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Everybody has or had a bad habit they want to get rid of. Whether it is biting your nails and smoking or being a chronic drinker, habitual activities like these can be highly pervasive in a person’s life and seem impossible to break. While there is nothing inherently bad about any habit you have, it can become a problem when it starts disrupting your day to day functioning.

A bad habit is a behavior you do that you yourself deem as negative for whatever reason. Typically these behaviors are simple in their mechanics and done unconsciously. It is commonly said that it takes 21 days to form a habit and 42 days to break it, which speaks to the ease of forming new habits and the difficulties of breaking them. Habits are so addicting because they produce dopamine in the brain, making the innocuous behaviors feel rewarding. These shots of dopamine when you first start developing your habit can overwhelm the brain and cause changes in neurons that form the bad habit. Here are five tips to help you break your bad habits.

  1. Reduce Your Stress Levels

When stressed out you are more likely to do the thing you specifically set out not to do. By reducing stress you hold greater executive control over your habits. Try sleeping earlier or doing stress relieving activities such as yoga.

  1. Know Your Cues

A habit consists of three steps: a cue, a routine, and a reward. By knowing your cue, you can stop the habit right at the source and hopefully over time break the habit.

  1. Substitution

Humans are naturally more action oriented so rather than eliminating the behavior all together, you can try replacing it with a more productive activity. It might be easier for some people to divert their energy towards something else rather than stopping the energy all-together.


How to Break Bad Habits, According to Science | Time

The Psychology Behind How to Break Bad Habits (

Jordan See, Blogger

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