How to get rid of a bad habit in a week

During the last coaching sessions on the subject of biting nails and binging on sweets, I had the opportunity, once again, to check a simple and incredibly effective technique that allows you to bust the unwanted habits within just a few days.

When biting your nails, first there is a stimulus. A feeling of itching or some sort of discomfort, which is completely beyond the consciousness of a nail-biter. The hand rises to the lips, and the teeth do their job. Usually in this situation, a person becomes aware of that only halfway through the process or even afterwards.

The consciousness misses the triggering stimulus and the fact of submission to an unwanted activity. The whole thing happens automatically.

The method you will soon learn makes this awareness come earlier, just about when the stimulus first appears. You will realize sooner that you feel like doing it again. This way, you will have the chance to make an informed decision whether this time you will give in to this habit or not.

How to get rid of a bad habit in a week?

This process proves to be effective not only when it comes to nail biting but also with other compulsions such as:

- cracking your knuckles,

- skin picking,

- inhaling reflex when smoking cigarettes,

- binging on sweets.

When this method came to my mind, I was so sure of its effectiveness that I immediately, without even having it tested, sold it to my first client who had a problem with nail biting. It worked. It brings good results as long as you do the exercises regularly and with commitment and attention.

Find out how to get rid of a bad habit in a week easily.

What is this technique about?

In a nutshell, the process of letting go of a destructive habit consists in communing with the stimulus and conscious resisting the temptation.

In practice (we will continue with nail biting as an example) it looks like this:

  1. Put your hands flat on the table. Let them rest.
  2. Focus on the stimulus, that is on the feeling that usually leads you to reflex. What kind of feeling is this? Where exactly can you feel it? Is this an intense sensation? Does it taper off quickly or stays with you for long?
  3. Don’t move your hands for the next 5 minutes and focus on this feeling. Focus all your attention on the stimulus, but do not give in to it. This way, with each moment of the observation, you expand your awareness of this stimulus and gain control over it.
  4. Repeat steps 1-3 three times a day.

That's all. There are no magic tricks, no hypnotic suggestions, no visualizations.

Self-control training in its pure form.

When it comes to other habits, adjust the nature of the exercise analogically to the type of habit. In the case of massive binging on sweets, prepare something that you’re really fond of, then look at your dessert for 5 minutes resisting the urge. Yes, then you can eat it (although the effects will be better, if you put it away for a while).

With the cigarette smoke inhaling reflex, during these 5 minutes, bring the lit cigarette (repeatedly) close to the mouth, but refrain from inhaling even once.

Of course, during this process your mind can repeatedly wander off to various current matters. No worries. Just keep on coming back and focusing your attention on the subject of the exercise (in the case of nail biting - your hands, or even your very fingers).

At the beginning it might drive you crazy when craving so much to give in to the temptation, you will not let yourself do it. Relax, this feeling will pass.

The core of this method is to consciously experience this tempting impression, which usually leads you to an unwanted behavior, and resist it. This way, you exercise the muscle of self-control and develop your awareness.

How long does it take to see results?

Usually two or three days of practicing this exercise. It's all about learning to notice that there is a stimulus. You are aware of the temptation. You have a short moment when you can decide to abstain.

How to get rid of a bad habit in a week? Practice!

Obviously, you will still happen to yield to this temptation, or fail to recognize "the moment". With each day of practicing the exercise, self-control will be more and more likely to prevail. You will gain the ability to control this reflex. Busting the habit will still require your attention and self-discipline, but it will be a piece of cake compared to what it was like before the training.

This method doesn’t necessarily have to work for everyone. More impatient individuals may need a different type of approach to habit change process. Nevertheless, before you go to see a  coach or a psychologist about your problem, check if you can handle it yourself.

Now you know how to get rid of a bad habit in a week. So let's put it in practice.

If you have an unpleasant habit or a bothersome reflex, you just give this method a try now. You can start right away. Three times a day, 5 minutes. Let me know about the results!

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