We all have bad habits. Some of the worst ones, not in a specific order; drinking, over eating, swearing, nail biting, smoking ect. There are many things that can be considered a bad habit. I’m going to list some of mine, and how I hope I can break most if not all of them. I’m sure everyone can relate that certain habits can be so bad, it interferes with day to day life. What would you say are your worst habits and how do you think you can finally break them? Here are my top 3 and what my plan to end them will be.
1. Biting my nails/cuticles
Ever since I was a little girl, I have always bitten my nails, and my cuticles. To the point I make my fingers bleed. People will look at them and freak out saying I need to stop. Like it’s something I don’t already know. Trust me, it isn’t appealing to me either, it’s disgusts me too. I mean i’m so embarrassed about it, I can hardly ever get my nails done because I fear they won’t risk working on my nails. If I’m cooking or eating and have lemon or something similar it burns like no other! When I shower or go swimming, they look worse than just the wrinkling look your used to, the parts I bite at, turn even more white, and make my fingers look like they are falling apart. Want to know what the worst part is? Most of the time I don’t even realize i’m doing it. I can be watching T.V., hanging out, just having a conversation then next thing I know my fingers are in my mouth. I have anxiety and that is the result of it. Even though my anxiety causes many other bad habits this one can really be annoying and if not careful, dangerous. Yes, infection being on the top of that list, along with damaging tissue around the nails, abnormal growth and lets not forget getting sores on your mouth from the germs in your nails. Luckily I haven’t had these issues other than soreness, and unpleasant appearance. So how do I stop? Ok first like anything bad you want to stop, is acknowledgment, I know I do it, I also know that I want and need to stop. Next, work on my anxiety which is causing the trigger to bite. Things that calm me and help with anxiety are writing, listening to music, word searches, and the occasional long, long hot shower with no interruptions. Getting my nails done also helps, of course my husband may think its an excuse at times, but for whatever reason, when I have my nails done, I don’t bite them. I think it’s because I instead play with the nails, tapping, and messing with them. It is a daily struggle and every time I realize i’m doing it, I stop. So everyday from now on, it’s a continuous goal, something I will have to daily remind myself that I can and I will stop.
2. Stress Eating
Let me start this one with, why are the worst foods for you sooooooo darn good? They are also addictive, you know the sugars, the processed food, the dyes. If I were to crave vegetables instead of carbs, I think I would be ok. Instead it is the sodas, the sweet tea, the fries, pasta, everything bad for you ( insert crying face). As if that isn’t enough, stressing increases cortisol in the bloodstream, which increases appetite. Great huh? So its increased hunger because the body is craving energy to combat the stressors. Boredom also has a hand in this, but we will stick to the stress. If you going to ask me what are my stressors, I won’t have enough time to get them all in one blog. So we will stick with, I’m a stay at home mom, with four kids, I live out in the middle of nowhere, home almost 24/7, and battle depression. I’m thinking you can assume most of the stress already. So I eat from the increased hunger, and I eat all the bad stuff, then I stress over all of the weight gain. It’s a vicious cycle this one. So to begin, I need to learn to help my stress. This is really hard as it is, so lets say I am able to tame the stress, as much as possible. Then I will have to have support, have someone to help keep me accountable for making better choices, not eat out of boredom, and learn moderation. Next will be to take away the temptation. We all love to have snacks in the home, but what kind of snacks should we have? If we don’t have it in the house, guess what, I can’t eat it so then I won’t regret it. Lastly, learning from my setbacks. if something works, keep doing it. If not, improve to make changes, and do better. I want my kids to have a better chance, so If I expect them to have better habits, they are only going to learn from me. That motivation is what helps me to always want to do better.
3. Thinking Negatively
My worst, absolutely worst one to date. I tell my kids all the time, if you think negative, you will always get negative. Now just because we do something, doesn’t mean we can’t want or try to help others do better. I’ve also done this since I was a little girl, had too many negative thoughts. It can be rubbed off, learned, or grown from experiences. All I know is, it isn’t a way to live. Always focusing on the bad, always expecting bad things to happen, and always remembering the unpleasant things. Negative people, see the bad outcomes first, they think of the worst things, and see no good ahead. The hardest part for me, is thinking negative of myself, I don’t have the confidence I wish I had. I see all the things wrong with myself, and start finding it harder and harder to see the good. Mentally and physically, I am too hard on myself. Experiences, traumas, bad choices, they all build up and if your not careful, they take over. So where do I start? I start by, feeding the positive instead. It’s a choice, I get to choose which wolf I feed. I can start by giving myself daily affirmations. When I look in the mirror, I need to start telling myself all the good I see, not the bad. I need to start reading motivational books, blogs, articles, and consistently seeking improvement. I need to make a list of all of the things I am grateful for and put it somewhere I can see it often, it will be a great reminder. I can begin with a morning prayer of gratitude, and being thankful for all the things I am blessed with. Very importantly, I can surround myself with more positive and uplifting people. The ones we surround ourselves with, and spend time with, will eventually rub off on us. So, from now on, I need people who remind me of all the good, and that help me keep myself on the right track for being a better version of myself no matter what. The only way I can change, is if I want to, and if i’m willing to make the changes.
Bad habits can be crippling and debilitating. With effort and time, they can be overcome. Don’t make the mistake like I have for many years of thinking you have to do it alone. You don’t, and you shouldn’t have to do anything alone. Have someone or even a small group of people that you can contact, and talk to often. People who you trust and have your best interest at heart. Changes aren’t easy and definitely aren’t always fun. They are however, absolutely necessary if we want results. Ask for help, from someone you trust or even better a professional. Just remember that habits are formed and they can also be broken. May all of our chains be forever broken.