Research about Bad Habits Bad habits plague many people in one form or another. We want to know what causes us to fall into bad habits. Questions arise about how are the best ways to quit. New research gives new answers and confirms some of the old ones. Some research has been done to find out what motivates people to quit bad habits. It turns out that the emotional reasons seem to be the most telling of all. If a person does not have the desire to change, then that person is likely not to have any success with quitting. Knowledge is only helpful if you use it to influence your emotional well-being. For example, if you work to set up a social network to help you when you quit smoking, you have used your mind to influence your emotions. Penalties help drive people to quit bad habits by playing on their emotions and their intelligence together. Other research inquires into the effects of habitual activities on the brain. Researchers studied the brain responses in rats. The rats were sent through mazes at the end of which was chocolate. Their basal ganglia (where habitual behavior is learned in the brain) responded to all the information in the maze when they were learning the maze. After awhile, this area of the brain only responded to the beginning and end of the maze. This would be like the response you have when you have developed bad habits. You are focused on the reward. Then, the chocolate was removed. At that point, the basal ganglia again began to respond to every part of the maze again. When this happens, it is like quitting bad habits and living moment to moment. When the chocolate was reintroduced, the area in the brain came alive during the beginning and the end, as before. Finally, the brain is cued to become alert to your addiction again when the desired object or bad habits resurface. Another study evaluated the ability of people to replace old habits with new ones. This was done by testing using memorization and word tests. The researchers tried to see if subjects could learn new associations after learning similar ones first. The conclusions of the test were interesting. First of all, the habits learned first were more automatic and below the conscious level. Second, stress caused people to revert to old habits. Third, aging that affected the memory seemed to leave the subjects with more susceptibility to older habits. All this information can be used by people who struggle against bad habits. One study took a look at the way people think about risky behavior. Surveys were given out in two different parts of Canada to find out what these people thought were the most dangerous. In the majority of cases, people thought that bad habits like smoking, overeating, and other health habits were more risky than non-habitual behaviors. It is important to study how we think and feel about, and react to bad habits. The more we know, the better chance people have of learning how to overcome them. With good research being done, bad habits may be easier to break in the long run. Picking Up Bad Habits from Others You may feel that you have evaded the bad habits that many people have. That is, you feel that way until you catch yourself picking up the bad habits of others around you. The other person may pass on their habits intentionally or not, but they affect you all the same. You can pick up bad habits from others in the way they eat. If you spend enough time around a person, you will often begin to eat the same way. It is just easier to make one meal and split it. It is easier to go to one restaurant instead of stopping at two. If that restaurant happens to have only greasy foods, you will end up eating things you would not otherwise eat. You are picking up your companion's bad habits. Smoking cigarettes is another bad habit you can easily pick up from other people. You sit in the room with your companion evening after evening as they puff away. You gradually either get very sick from it, or you get used to it. You may even come to enjoy it. That is when you are in danger of picking up the bad habit. Fighting is a bad habit that many couples get into in a relationship. Your spouse may start a fight. You may have no intention of getting into the argument. You may get up to walk away from it. However, your spouse may not let you go. A fight ensues and pretty soon, you are both in it. This may go on over and over until it becomes a bad habit. In the workplace, carelessness seems to be contagious. If one crew member is irresponsible with the heavy equipment, his attitude can contaminate the attitudes of the other workers. Before you know it, they all have bad habits at work. Also, if one employee gets in the bad habit of telling everything he knows, the habit can spread. If one tells information about his pay, soon they all will. If one tells private company business, the gossip mill will start churning. The bad habits can get out of control. If you have the bad habit of practicing one-upmanship, you can lead others to pick up the bad habit from you. A person tells something they did, and suddenly you are telling the better thing you did. Some people will fall into the trap of following your lead and trying to one-up you. This can go on ad infinitum. Pessimistic people have the bad habit of looking on the negative side of everything. This can rub off on anyone who spends a good deal of time with them. You can only hear about the worst things in life so long before it has an affect on you. You may be next to predict bad times ahead. Of course, you cannot blame the other person for your choice. That is all up to you. If you want to avoid the bad habits of others, you can do it if you stay strong. Remember that you do not have to always conform to those around you. Medical Treatments for Bad Habits Can bad habits be cured through medical treatments? Some say yes; they have succeeded in overcoming their addictions through science. There are many medical treatments for smokers