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How to Get Rid of Bad Habits in Our Lives?

Umesh is a freelance writer contributing his creative writings on varied subjects in various sites and portals in the internet.



Habits are formed since our early childhood and remain like that until we try hard to change or get rid of them. It might look funny but it is a fact that many adults fight relentlessly to win over some of their bad habits but alas, they do not succeed commensurate to their efforts. Why it is so and what are the main reasons for these evils to stay permanently inside us is a matter to ponder and riddle to unravel.

Generally, people blame bad company as the source of bad habits but it is not always the case as many times the isolated individuals also pick up bad habits just by observing others doing something or even through reading some book or cheap magazine.

Whatever be the source of bad habits they are not only a matter of concern for the persons possessing them but also the others who come in contact with them. Sometimes the society or community might suffer because of the bad habits of its people.

Count your bad habits

Anatomy of bad habits

The origin of bad habits can be attributable to the bringing up, society, friends, heredity (?), poverty and other factors like that. The strange thing about bad habits is that we do not know when did we acquire them. It is a smooth and silent entry of vices in our personality that we ourselves are oblivious of. Another bad news is that they enter there to remain for long like a unsolicited fatal disease in our body. They not only stay there for long but also affect and modulate our behaviour and mannerism in myriads of ways.

Many people consider these habits as their trait and do not feel anything wrong about it. There are some people who even take pride in them, of course that looks a bit surprising and strange. These people never consider that there is a need to change these bad habits.

Can we change them?

Changing bad habits is a stressful task. One has to fight with oneself and one only gets torn in that process. Changing them is a tedious and lengthy process and requires patience and prudence. Old habits die hard. They do not go so easily. The process of removing them brings a strain on the individual and many times in failing to do so, one falls in the trap of self pity and self humiliation.

It is believed that sometimes some turning point comes in one's life which inspires one so much that he gets a strong feeling to get rid of some of the vices which are impeding his progress in the life. But everyone is not lucky enough to have such special opportunities in life.

Desire to change

Are there any methods to change bad habits?

There are no easy methods to change or eradicate the bad habits. Some scholars believe that this can be achieved with will power and determination. To some extent we can agree with that view but the very question which comes in our minds is that an average person is the slave of his habits and from where he would bring courage and bravery to fight with them. So in essence it is a herculean task asking for a lot of self control and thoughtfulness in eradicating these evils from our lives.

In spite of all the odds, there are some popular and tested methods which come to the rescue of the people when a question of changing habits comes on the fore.

What is the way out?

There are some techniques which people follow and get positive results when it comes to taming oneself to remain in cleaner and positive territories in our lives. One can adopt or follow these in fighting with the bad habits and charting a path for winning over them one by one.

  • Diverting mind to creative activities - Every person has a hidden artist inside him. He can definitely create something if he is able to realise his potential. Creativity is a great tool to kill many vices in our lives. A lazy person can become highly engaged in dealing with his or her creation. I know a doctor who had a great interest in music and singing but he did not get much time during his active service. After his retirement from his active service, he started to pursue his passion and today he is happy with his musical engagements. His mind remains focussed in pursuing his good hobbies. It greatly helps in avoiding distractions.
  • Controlling the frequency - Bad habits are very stubborn. They will surface out time and again. One has to keep a tab on the frequency of these vices. Gradual reduction in frequency is itself a sign of improvement. One of my colleague was very abusive and others felt offended by his behaviour. This friend himself was concerned about his problem and wanted to get rid of them. He went to a psychology consultant who advised him to reduce the frequency of those outbursts. He tried to control it and after some time was able to bring down the frequency of abusing to much less than earlier. No one noticed it but he knew the difference. He was excited to see this achievement. It encouraged him to try further and reduce the abusive offences to bare minimum.
  • Rewarding oneself after correction - It is difficult to change but even if you move an inch ahead reward yourself with some indulgence by breaking the schedule or discipline. Every time you progress, your mind will have an expectation of reward. Sometimes the lure of reward works in our lives.
  • Socialising in one's spare time - Evil thoughts and bad habits surround us when we are alone. It is better to be with friends and like minded people which gives us enough strength to fight with these vices and refrain from them. Many people have benefited by this. It is worth trying.
  • Adopt Yoga and meditation - Stress is the most conducive environment for bad habits. We tend to the ways of inferior world when we are in grief and melancholy. Reducing stress is definitely a good attempt in this direction. Yoga and meditation are useful in many ways to us. They help us in increasing our inner strength to fight with all sort of evils including bad habits.
  • Avoid bad company - A person is known by the company he keeps. Company has a tremendous effect on a person. He learns a great bit from the company and enjoys it. Unfortunately, he might get some bad habits also from others, which is at all not required. This happens in a gradual and slower pace and the individual does not know when he had acquired those vices.


Changing bad habits is a big challenge in our lives. It is difficult but not impossible. One has to try different techniques and methods and even a small achievement in this is a matter of great satisfaction and brings experience and encouragement for more self-reforms.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2020 Umesh Chandra Bhatt


Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on August 07, 2020:

Manuela, it is difficult but we have to try. Thanks for your visit.

