Sat. Dec 5th, 2020

Breaking Habits

You’ve heard advice from friends and family, possibly even a therapist. People telling you, it is easy to stop if you put your mind to it, just let it go, it’s a bad habit. The End. For some, it could be just that easy. I know someone who decided to quit smoking after one day; he decided cigarettes were too expensive. Bam, he was done. But not all habits are that easily broken, they can be intertwined in how we function on a daily, weekly, monthly, and annual basis. That’s the case for me. I’ve been a work in progress as they say, and I can relapse into my old ways here and there, but now progress is truly showing as I inch forward in the sand, yes there is resistance, but I push forward. Yes, a wave might bring me down, but I gained strength in my journey and can come back stroking harder into the next wave. I’m finally starting to get it.


Yes, we all know this, the first part is admitting and being willing to accept, “I have this.”


Yup, sometimes until you can verbally admit your bad habits, it’s hard to grasp the true idea and identity of them. I told close friends overtime, but years later. I mean yeeaaaarrrss, later. But I did. Was that the end of it? No, not by any means. But it finally led to some sort of bearing on where I was in life.


Truly monitoring, how often you do it, now that you kind of know what it is…


We get caught up in life, plain and simple. There are so many things that need our attention every day. Most of which our mind construes for us, but nonetheless this counts. Why, do you think your habit is the way it is? Finding connections between when and how many times you do it means something. Let’s go back to the cigarette analogy. Do you smoke when you are happy? Maybe stressed? Feeling anxious? Overwhelmed? These are key indicators of why you are possibly doing them. I needed someone else to identify when I was picking up my habit. This is something to consider the next time you do what you do. It took an outsider to notice my patterns, but maybe just maybe, your family and friends will pick up the “when” factor for you.


You know when (sort of why) but now you question what is its origin…


This is an important step of the process. Will you ever truly know why you picked up a habit, especially if it was as a kid? Possibly not. Maybe you have only known doing this habit your whole life. That’s okay, an internal look is just fine. But don’t dwell on the past, acknowledge it and move forward.


Understanding, its function and if it is necessary anymore


You started doing whatever you’re doing for a reason, subconsciously or not. Just a thought, but could it have developed as a coping mechanism to life? Maybe, just maybe, you were nervous about a test, or a death in the family that truly shook it up and brought it into existence. This led you to continue your habit without even noticing or realizing it. Now, in your current state, you can see if your daily habits genuinely serve a helpful or positive function in your life. Do you benefit from this habit in the long run? In the case of cigarettes, maybe you get a quick stress relief. But in the long run, you can be damaging everyone in your home’s vicinity one puff at a time, not to mention the severe increase in almost certain cancer down the line. There is truth and symbolism here. Think about this for one moment. Let’s say it’s not smoking, could your habit be impacting all those around you. If so, how?

You must decide on your own if it is worth listening to all those voices to get you to stop. This can be slightly difficult if putting off decision making through your habits is exactly what we are talking about. Pause. Be strong.

You will eventually pick up on the frequency and reasons why you do the things you do, the way you do them. It just might hurt, but it will be insightful. This toughness you will develop, will help you to overcome it.


They can change, and yes, they do morph…

It is important to put this out in the air. This awareness gives you knowledge and power. You are and can be in control. What started off as one habit might turn into multiple, or reincarnations of the first. This is okay, you are allowed to be human, finding the will and a way inside to conquer them will come. Being your own researcher and analyzing your findings is acceptable in any part of this journey. When necessary seek outside help, I did and am not ashamed. I was pointed in the right direction. It is significant to remember that we contain beauty and we do know ourselves better than we think. There is also wisdom in those around us, humble yourself and accept and appreciate this.


 One of the greatest tests to determine if your habit needs some reconsideration is to re-frame your situation.

What would you do if your friend, your good friend, family member (sister, brother, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa) or whoever, told you they had this problem and illustrated to you all the stress and burden that comes with it? What would you tell them? Wouldn’t you warrant their concern, and probably advise them there is a better way to move forward? It would probably be helpful if you said IT IS OKAY. Sometimes we have to be our own friends.


Fighting the small battles, winning the war

I am currently still in my journey. Fighting habits as I type and speak, but I am strong. This has taken years, and many long and hard talks about why I am the way I am. I am not a defect, or a misfiring being. My mind and body just created “stress-deal-with-ers,” in my life and it is time (and it’s been time) to say goodbye to them. I have reached a point where they have served their purpose, and I guess it’s worked because I am where I am now. But I also have reached the discovery that I want a richer and more complex and depth to my life that does not include habits to cover the surface problems in my life. I want to think clear and confidently about who and why I am the way I am. Some of the surface parasites I am letting go of, each tempting moment at a time. I will come up with better ways to live my life and deal with life as it comes.

Still going, still battling, still challenging, still conquering, still moving forward. Beauty lies in this push in life. I challenge you if somethings got to go, that’s truly not good for you anymore, then it’s time.








*I am not a licensed therapist, just sharing my thoughts on how I am learning to overcome in my life. If you need help don’t be afraid to consult a professional





1 thought on “Breaking Habits

  1. Erica, I really enjoyed this post. I remember learning about our &#;0822referent others” during my psychology classwork at Rutgers, and this was before the days of social media! I am definitely going to take these suggestions and tips to heart. Thanks for sharing!-Andrea

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