and others who want to block their cravings. For smokers, there is a variety of nicotine replacement options. Nicotine patches are probably the most popular for bad smoking habits. They can be adhered to the skin and forgotten until the end of the day. Or, if you are a person who suffers morning cravings, you can wear the patch all night. In any case, you do not have to be constantly thinking about your smoking. Nicotine gum is also used by many people with these bad habits. It is handy for those who like to do something with their mouths. It cuts their urge to smoke at the same time. You just chew it for awhile, and then place it in between your cheek and gum. The nicotine will enter your bloodstream. Nicotine lozenges work much the same way. You can get nicotine nasal sprays and nicotine inhalers through your doctor by prescription. The spray delivers an instant burst of nicotine to the system. The inhaler gives users an experience somewhat like smoking. It helps to wean you from your bad habits. The downside of nicotine replacement is that you cannot cheat when you are using it. If you smoke when you are wearing a nicotine patch, for instance, you can trigger an episode of very high blood pressure at the very least. Your health will be in danger if you keep your bad habits up. Many people now use prescription medications for relieving the destruction of these bad habits. Zyban has been used for several years now as a stop-smoking aid. This medication is also an anti-depressant. It helps to eliminate the urge to smoke. It does not hurt your health (any more than smoking ever did) to smoke or use nicotine patches while using Zyban. However, many people report that they just do not feel like smoking any more. Chantrix, or varenicline, is a newer medication for those who wish to quit smoking. It eases withdrawal symptoms and makes smoking less pleasurable afterwards. It has been shown to be even more effective than Zyban. It also has been show to help with alcohol addiction. This is helpful since many people drink and smoke in the same situations. Addictive gambling is another of the bad habits that afflicts many adults. Gamblers seem to have cognitive distortions that prompt them to keep gambling until their money is gone. There may be some physical basis for this. There is now a new medication being studied that is supposed to curb those urges. For some serious bad habits of opiate addiction, methadone has been used for over thirty years. It controls withdrawal symptoms that come on after quitting heroin, morphine, or similar drugs. It has a well-documented history of success. While drug treatments of bad habits have their problems, there are some advantages, too. It seems that many of the treatments have helped people to stop addictive behaviors. This is not automatic, but comes with the medication along with a determined effort. Avoiding Bad Habits Would it not be nice if you could avoid bad habits instead of having to quit them after starting? No one will avoid all bad habits. There are just too many to stay away from them all. Yet, you can reduce the number of bad habits you have to conquer. There are certain bad habits that you can avoid altogether. Your body has no need for nicotine or tar from cigarettes. So, if you do not take that first cigarette, you will never have to face the daunting task of giving them up. It is well worth any social discomfort you might feel to dodge that bullet. Other bad habits are a matter of degree. Your body needs food. Many people realize that they will gain a lot of weight if they do not take action. However, you cannot just stop eating altogether. You could for awhile, but that would not be healthy either. Instead you must find a way to limit yourself. To avoid the bad habits involved in letting yourself become overweight, you need to think differently. You can do this by thinking of food as a special treat that you only get at certain times. You can eat like a thin person-picking out the best part and leaving the rest. There are a host of different thinking patterns you can take on to avoid getting fat. Not exercising is another of the bad habits that will make you gain weight. You may know that you need to get up and move around. You may have every intention to do so. The energy does not seem to be there when you need it. To avoid this bad habit, start slowly. What you may not realize is that the energy will increase as your exercise increases. Bad habits of personal hygiene can be avoided by developing a positive routine. If you fear going out in public smelling bad, you can make it a habit to shower every morning. Shower more than once a day if the situation calls for it. Brush your teeth and comb your hair. If you are just starting out on your own, you could even make a list. After all, you are probably past those teen years when everyone else made sure you were decent. Relationships are difficult enough without developing bad habits. If you are getting married, make a point of discussing all the possible trouble areas first. You can do this with a pre-marriage counselor or on your own. Either way, it is good to learn how you each can contribute to keeping away the bad habits of jealousy or neglect. Many bad habits can be avoided if you will only consider the needs of yourself and of others equally. Putting yourself first at all times makes you selfish and hard to abide. Putting others first all the time just makes you a doormat. For every bad habit, there is a way to avoid it. The trouble is that no one can be vigilant enough to control that many behaviors. What is more, many bad habits start before people are old enough to think much about it. If you want to, though, you can pass up some of them. Addictive Bad Habits The question is: "Are addictions actually bad habits?" According to the habit model of addiction, they are. This theory of addiction states that the only reason to say there is a difference is to persecute "addicts." People with bad habits of smoking often feel much persecuted. While smoking is not illegal (at least not yet), it is shunned by society as a whole. At first, you could smoke anywhere. Expecting fathers smoked in the maternity waiting rooms. Then, you could smoke in buildings, but only in a designated smoking room. Then there came the designated smoking area outside the building. Now restaurants, bars, and whole cities are going smoke-free. It seems that a lot of people have given up their bad habits. However, they do not seem to remember how badly they were addicted before. The truth is that in a way, they are still addicted and always will be. That is how addiction works. In an effort to save others from the ill effects of their second hand smoke, many people have switched their bad habits to smokeless tobacco. Just because the tobacco is not smoked, though, it does not mean the nicotine is not addictive. It is said to be just as hard a bad habit to break as cigarettes. People quitting it use patches and nicotine gum or Zyban, too. Sleeping pills are bad habits to get into as well. They can be so addictive that you need a higher and higher dosage to fall asleep. Eventually, they will not help at all. Some people overdose in an attempt to reach a dose that will put them to sleep. It usually takes intervention by a doctor and/or a sleep clinic to straighten you out. Alcohol can be a bad habit if you drink to excess. For some people with certain physical conditions, it can be risky anyway. It can be dangerous if mixed with particular medications. However, if a person is addicted to alcohol, they will not be concerned with that. Neither will they be concerned about their jobs or their relationships. It will all be about the next drink. Drugs pose a variety of bad habits. There are so many illegal drugs that they are too numerous to count. They have different affects and cause different levels of addiction. Some have fast and devastating results. Others do little damage in the short run. Yet, they are all bad habits. There are club drugs, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and hallucinogens. All these drugs can be nasty. There are also legal drugs that people get into bad habits with by starting with an injury or other medical condition. These can be pain pills like percocet, or muscle relaxants. They are also very addictive bad habits. If you have an addictive bad habit, you probably need some form of help to get over it. In fact, once you have a serious addiction, experiencing the sights, smells, or sounds of your addiction will start your brain in that addictive mode again. It is no wonder that people struggle for years with addictive bad habits. How Good Habits Can Turn into Bad Habits It is not uncommon for good habits to morph into bad habits. This often happens when good habits are taken to an extreme. This is why people should be aware of their behavior, even when it might seem positive. People who want things to be the very best can seem to be very upbeat people. At least that is true until they go too far. When their leadership becomes nit-picking perfectionism, their good habits have turned into bad habits. Once it has reached such a point, it is hard to salvage the situation. Sometimes people make their neatness into bad habits. They start out nice enough. They just want to keep things tidy and clean. They are perfectly willing to do some work to keep it that way. Then, they go overboard. They begin stressing over every tiny smudge or speck of dust. Besides this, they expect you to be as obsessive as they are. There are two of these situations that are fairly similar. People turn good savings practices into bad habits. The first is when a person starts saving money for emergencies or for the future. They start a savings account, or an investment account. Then they begin to put money into it. If they develop bad habits, they can get carried away with their savings and become a miser. They can be that person who will not buy their children new school clothes because the money has to go into savings. They can be the one who will drive a car that breaks down every week. They cannot bear spending money that could go to savings. A similar situation happens when people start buying in bulk. At first they tell themselves they are just stocking up. However, the stocking up may not stop at a reasonable level. If it has become a bad habit, their entire basement, garage, attic, and all their closets may be filled with extra food and cleaning supplies. They have so much that it will go bad before they can possibly eat it all. You may wonder how being concerned about others can possibly lead to bad habits. A person who is this thoughtful is generous in spirit and cares only for the well-being of those around her. The bad habit may come in when the person puts others' needs too far above her own. This can lead to all sorts of psychological problems for her. Perhaps you have heard that there is never a dumb question. People are generally encouraged to ask questions at school and at work. However, it becomes a bad habit when people ask questions aimlessly to no purpose. They will sometimes ask so many questions that no work can be accomplished at all. Sometimes it is better to try to figure something out on your own. This just goes to show that extremes are usually bad habits waiting to happen. Be a considerate person, yes, but do not do it at the expense of your own well-being. Indeed, you should maintain a savings account. Just make sure your family has what it needs. Do not let your good habits turn into bad habits and make your life difficult. Financial Bad Habits It is easy to get into bad habits with financial matters. Few people have enough money to simply buy what they want without a thought. Most people have to plan their purchases and stay vigilant to keep themselves solvent. Many people have bad habits of getting too far in debt with credit cards. The