Manuela from Portugal on August 07, 2020:

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There are some bad habits that I have already changed but I still need to workout my thoughts. Thank you for this excellent article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 21, 2020:

SKMUNSHI, thanks a lot for your analysis and your words of encouragement. Highly appreciate.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 21, 2020:

Anurag, thanks a lot for your nice comment.

SKMUNSHI on July 21, 2020:

The first challenge is to pin point ones bad habits and accept necessity of replacing/changing them.if that is done half the battle is won.changing habits is a multidisciplinary problem and old habits die hard.

But the approach you have suggested can overcome the challenges in changing the bad habits.

Challenging time's pose challenging problems. Very good topic for a change and solulations offered.Great. !

Anurag on July 21, 2020:

Indeed it is an enlightening article. You have almost covered all aspects which can lead to a balanced life. Bad habit seems to be a bitter truth which sometimes get difficult to be accepted in front of society. Everyone need to introspect on this aspect.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on July 20, 2020:

Anand, thanks for your nice comment. Highly appreciate.

S K Anand on July 19, 2020:

Gone through your nice article towards self improvement. I feel it is always possible to transform your self provided will is there to do so. First step towards the process is to know and plan suitable treatment for each bad habit as per one,s priority. Slowing down and self observation can help in execution process.

Rightly suggested is yoga and in particular Meditation practice can bring in tremendous improvement in cutting down bad habits. This I have in my own life, anger with short temperedness was priority no one bad habit with me. Meditation has brought intotal transformation in this aspect. Along with it some other negativties have gradually disappeared. I will recommend Meditation as no. one aid for self improvement towards positivity.

Bhatt ji , continue inspiring us with variety of beautiful articles to stimulate us all. Thanks for sharing.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 20, 2020:

Priya, thanks for your visit. It is true that engaging in good hobbies is a great way to remain in positive territories.

Priya Barua on February 20, 2020:

Very informative article. I believe you can overcome bad habits if you learn to recognize their trigger points and consciously try to avoid them. Taking up a new hobby helps sometimes.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 18, 2020:

Liz, you are very correct. These are embedded in us so deep that they become a part of our lives and we are hurt if someone points out them.

Thanks for your valuable comment.

Liz Westwood from UK on February 18, 2020:

I wonder if many of us are so used to our bad habits that they have become normal for us. Added to that, we probably don't appreciate others pointing them out to us.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 17, 2020:

Manatita44, thanks for visiting and also for your nice exclamation. Your comments always encourage me. Appreciate.

manatita44 from london on February 17, 2020:

Lovely and informative Hub. Difficult one but your approach is useful. We sometimes have bad habits we don't even know we have. Om Shanti!

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 17, 2020:

Dr Rangan, appreciate your observation. Thanks for visiting.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 17, 2020:

FlourishAnyway, thanks for your nice comments.

Dr Pran Rangan from Kanpur (UP), India on February 16, 2020:

Nice write-up. It really takes time and self-discipline to break old habits patterns. But with sincere efforts one can change bad habits.

Thanks for sharing.

FlourishAnyway from USA on February 16, 2020:

I usually engage in self-talk, labeling myself as someone who engages in the desirable good behavior. I also rid myself of the emotional and perceptual triggers for the bad habit I’m trying to extinguish and don’t get too freaked out about slip ups.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 16, 2020:

DreamerMeg, interesting comment by you. I fully agree that mind chooses between the available options. Thanks for your visit.

DreamerMeg from Northern Ireland on February 16, 2020:

One way to change the procrastination bad habit (putting off doing things you need to do) is structured procrastination. If you have an essay to write, suddenly, housework just HAS to be done. Or if you need to get your tax returns completed, writing a short story looks much more easily doable. For kids, when homework has to be done, washing dishes doesn't seem so bad!

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 16, 2020:

You made me think about how we can make that journey better. Like the excitement factor and friends. A lot of things are a challenge and we take them on for the thrill.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 16, 2020:

Lorna, you are very right. If there is a will there is a way. Thanks for your visit and nice comment.

Lorna Lamon on February 16, 2020:

An excellent and thought provoking article Umesh. Even though in some cases these habits are ingrained from early years it is not impossible to change them. It may take time as you have stated, however, being aware of these habits is the first step. Breaking them will mean you will lead a more fulfilling life. I enjoyed this article.

Umesh Chandra Bhatt (author) from Kharghar, Navi Mumbai, India on February 15, 2020:

Eric, thanks for your encouraging comments. 90 days plus another 180 days is quite a time for this but still it is a good deal. You get rid of that old devil who claims your body as his. Many thanks for visiting.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on February 15, 2020:

Well done friend, a nice fresh look at the destroyer of so many. I like that quote from Gandhi. So I try to start each day with good thoughts. A fine buddy of mine - a psychologist told me it takes 90 days to break a habit but about 6 months to develop a good one in it's stead. He through it out there to think about.

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