Wednesday, June 15, 2011

How to Break Bad Habits

Alcohol, drugs, smoking, and food are what we think of when we hear the word addiction. But, they are not the only things we get addicted to. Oftentimes, other unhealthy habits lead to these more common addictions. That is what I have addressed below:

Alcohol and drug use can lead to problems with addiction if unhealthy or excessive drinking patterns develop. What might start out as social drinking or casual use can soon become a habit. For example, if you drink every time you get together with friends at the bowling alley, it will soon become a habit. That does not necessarily mean it will lead to drinking problems, but I want to address how patterns and habits can develop quickly and easily. This led me to think about how this applies to relationship problems as well as depression, anxiety, and other problems.

Relationship interactions often fall into repeated patterns of behavior. Sometimes it is easy to predict how someone is going to react in any given situation based on previous behavior. And there might not be a good reason to think it will be any different. The behavior has become a habit or dysfunctional pattern. For example, whenever Andy asks for feedback from Kim and she provides some constructive criticism, he gets defensive and accuses her of trying to put him down. Jen does not like to be ignored when she asks Dave to pick up his clothes off the floor, so she gets irritable and short-tempered. Dave asks her to stop nagging him. They end up bickering back and forth. The patterns continue. The tension grows. No one does anything any different so things do not get better until someone decides to do something to break the cycle.

If you have ever struggled with an addiction, you know first hand how difficult it is to break the control it can have on every aspect of your life. And you would most likely want to be free of the addiction. Maybe you do not have problems with drinking, drugs, or smoking. It is highly probable that you know someone who does struggle with these problems. However, I would ask you:

How about negative thinking patterns, disrespect, impatience, angry outbursts, unkindness, criticism, gossip, taking offense, cussing, bitterness, negative self-labeling, pessimism, and the list goes on? Do these things get out of control? Do they become addictive and difficult to break free from? I believe they are, and as a result they contribute to all sorts of emotional, relational, and social problems.

I encourage you to think about any patterns or habits in your life that cause you personal or relational problems. They can be just as serious and destructive as the more commonly known addiction problems. If you want to break some bad habits, I encourage you to take do something about it now. You can make choices to change your lifestyle for the better today!  Remember, bad habits can be replaced with good habits that can improve every area of your life. It just takes some determination, planning and practice. You can do it!   Krystal

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit. ~Aristotle

A nail is driven out by another nail. Habit is overcome by habit. ~Desiderius Erasmus

First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you. ~
Rob Gilbert

Good habits result from resisting temptation. ~Indian Proverb

Bad habits are like a comfortable bed, easy to get into, but hard to get out of. ~Anonymous

Copyright © 2007, written by Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC

Krystal Kuehn, MA, LPC, LLP, NCC is a psychotherapist, author, teacher and musician. She is the cofounder of New Day Counseling Services, a family couples counseling center and, an award-winning, self-help and personal growth site where you can find hundreds of free resources, insights and inspiration.

For help and tools on how to replace old habits with new ones, call us today for individual counseling, family counseling and/or couples counseling.

To improve you relationships and communication patterns, you might be interested in The 10 Keys to Happy and Loving Relationships. In it you will find helpful activities and information to communicate love in a highly effective way that will significantly improve your relationships.

New Day Family Counseling provides professional counseling services for the entire family. We help parents, children, teens, families, individuals and couples. We offer couples therapy / marriage counseling, child therapy, teenage counseling, anxiety counseling, depression counseling, divorce counseling, grief counseing, porn addiction counseling. We also offer groups for anger counseling. Go to today for more information or call us at 248-649-8050. We are here to help, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Put an end to anger problems & regain control over your life today. Anger management classes help for personal, court, and business. For more info go to or call to register today.

Love and Logic Parenting Classes help you with the most important job there is! You can learn practical tools & techniques for effective discipline, better communication, appropriate boundaries, healthy decision-making, & respectful adult-child relationships. Workshops are available at New Day Counseling in Troy. For more information or to register online go to: Love and Logic Parenting Class or call 248-649-8050.

Self-Esteem Group for Teen Girls (ages 13-17)
Teen girls learn to feel empowered, gain self-awareness, develop positive coping, and improve daily problem-solving skills. Through G.I.R.L.S. (Girls in Real Life Situations) counseling curriculum, group discussion, and fun activities, girls will learn more about themselves and be better equipped to handle Real Life Situations. Call 248-649-8050 today to register. For more information, click here.

<< Back to Be Your Best Home