Career Magazine

How to Let Go of Unwanted Habits

By Rebecca_sands @Rebecca_Sands

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Unwanted habits can be a massive part of life, and it becomes difficult to imagine how we could not only stop them, but in fact be happy when we stop them.

That’s because we attribute pleasure to these habits. According to the master of life change Anthony Robbins, everything in life we do either to gain pleasure or avoid pain. Whatever we link pain and pleasure to, argues Anthony, will shape our lives.

It’s so true. Let’s take the example of food, although there are many that are probably more significant, like taking drugs. Considering the universal example of food, it’s true that some people link pleasure to certain types of foods, and pain or deprivation to others. Whether we link pleasure to good, wholesome foods or pleasure to greasy fast-food will probably determine how much we eat of both.

The good news is, we can change what we link pain or pleasure to.

How to create the habits you want, and let go of the ones you don’t

The trick is to create new links to the habits that you want to construct for yourself by making them pleasurable. Then, create pain around the habits you don’t want any more. Once you realize that there is something that can replace the pleasure that you feel with a certain habit with another action, this will be a lot easier and more realistic to achieve.

Identify the habits you don’t want anymore.

Write down a list of how these habits make you feel. Do they make you feel comfortable, happy, or confident? According to Benjamin J Harvey, by simply creating a list of alternative ways you can get the same feeling, your brain starts to realize that it doesn’t need to rely on this one habit to get the same kick. Instead of feeling the maximum amount of pleasure by sitting on the couch and eating ice cream, you can achieve even more pleasure when you exercise, for example.

Consolidate the new habits until they become second nature

Once you have identified the habits that you don’t want and how they make you feel (the pleasurable emotions that you link to them), and have created a list of new habits that will give you the same pleasure, the trick is to consolidate the new habit and link pain to the old ones. It takes time and commitment but by doing something again and again you will be able to reinforce the positive habits in your life to create ultimate change and get what you want.

Have you found an effective way to let go of unwanted habits? 

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