cards are easy to get. You can get a handful of Visas and Master Cards, an American Express Card, a Discovery Card, and several cards from retail stores without much effort. You do not have to have much income to get this many cards, either. None of the card companies seem to consider that you might have to pay payments to the other cards. You may think you have all these cards just for emergencies. However, if you get into bad habits with them, you can end up spending them to their limits. You may reach a point where you cannot even make the minimum monthly payments. You might be tempted to borrow money from relatives at a time like this, but that would be just another of type of bad habits. Relatives may want to help you for a time. They may allow you to get into the bad habit of going to them each time you need money. Yet, there will come a day when the money will run out, or the situation will get old. The relative will not only discontinue the loans. They might stop speaking to you as well. When it comes to friends, both borrowing and lending money are bad habits. It puts a strain on the relationship that many friends cannot handle. One friend might forget how much was borrowed. Yet, there may be animosity if a written contract is suggested. You can rarely win when you get into this bad habit. Many people get into trouble financially because the have the bad habit of not sitting down to make a budget. They have a general idea of where the money should go. They may think they have it all in their brains. It never quite comes together, though, unless you put it on paper (or on a spreadsheet on a computer). Only then will you know you have everything included. Most utility companies have a certain grace period before they will cut off service. Some people count on this grace period and get into bad habits when it comes to paying their utility bills. If you do this you put yourself in jeopardy of losing your lights or water. You also destroy your credit rating. Some financial bad habits have to do with the way people manage their checking accounts. One thing people often do is to throw away paperwork they get when making transactions. Of course, there is a time to throw it away. Yet, until it is recorded into your account, you need to keep deposit, ATM, and debit slips to verify that the correct amount was taken out. Some people even have the bad habits of not reconciling their checking accounts. If they want to do internet banking with a software program like Microsoft Money or Quicken, they can make it very easy on themselves. It is important to be sure that your account has in it what you think it should. For one thing, there is no better way to catch fraud. Taking charge of your money habits can make your life less stressful and more productive. Emotional Bad Habits The question of whether moods constitute bad habits is an interesting one. Many mood disorders have been identified. These and other psychological problems are seen by some as strictly bad habits. In fact, it has been shown that continuing to dwell in your present mood perpetuates it. When you decide to pretend you are happy, studies show that you may actually improve your mood in time. This is not a hard and fast rule, but there is some indication that people do have some control over their moods. Moodiness, for example, may be more than bad habits for many. It may be bipolar disorder or some other psychiatric problem. However, for some it may just be that they are giving in to every feeling that comes along. They have the bad habits of not trying to have any control over their whims. Being pessimistic is one of the bad habits that can also be seen as a symptom of depression. Yet, for many, it is just a habit of thought. They may tell themselves that pessimism is a win-win way of thinking. If things go right, you win. If things go wrong, you were correct, so you win. These people can improve their moodiness by looking at the positive side of things in the beginning. Being in a worrying mood is similar to being pessimistic. The difference between the two bad habits is that when you worry, you become obsessed and dread upcoming events. If you have the bad habit of worrying, you can slowly train yourself out of it, especially if you have the right kind of help. Codependency is not exactly a mood, but it is an emotional state. It is a set of bad habits that encourages a loved one to do harmful behavior. You do not want your son to be an alcoholic, for example. However, you constantly make excuses for his behavior to others. If you want him to get better, you have to stand up and decide to stop with your bad habits. You have to hold him accountable for his actions. If you have hypochondria, you have an emotionally painful bad habit. Certainly, a person with hypochondria needs psychological help. However, the treatment that person will receive will probably center on helping them change their bad habits of thought. They will learn new ways to think about illness and their own bodies. This will give them some control over their emotions. If you do a lot of attention seeking, you have bad habits that you can learn to abandon. This could relate back to something in your past. Perhaps, you were ignored as a child because there was some other needier person in the home. You learned bad habits of getting attention by annoying means. Taming this bad habit requires acknowledgement of it, and possibly professional help. Bad habits that relate to emotional states are often hard to break. Sometimes you need help to overcome them if you cannot do it on your own. The sooner you stop doing your emotional bad habits, the happier your life will be. Dangerous Bad Habits Some bad habits are just annoying, but others are actually dangerous. It is these dangerous bad habits that can really get you in trouble. Some people like to take risks. Others do not think about how their bad habits could affect them. Bad habits can be