By Guest Poster, Abbie Levenson, Tulane School of Social Work Intern
Today is Groundhog Day, but perhaps like our friend Bill Murray, every day is Groundhog Day for you. Whether it’s biting your nails, scrolling through Facebook while you’re in class, or even having too many drinks when you consume alcohol, you might find yourself constantly engaging in behavior that is difficult to stop. If you’re looking to break a bad habit, here are a few tips:
Develop a strategy to put an end to your bad habit. Habits can be situational, such as when you are bored or stressed. Think of ways to avoid the behavior or moderate it, such as setting a time limit for how long you can be on Facebook before starting your homework, or alternating between an alcoholic beverage and water when you drink.
Be present. Habits tend to be unconscious actions: we sometimes don’t even realize that we are doing them. Striving to be in the moment and becoming aware will help you catch yourself from engaging in your habit.
Swap bad habits for good ones. Remember that some habits are good habits! Try to substitute your usual bad habit for a good one. If your bad habit is to watch TV right before you go to bed and you feel that it affects your sleep, try reading a book instead.
Tell your friends and family. Sometimes we need help in breaking our habits. Let your friends and/or family know that you are attempting to break your habit, and they can encourage you to keep trying and point out when you have a slip-up.
Need more tips? Check out MindTools.Com for more info. Good luck, and happy Groundhog Day!