Breaking Up (a Habit) is Easy to Do…

Breaking the habitDo you find yourself gnawing on your nails to the quick? How about chewing your hair? Or, maybe you are wanting to kick that “nail in the coffin” habit – smoking. Now you can!

According to Dr. Loretta Graziano Breuning, you can break ANY habit in three simple steps:

  1. Design your alternative habit.

    Since your brain requires habits to function, provide your brain with a new habit. For example: When you have an urge to smoke a cigarette, chew gum instead.

  1. Commit to the new choice.

    The habit that you are trying to rid has been around a while; make sure you make a commitment to the new habit. Once we form a habit, our brain develops neural pathways that create cravings or “must have moments” to obtain happiness. Changing an old habit to a new choice requires you to form new neural pathways to happiness. Make sure you take steps in carving the new path! Maybe it would benefit you to take these steps: watch others engage in the new habit, visualize yourself enjoying the new habit, and then start doing the new habit.

  1. Repeat for 45 days.

    The neural pathways in the brain can take up to 6 weeks to form consistently with the new habit. It is normal to continue receiving urges to perform the old habit, but it will lessen as you choose the new choice. Continue to redirect your thinking down the new pathway to achieve what you want!

Here is an example of using the three-step method:

Winnie the Pooh has a habit of gorging on honey. Searching for honey pots consumes his attention and he wants to break the habit. He decides to take up landscape painting. He loves having control over a blank canvas, and likes the idea of keeping his hands busy while out in nature. He buys paints, enrolls in a course, and packs carrot sticks to snack on. He thinks about honey a lot, and sometimes dreams about honey. It feels like he will die without honey in some moments. When the feeling comes, he goes to his painting corner stocked with crudités, and soon he is immersed in a new thought. In six weeks, he feels good, and wants to keep the good feeling. He knows he can do that by focusing on painting if his thoughts start flowing in the old direction.

Tell us what old habit you would like to transform and the steps you have taken already to start the transformation process! Remember: change is good!

3 thoughts on “Breaking Up (a Habit) is Easy to Do…

  1. I have of habit of drinking lots of juice daily, and not drinking any water. It seemed like I lost the taste for water and had to re-train my brain to accept the taste of water again. My brain was wanting juice, but I knew I needed to drink water. Once I changed my way of thinking I was well on my way of getting my acquit amounts of water.

  2. Wow Christy! I had a habit of eating snack cakes such as honey buns, oatmeal pies, and raison cakes right before bed. It is not that I have a “sweet tooth.” I had just formed a habit of grabbing something to eat before bed. To terminate this bad habit, I stopped buying those type products from the store. I substituted the snack cakes for a bottle of water. It has helped tremendously. I have been doing this for about 3 to 4 months now.

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