nothing more than not paying attention to your physical condition. If you are taking sedating drugs, it would be a bad habit if you continually worked in this condition. If you work two jobs, it can be a dangerous habit to work when you are sleepy. You would need to find a safe way to get enough sleep to work. Many people have bad habits around electricity. They may use frayed extension cords without thinking. This is a bad habit that can lead to electrocution or fire. Using ladders, especially metal ladders, around power lines is another bad habit that is dangerous. Some people have dangerous bad habits that are just unnecessary by any stretch of the imagination. People, often younger people, like to stand on moving cars and "surf." This is reckless behavior at the least. At the most, it can be deadly. Many bad habits have to do with driving a car. People often forget how potentially dangerous driving can be if it is not done with caution. They drive so often that they become accustomed to taking the wheel without thinking. This leads to a number of dangerous situations. Some people have bad habits of grooming themselves when driving. Women might put on make-up while driving. They believe that they can apply mascara and watch the road at the same time. It may work out for a long time, and then eventually there comes that time when they are not concentrating on the road enough and an accident happens. The same can happen when men shave while driving. Or, it can happen when men or women groom their hair. Other bad habits include the way people use their cell phones when they drive. Sometimes people are so keyed in on their cell phones that they do not see the car in front of them. Driving through high flood waters can be a very bad habit. People think they can get through the water and make it to the other side. If it happens often enough, they may get braver and braver. However, if they go too far, their vehicle could be swept away. It could lead to a very dangerous situation. Drinking and driving is the ultimate in bad habits. If you do this, you are not only putting yourself at risk. You do not even know who else you might be endangering. It could be an infant, an elderly person, or a single parent. It could be someone just like you. You could kill them or make their lives a lasting misery. This is not a bad habit that you can let stand. If you engage in dangerous bad habits, you have to ask yourself why you do it. There must be something you can do to curb your desire to put yourself and others at risk. Find out what that is, and do it. Bad Study Habits If you are in high school or college, you know that you will not get the best grades if you have bad study habits. Unless you are a naturally gifted student, it takes some effort to get the grade point average you need to continue in your academic career. Even if you are gifted, bad habits can hurt your scores. Of course, the worst of the bad habits of studying is not studying at all. Some people plan to go through school without cracking open a book. It is rare for this to be an adequate response to academia. Most people need to study. Some people do not go to class. This is another bad habit. The teacher or professor may give you information that if not in any of the literature. To get it, it is best to go to class. You might be able to get it second hand from someone who did go to class, but there is nothing like hearing it for yourself. Sometimes students go to class, but they go unprepared. Some do not buy the proper literature or lab materials. They try to get by with sharing or looking on others' work. This is a bad habit, as they will not get the personal experience that they would with their own literature and materials. You can buy the right literature and lab materials, but if you do not have the right equipment and supplies. You will suffer if you do not have the right supplies to go along with it. If you make it a habit to show up without paper, pen, pencil, or even a laptop computer if needed, you will not be able to do your work. There are certain physical bad habits that make studying harder. Studying without eating is like trying to drive a car without fuel-it does not work very well. Studying without sleep is unproductive. Studying with a hangover is very distracting. Many students will go to class to be entertained. This seems almost reasonable because many professors have great senses of humor. However serious learning should be taking place as well. If you find yourself not taking notes, you will know you are slipping into bad habits. If you get to class and you have not read the assignment, you will be ill prepared. Cramming for tests is a time honored tradition. Yet, if you want to retain the material beyond the end of the semester, it is a bad habit to start. Doing daily work will help you to understand the material that is being put into your brain. It will help you assimilate it in a way that will help you to remember it in the long haul. If you are a motivated student, your bad habits may be just as unproductive, in the short run at least. You may find yourself straying in your research. You find your subjects fascinating, but you find other information interesting as well. Before you know it, you have spent hours on the internet researching something you do not need for your school work at all. It may increase your knowledge overall, but it will not help today. You can rid yourself of your bad habits when you are studying or preparing to study. Some people choose not to. However, you might find it beneficial. Bad Habits Related to Health Bad habits can often damage your health. They can make you feel unwell. They can have long-term affects on your physical condition. If you want to live a long life and healthy life, there may be some bad habits you need to overcome. Many of the bad habits that make you feel poorly are related to eating. A growing number of people in the US are obese. This is