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Essay on How to Break Bad Habits

What are bad habits and where do they come from? How to recognize a bad habit? How can something that we like be to the detriment of our physical and mental health? What are the effective ways to break bad habits? In this essay, I will try to answer all these questions. Do not consider my work as a guide to help someone get rid of bad habits. These are more thoughts of mine that some people may find handy or even helpful.

What Is a Bad Habit?

When someone says “bad habit”, smoking or alcohol are the first things that come to our mind. However, the term is much deeper in sense. Sometimes, we have bad habits without even realizing they are bad. As stated earlier, it is not only about smoking or drinking. Bad habits may refer to a passive way of life, using swear words, eating unhealthy food, or suffering from low self-esteem, lack of self-confidence, boredom, and so on.

In other words, a bad habit is any action that can be to the detriment of health, mood, or even state of mind. What’s more, we need to take into account actions that may harm not only ourselves but also people who surround us. The problem appears to be more complicated than it seems and we need to figure out the main cause of bad habits first.

What Factors Cause Bad Habits

I am concerned that all bad habits mainly result in two reasons. They include boredom and stress. As a rule, people wrong things whenever they need to cope with stress or deal with an unpleasant situation. Every time a person had a fight with the dear one or problems at work, he or she tries to handle them with the help of alcohol or a cigarette just to chill out a bit.

Unfortunately, none of those can bring us to a normal life. What’s more, they may even make things worse and lead to more serious troubles.

The only way to prevent those consequences is to be able to recognize the bad habit on time until it becomes too late. This is where a person may become addicted to smoking, junk food, and so on. The next stage is to break the bad habit.

Steps to Break Bad Habits

After we have successfully identified habits we need to break, we need to get prepared. The task is not as easy as some may think. It will require discipline and patience. Some may start feeling bad. However, the situation will improve in the near future along with your state of mind and well-being. So, the main steps are as follows:

  • Find the alternative – a fast and simple way to give up the bad habit. All you need is to substitute it with something less harmful. For example, when you give up smoking, chewing gum can bring great relief. The idea is to keep your mouth busy with it and forget about cigarettes.
  • Team up with friends – one is very likely to have a friend or relative with the same problem and the aim of giving it up. A good idea is to team up and try to fight the bad habit back together. You may support each other every time it is hard. Another way is to set several triggers. For example, every time both of you want to smoke you start running instead.
  • Create a harmonious atmosphere – the best way to get rid of stress and boredom, which are the main cause of bad habits, is to be among people who love you. They will always find encouraging words or help when you alone fail to cope with the problem.
  • Set clear targets – it is not only about visualizing yourself without beer or a cigarette. It is about real actions and steps to take when breaking the habit. Create an outline or plan with schedules and timeframes.

Stick to that plan and try to build your new identity that is not dependent on boredom, stress, or other external factors.


The key to success is to understand your sole responsibility for obtaining a bad habit after having your back against the wall because of some problems. However, it does not mean you are supposed to judge yourself. We are all humans, and all humans make mistakes. It is absolutely natural for every person. The question is how we are going to get over those problems.

On the one hand, the process of breaking bad habits can be very tough and time-consuming. You may have to limit yourself, which will result in more inconveniences at first. However, it is certainly worth taking those steps in case you want to live a full life, have good health, and the ability to cope with any trouble with ease.