Bad Habits

5 reasons why you Should Never Depend on Willpower to Break a Habit

As soon as bad habits are mentioned will power always comes to the mind. Most people think that breaking a habit depends solely on willpower because they are not aware of the significant fact that willpower is not constant.

If you have the will to resist a certain urge, you might find yourself unable to resist that same urge after an event or two happens. In other words, your willpower changes throughout your day in such a way that depending on it alone to break a habit might be a bad idea.

5 reasons why you should never depend on will power to break a habit

  • 1) Will power and cognitive load: The more stress you get subjected to throughout the day, the greater the load put on your brain. As a result of this load, your brain functions get affected, and your ability to resist urges becomes lower. This is one reason why most people are more likely to do bad things at night than in the morning
  • 2) Energy runs low: The more energy you consume throughout the day, the weaker your self-control gets. As you keep burning your reserves, the energy needed to assist your brain in maintaining good self-control diminishes
  • 3) Sleep deprivation and willpower: Some days, we don’t find time to sleep well. Studies found that when you don’t sleep well, your brain finds it hard to resist urges and control its impulses. Even if you have a strong will, one day of poor sleep can affect your ability to resist a bad habit
  • 4) Bad Events lower willpower: After receiving bad news, your willpower can become weaker. People are more likely to smoke, drink or use drugs when they feel bad or irritated. Because no one can guess how his day will be like depending on will power alone to break a habit might not be a good idea
  • 5) Unconscious cues: Let’s suppose that you were trying to quit drinking then suddenly saw a scene in a movie where people were drinking. In such a case, this image will go directly to your subconscious mind bypassing both your conscious mind and willpower. Because your conscious mind will be so busy with the movie, suggestions will get sent directly to your unconscious mind

So how to break bad habits?

So after you knew that willpower isn’t a compelling defense line, I am sure you are wondering about the methods you should follow in quitting a bad habit. Here they are:

  • 1) Avoid the triggers, not the habit: If you want to quit drinking, you should stop going to pubs instead of going there and hoping that your willpower will assist you. Want to stop eating unhealthy food? then make sure you don’t have any in your refrigerator
  • 2) Use willpower to avoid the triggers: In such a case, the good use of willpower would avoid going to the places that might remind you of the habit. By doing so, you would be building another defense line to protect yourself from the bad habit
  • 3) Start on a bad day: In my book Breaking the habit tonight, I said that deciding to quit a habit on a terrible day will make resisting the urges on all other days much easier

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