack of smartness, reserved and shy behavior.
There are so many success stories which should be taken as a foothold for embarking on your journey towards a new life. Here’s a set of rules which when followed, the game with the opponent can be won without any difficulty!
1. BE AWARE OF THE HABIT To get to the root of the problem, one has to know where the problem lies. Being aware and admitting that the habit has possessed you is imperative to the process of weeding out the habit. Ask yourself what is propelling you to continue with the custom, whether it be biting the nails or twirling the hair. Ask yourself why there is a persistent urge to do it. In almost all cases, no one would say anything different than “I just want to do it”. But realizing that there’s no answer to the “problem” one would become cognizant of the effect their personal habits have on others.
2. CHANGE THE ENVIRONMENT Research has shown that the surroundings affect the behavior and thus the habits of a person. Suppose the friend who you hang out with and end up having a bad hangover next morning should immediately exit your friend circle for the time you’re trying to escape the clutches of drinking. Or take for example that famous shop where you fetch the cigarettes from. Take a call on your soul and whiz past a different route!
3. DEVISE A PLAN WITH FRIENDS
Have the friends ready to point out when you invariably start doing what must not be named.
Words from the peers have a major effect on personal well-being and management. The friends should do it in simple fun ways. For example if a friend of yours bites his/her nails too often, keep taunting them on how it reflects insecurity and restlessness in the language of the body. Repeated taunting makes them aware of their inane activities and allows them to think rationally.
Find a replacement to your habit. Here’s how. For example, in case of chewing nails, cut your nails healthily short. Paint them with transparent nail paint and then have a taste. It is going to remind you of the step you took willingly to stop biting the nails into invisibility.
Another example would be in case of picking the skin. Apply a band aid to that portion where the hand knowingly, unknowingly reaches and starts scratching to yield pied skin.
These voluntary steps will help in chasing away the reflexes that eventually spoil the body.
5. WILL POWER
Flush the system with a flood of willpower. Patience is required to reach the tipping point. Who said the oceans were made in a day? There should be so much internal pressure to achieve the goal you set for the body that even the ghost of Procrastination starts procrastinating to invade the head. Watch documentaries on how people fought their evils and gain inspiration from their stories.
6. WITHDRAWAL BATTLE First day without doing the habitual, pat on your back! Stand in front of the mirror and encourage yourself. It is usually after 5 days that withdrawal symptoms start kicking in, and mind you, they’re in full force. This is in case of severe habits like smoking, drinking and abusing drugs. The withdrawal symptoms are the weapons of the inertia that the body was set into ages ago. This battle has to be won. You read the passage above for something. Fight the evil and tell your body that what life you have in store for it, is going to be far better than what it had experienced earlier!
7. TREAT YOURSELF
Bravo! You complete 2 weeks without the habit! Remember to treat yourself at every milestone, just so the body doesn’t fatigue. Go to the game parlor and play to release the frustration. Go shop for that beautiful bag. Go do everything you missed out on while spending time over the “habits”. Treat your laziness to the evil of your habits. Treat your body to a day of madness! But follow some precautions here:
- Make sure you go out with the set of friends that tried pulling you out of the mess.
- Make sure the treat is somewhere where the mind is set into action to achieve different goals than just going back to the habit of picking at the body!
If followed with diligence, this list will usher in a new, fresh start to your life. Life happens only once, it is up to you to take it or leave it.
If you have a habit that is bothering you and had trouble striking a chord with any of the above stated descriptions, an appointment with the mental health professional will be of immense help.