mainly due to the fact that they have developed the bad habit of overeating. This can lead to numerous conditions and diseases. Heart disease, diabetes, bone and joint distress, and many other physical conditions can result. Even some forms of cancer occur more often in obese people. What is more, very obese people are often bedridden and cannot care for themselves. Some people do not have the habit of overeating in general. They just eat the wrong things when they do eat. They may eat fast food at every meal. This can literally make you sick. The high quantities of fats, sugars, and starches in fast foods make them very unhealthy. Other foods can be bad habits to eat as well. Other fried foods cause health problems. Foods that are low in fiber lack a substance the body needs to function well. It is a bad habit to avoid this. Foods high in sugar are bad habits, if not addictions. They affect the metabolism in drastic ways, causing an imbalance in energy and insulin. People have trouble knowing what kinds of electrolytes they need. Some people have bad habits when it comes to salt. They will salt all the food on their plate as soon as they sit down. They will not taste any of it first. Too much salt can lead to hypertension. Even if you eat right, you will be weak if you do not exercise. Living a sedentary lifestyle is a bad habit. You may not have much choice about how much movement is allowed at your job. That does not mean that you cannot get out and get your heart beating before or after work. In fact, if you do not have time to exercise outside of work, you probably have another bad habit in the health area. Overworking is a cause for several illnesses. High blood pressure, heart disease, and others can plague you if you do not stop and take time to relax at home. A discussion of bad health habits would not be complete without reference to smoking, drinking, and drugs. Each of these has dire health risks that are known by most people. If you smoke, you might get lung cancer. You might also get COPD, another breathing disorder. If you drink, you might have liver failure. Drugs can do all kinds of damage, including damage to your brain. Others care about your health, as you should care, too. It may be difficult, but kicking your bad habits and making yourself healthy again is a worthy goal to aspire to. Why not start today? Bad Habits in the Workplace Everyone suffers when someone on the job has bad habits in the workplace. Bad habits can make for an environment that is unfriendly, unproductive, or even unsafe. You can only correct your bad habits in the workplace if you recognize them. One of the most noticeable bad habits in the workplace is tardiness. Some people just have a habit of being late to everything. They are late to arrive, late back from break, and late back from lunch. This not only puts them in jeopardy of losing their jobs. It can affect the productivity of the whole crew or office. Absenteeism is another bad habit that people can fall into easily. A new trend is to make all accumulated days off the same. Sick days, personal days, and vacation days are lumped together. You just have a set number of days off and it is up to you how you take them. The trouble with this system is that too many people have bad habits about using the days off. They get used to taking off whenever they feel like it. Before they know it, all their days off are gone. Then, when they really have an emergency or illness, they have to miss work without pay. In the meantime, their workload is being handled by someone else. People often have bad habits in the workplace when it comes to paperwork. They do not do proper accounting on their expense reports. They do not keep the receipts that are needed by their company. They fail to keep mileage records on their company cars accurately. This makes the company's accounting department have to work harder. Many workers have an aversion to doing paperwork at all. They have bad habits of not filling out jobsite reports as needed. If they do special business reports as requested, they may have bad habits about not turning them in on time. Clean work spaces can help people get more work done. However, many people have bad habits when it comes to keeping their desks and offices neat. They may have a certain kind of organization if they have stacks of papers on their desks. Yet, if their desk is full of half empty pop cans and crumpled up fast food bags, it cannot help anything. People often get into the bad habit of losing things. They may lose important paperwork. The paperwork may be critical contracts for a major deal the company is involved with. If your bad habits take over, you can cost the company everything. People in other kinds of jobs can get into the habit of losing tools. They do not pay enough attention when they lay down their tools. When they get ready to clean up for the day, they have no recollection of where they put a particular tool, if they remember using it at all. This is a bad habit that amounts to laziness in thinking. If you want to make an impression at work, get a grip on your bad habits. The way you work will be a result of the habits you bring to the table. It is the good habits that make you succeed.
