We all have bad habits we know we should break, but somehow we can’t seem to kick them. Maybe you spend too much time on your phone, or you can’t stop eating junk food. Regardless of the habit, it’s important to break it for your health and well-being. Here are the top 5 toxic habits to give up immediately.
If you’re like most people and me, you probably have a few toxic habits holding you back. Maybe you’re a procrastinator, or perhaps you’re constantly comparing yourself to others.
Whatever your toxic habits may be, it’s essential to recognize them and take steps to change them.
What are toxic habits?
Let’s start by describing what habits are. A habit is a behavior that’s repeated so often it becomes automatic.
Most habits are learned through repetition and require very little conscious thought. In fact, once a habit is ingrained, we may not even be aware of doing it!
The Science Behind Habits
As it turns out, there’s actual science behind habits and how they form. What happens is that when we repeat a behavior, specific changes occur in our brains. These changes start small, but with continued repetition, the neural pathways become stronger and stronger. Eventually, the behavior becomes automatic.
And the truth is that our mind likes habits because they’re efficient. When a behavior becomes automatic, it takes less effort, and we can devote our attention to other things.
But this is also why toxic habits are so difficult to break. They’ve become second nature, and we often don’t realize we’re doing them.
However, we can break the cycle and form new, healthier habits with awareness and effort.
Toxic habits to give up
Just as healthy habits can help you change your life for the better, unhealthy habits can also harm your mental health and wellbeing. As we said, the first step is to be aware of the toxic habits that are making your life miserable and are holding you back in life.
There are several bad habits that people can get caught up in, but in my opinion, these are the underlying ones underneath many destructive behaviors.
Toxic Habits To Quit Immediately To Be Happier:
#1. Negative self-talk
The first thing you should quit right now is negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is when you give yourself toxic messages like “you’re not good enough” or “you’ll never be able to do this.”
This toxic habit can erode your self-confidence and prevent you from taking risks.
The truth is that we do this because it’s an easy way to sabotage ourselves without having to put any real effort into it. We convince ourselves that we’re not good enough or can’t do something, and then we don’t even try.
But it’s important to understand that this toxic self-talk is incredibly damaging and can prevent you from reaching your full potential. So, it’s important to recognize these negative thoughts for what they are and replace them with more positive ones.
How to stop using negative self-talk:
i. Identify and challenge the toxic thoughts.
The first step is to identify the toxic thoughts fueling your negative self-talk.
What are the things you tell yourself regularly?
Once you’ve identified the toxic thoughts, it’s time to challenge them.
Are they really true? What evidence do you have that supports these thoughts?
ii. Replace the toxic thoughts with positive ones.
Once you’ve challenged the toxic thoughts, replace them with positive affirmations. Tell yourself things like “I can do this” or “I’m good enough.”
For best results, read them aloud or write them down in your journal as part of your morning and evening routines (or whenever suits you). You can also write them on a sticky note and stick them somewhere you’ll see them during the day e.g. on your computer desk or on your fridge.
Another important toxic habit to give up is procrastination. If you find yourself putting off important tasks or avoiding them altogether, that is the result of procrastination. This toxic habit can prevent you from reaching your full potential and achieving your goals.
Personally, I find that I procrastinate when I’m feeling overwhelmed or anxious about a task. I tell myself I’ll do it later, but later never comes.
Procrastination can be a tough habit to break, but it’s not impossible. Here are a few tips to help you get started:
i. Make a plan.
When you plan for what you’re going to do, it’s easier to start. Break your tasks into smaller, more manageable parts and make a timeline for completing them.
ii. Set a deadline.
Set a deadline by when you need to complete your task/s. When you have a specific date by which you need to finish a task, it’s easier to get moving.
iii. Find an accountability partner.
Find someone to hold you accountable and help keep you on track.
iv. Use positive reinforcement.
Celebrate each accomplishment along the way, no matter how small it may seem. That will help keep you motivated when times get tough.
Perfectionism is the toxic habit of setting impossibly high standards for yourself. You may believe you must be perfect to be successful, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
I can say that I tend to be a perfectionist in many aspects of my life. For me, it’s a way to control the situation and feel like I’m in control of my life.
However, this toxic habit often backfires. When you’re constantly chasing perfection, you never feel good enough. You’re always looking for ways to improve but never feel good enough.
Hence, by seeking perfectionism, you are only setting yourself up for failure if you strive for perfection.
How to stop being a perfectionist:
i. Set realistic standards for yourself.
One of the problems with perfectionism is that we set impossibly high standards for ourselves. We want to be perfect employees, parents, friends, and partners. We want to have perfect bodies, homes, and perfect lives.
Unfortunately, perfection is an unattainable goal. And striving for perfection can be a toxic habit. It can lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical health problems.
So instead of aiming for perfection, aim to set realistic standards. That will help reduce the pressure you feel to be perfect. And it will help you focus on the truly important things in your life.
ii. Permit yourself to make mistakes.
