Finding Your Balance from A to Chi: Breaking Bad Habits

College is supposed to be the best four years of your life, so why not love every minute of it?

Whether it’s always keeping your room clean or continuously biting your nails, we all have them: habits, both positive and negative. Traditionally, habits take about a month to break, but with patience and determination, you could be on your way to finally ending those bad habits.

While you may think a habit “just happens,” every habit actually has a trigger. This means there is a recurring event in your life that makes you perform this habit. For example, if you’re a nail biter like me, stress and work can be your trigger. One way to identify the root of the behavior is by writing down your feelings and thought processes when you act out this habit. Once you are able to identify your trigger, you will become more conscious about your behavioral patterns. So the minute you want to bite your nails, you’ll begin to think twice about why you are actually doing it.

Even though this entire process appears tedious, it is very simple if you set weekly goals. By meeting these goals every week, you will become empowered by the progress you have made. And before you know it, you will no longer perform the habit as frequently. After a while, you will learn to properly cope with the underlying emotions that trigger the behavior.

Bad habits can easily be broken if you truly believe you can do it. By understanding your trigger and your desired end result, you will become aware of this pattern of behavior and finally make progress in breaking your habit. If you have a habit you want to break, this is my challenge for you: Mark your calendar for one month, and promise yourself you will do it. Cross off each habit-free day. Before you know it, you’ll break your habit and gain a feeling of accomplishment.

By Eva Zymaris