Bad Habits in Sports Sports are fun to watch and to play, as long as you curb your bad habits. To be successful at any sport, you need to develop the behavior patterns that will lead to winning. A part of this is avoiding certain bad habits. Taking care of the body should be of utmost importance to anyone who wants to play sports seriously. Smoking and drinking are bad habits that do not mix well with sports. Smoking cuts a person's breathing capabilities. It makes the person gasp for air after a short practice run. Drinking alcohol is another bad habit for athletes. It dehydrates the body and slows coordination. However, drinking other fluids is necessary. Some sports players have the bad habits of not keeping themselves hydrated. This should not happen, since there are usually plenty of water and electrolyte-rich drinks available at the event. Sports players are often entrenched in their bad habits of not getting enough sleep. They are wound up after practices or games and do not feel like going to bed early. They get up to start their training on an early schedule. If they push themselves too hard, they will find that these bad habits will end up taking them out of the game. An athlete should never start to play without some sort of stretching or warm-up exercises. Yet, bad habits often prevail. People begin doing their sport without the slightest thought to getting ready. This is important even for a professional athlete. It often happens, though, that an amateur athlete will be more careless about. They do not make it their business to do everything right. Sometimes people who play sports occasionally think they can be athletes without much practice. They have the bad habit of doing nothing for weeks or months on end. Then, they jump in and do strenuous sports activities. They believe that they do not need to keep practiced and in shape. This can result in injury and exhaustion. Not using proper safety equipment is a bad habit in sports. In professional sports, this equipment is required. If an NFL football player were to make it onto the field without his protective gear, he would be fined heavily. In amateur games, people are not so careful about using safety equipment. They may play golf in slick dress shoes instead of golf shoes. This may cause them an injury if they slip and fall. A bicyclist may have the bad habit of not using a helmet if she is an amateur. This can be a dangerous mistake. One bad habit people have in sports is not being team players. If a person tries to take all the glory, the team comes to resent him and will not back him up the way they should. If the person works with the team, the team will be a cohesive unit that can accomplish great things. Sports can be fun activities or a great way to make a living. Either way, the way you conduct yourself will make all the difference in how you enjoy the game. So, suit up and leave your bad habits on the bench. Bad Habits in Relationships People often come to relationships with bad habits when it comes to getting along with another person. They may have every intention of making a relationship work, but ingrained trends stop them from truly connecting. There are many such bad habits. Jealousy plagues many otherwise good relationships. A boyfriend might always suspect his girlfriend of going around with other men. Or, it could be more subtle. A woman may suspect that her husband is constantly looking for another female to take her place. In either case, the jealous person may have nothing real to worry about. This is when it gets to be nothing more than a bad habit. Selective hearing is another problem that becomes a bad habit in relationships. People do not pay attention to each other's needs. One person will try to explain something that is important to them, and the other will say, "yes, yes," but will not really hear. Then, when the first person says something the second person is interested in, suddenly they are in the conversation completely. This fosters feelings of hostility, and is one of the relationship bad habits that can wear a couple down over time. People can develop bad habits in long relationships if they lean too much on the other person. They can depend so much on the other person that they lose the ability to take care of themselves. A person in a relationship may become irresponsible at work because of it. They may feel that they are taken care of anyway, so it does not matter. These bad habits can take over every aspect of their lives. Some couples fall into bad habits in their fighting. All healthy couples will disagree from time to time. Where bad habits come in is the way the arguments are conducted. One partner may have the bad habit of yelling at the top of her lungs. Another partner may throw dishes instead. Still another may bring up old arguments to try to hurt the other person. All these are bad habits in relationships because they are not productive forms of disagreement. Many people in relationships get into the bad habits of nagging their partners. This has often been portrayed as a women's fault. However, men do it too. Sometimes, both parties in the relationship will nag each other. That makes for a very unhealthy relationship. Blaming comes with its own price. This is a bad habit that erodes a relationship if it goes on too long. One person may be taking all the blame. In this case, that person's self esteem can get to a very low point. Other times, people can blame each other. If this happens, the usual result is a disconnect between the two partners. They do not want to be involved with someone who does not accept responsibility. If you want to have a healthy relationship, you need to purge yourself of your bad habits. The sooner you learn what you and your partner need to stay together, the better your bond will be. Bad Habits Can Be Expensive Bad habits can be very expensive to maintain. Never mind that they are annoying to others. Do not think about the pain you cause yourself, if you do not want to. Just remember that your bad habits are hitting you where it hurts-in your wallet. Smoking has always been a bad habit to have. In past times, people smoked more cigarettes, but cigarettes were cheaper. Now, many people have cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke per day. Yet, those few are more expensive now than the many were back then. That's accounting for inflation, too. This is because lawmakers have seen fit to put large taxes on cigarettes. In many areas, the taxes are set to go up even higher. Some states are planning hikes of $10 per carton. If that will not stop you from smoking, what will? Alcohol, too, is a bad habit that is subject to sin tax. It