When you’re a perfectionist, one of the biggest fears is making mistakes. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and forgive yourself when you do. Remember that everyone makes mistakes sometimes, and it’s okay.
iii. Celebrate your accomplishments.
Instead of focusing on what you haven’t done, focus on what you have accomplished. Celebrate each accomplishment, no matter how small it may seem. That will help keep you motivated and focused on your goals.
Are you a people pleaser?
If you find yourself constantly putting others first at the expense of your own well-being, you might suffer from toxic people-pleasing habits.
I used to be a toxic people-pleaser (and to be honest, sometimes I still am). I would never say no, even if I really didn’t want to do something. I would put other people’s needs and happiness before my own. And more often than not, it led to me feeling resentful, taken advantage of, and like my opinion didn’t matter.
Until I realized that toxic people-pleasing is a habit that I needed to break. I know that it’s easier said than done but believe me, it’s worth it in the end.
Why should you do things you don’t value or don’t make you happy?
Life is too short to waste time on things that don’t bring you joy. So from now on, start saying no more often and remind yourself that your happiness matters too.
Here are three steps to help you break free from the need to please others and start living for yourself:
i. Recognize why you do it.
The first step is to recognize why you do what you do. What do you get out of it?
- Are you doing it to be liked?
- To feel accepted?
- Or possibly as a result of your sense of guilt or responsibility?
- Or do you put up with bad behavior from others just to keep the peace?
Whatever it is, know that it’s okay to put yourself first. In fact, it’s essential to your well-being.
ii. Set boundaries.
The next step is to start setting boundaries. A big part of being a people pleaser is not knowing how to say no.
But to stop being a people pleaser, you must learn to set boundaries. That means learning to say no (and meaning it) when someone asks you to do something you don’t want to do. It also means setting limits on what you’re willing to tolerate from others.
iii. Put yourself first.
One of the most important things you can do for yourself is to start putting your needs first. That doesn’t mean that you should become selfish and start ignoring the needs of others, but it does mean that you should prioritize your well-being.
Start making time for yourself – schedule some ‘me time’ every day, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Make sure that your own needs are met, both physically and emotionally. And don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it – there’s no shame in admitting that you can’t do everything alone!
iv. Don’t feel guilty.
Don’t feel guilty for saying no or putting yourself first. You deserve it! Remember that you’re not responsible for other people’s happiness, only your own.
v. Respect others’ boundaries too.
It’s important to respect others’ boundaries as well. If someone says no, don’t push them or try to convince them otherwise. Understand that everyone has their limits and respect them for that.
We’ve all been there. We’re scrolling through social media and seeing someone living their best life. They have the perfect job, the perfect partner, the perfect house, etc. And we can’t help but compare ourselves to them. We start to feel envy, jealousy, and a sense of inadequacy. But we must remember that we’re comparing our behind-the-scenes to their highlight reel. We don’t know what challenges they’re facing in their life; we only see the best parts.
This toxic habit of comparing ourselves to others is something that we need to break free from. It’s not healthy or productive. It’s holding us back from living our best lives.
We should focus on our own lives and journey and be happy for others when they experience success. There’s no need to compare or compete; we’re all on our own path.
How to stop comparing yourself to others:
i. Accept that you will never be perfect.
As we said earlier, perfection is an unattainable goal. You will never be perfect, and that’s okay. Instead of focusing on perfection, aim to set realistic standards and start by accepting yourself for who you are.
ii. Compare yourself to yourself.
Instead of comparing yourself to others, compare yourself to yourself. Measure your progress over time and celebrate your accomplishments. That will help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.
iii. Focus on your own journey.
Your journey is unique, and no one else can walk it for you. So, focus on your own journey and celebrate your accomplishments. You are on your own path and exactly where you are supposed to be.
iv. Value yourself for who you are.
Stop trying to be someone you’re not. Value yourself for who you are, not for what you have or can do. Accept yourself for who you are, and be proud of it!
If you’re guilty of any of these toxic habits, don’t worry! It’s never too late to make changes in life. Just remember to be patient with yourself, take things one step at a time, and enjoy the journey.
Final thoughts – 5 toxic habits to give up doing!
If you’re like most people, you probably have a few poor habits you should give up that are preventing you from living a happy life. Maybe you’re a perfectionist or a procrastinator who is always putting off exercise until tomorrow. Whatever the case, these toxic habits are holding you back from achieving your full potential.
The first step to breaking these bad habits is to identify them. Once you know what they are, you can start to work on changing them. That can be difficult, but it’s important to remember that change is always possible. If you’re willing to put in the effort, you can make a real difference in your life.
So if you’re ready to start living your best life, it’s time to let go of those toxic habits. Commit yourself and put in the work required to make lasting change. It will be worth it in the end, I promise.