depends on how expensive your taste in alcohol is whether it will cost you more or less. Usually, most people will go to drinking less expensive alcohol as their dependency grows. However, it is not unusual for someone to go to a bar on a Friday night and spend their paycheck on alcohol. Many people get into bad habits of taking prescription drugs when they have an injury, such as a back injury. They may be given muscle relaxants and strong pain relievers to get them through the first painful days. This is a reasonable medical response to their condition. Yet, the medication helps them feel so good that they will want to get more. They may go back to the doctor to get more. If the doctor will not agree, they may go to different doctors to get different prescriptions. All these doctor visits and prescriptions usually come with a price tag. Then, when that no longer works, they will go to get their pain relief medications on the streets. It will cost even more to keep up their bad habits. Of course, people who have bad habits with illegal drugs probably have some of the most expensive bad habits of all. Whether it is cocaine, heroin, marijuana, or methamphetamine, there are no cheap drugs. At least, there will not be an unlimited supply of cheap drugs. If a person truly has a bad habit with one of these drugs, they will always want more until they quit. The cost can get to be astronomical. Gambling can lead people into financial hardship. Some people have such bad habits with gambling that they lose their houses and everything else they own. They may be in staggering debt on top of that. Now that there is online gambling, they cannot even get away from their bad habits by staying home. Shopaholics spend money like there is no tomorrow. This bad habit can destroy a budget. It can take money away from things that need to be paid, like a mortgage or car payment. It is clear that these bad habits are costly in the short run. Many of them are also costly over time, as health issues settle in. The cost of cigarettes is high, for example, but the cost of lung cancer is very much higher. Ridding yourself of these bad habits can only help your finances to get better. Inconsiderate Bad Habits Some bad habits are just plain inconsiderate. The person does their behaviors without a thought to the person he is affecting. A little attention to the feelings of others would stop many of these bad habits in their tracks. Many people have inconsiderate bad habits in the kitchen. You will find them drinking from the milk jug or juice carton. They do not consider that someone else might not like to drink after them. They are in the habit of doing it, so they do not think about it. Someone might have the bad habit of opening two liter bottles of pop and leaving the caps off. This is inconsiderate to the person buying the soda because the soda goes flat. No one will drink it. It is also a bad habit to open carbonated drink cans and drink a few swallows only. Many people will do this and then right away open another. The refrigerator is a source of trouble in some homes. People have certain bad habits there, too. They might take food out of the refrigerator and leave it on the counter to spoil. They may simply stand in front with the door open, staring as all the cold rushes out. If you have an older refrigerator, they may have bad habits about not filling ice cube trays, and leaving them in the freezing compartment empty. Some people have bad habits of freeloading. They will clean your refrigerator out of food in no time at all if you do not watch them. They will take food when they have been offered none, and when they are offered some, they will take more. Sometimes people staying with you, or living with you as roommates, will do some cooking. If they have bad habits and do not clean up their messes, you will not appreciate the food they cook no matter how good it is. After awhile, you will just wish they would stop cooking altogether. Other bad habits have to do with the bathroom. Sometimes, people hog the bathroom. They will not leave time for anyone else to get in to use it. You may need to go to work the same time as they do. If they do not let you get in to get ready, they will be on time and you will be the one who is late. That is very inconsiderate. Men have been told forever, it seems that their bad habits of leaving the toilet seat up are inconsiderate. They do not realize that a woman, not expecting the seat to be up, can actually get injured by falling in too hard. It is not a pleasant subject, and it is not a pleasant thing to happen. Other bad habits involve vehicles. You might be in the habit of leaving your car windows down. If you are accustomed to this, you will be ready to put them up if you know rain is coming. However, if you leave someone else's windows down, they may not be prepared. Also, it is a bad habit to borrow a car and not put gas in it. If you think of other people every day, you will be less likely to engage in inconsiderate bad habits. You will find that you are appreciated more if you find ways to control your behaviors and curb your bad habits. Illegal Bad Habits Some bad habits are not only illegal. They push the envelope of what can be considered merely bad habits. However, in a way they are bad habits. They are definitely bad, and they happen frequently enough to call them habits. Serious fighting can be illegal bad habits. This is the kind of fighting that leads to assault arrests and convictions. People do not think before they act. Or, if they do, they only think angry, destructive thoughts. This fighting can cause injury or even death. Some fighting happens in bars. Barroom fights are bad habits. Too many people are intoxicated. There are not enough reasonable people in the room to calm things down. There are also often shortages in bars. There may be a shortage of available men, or of available women. There may not be enough places to sit. This causes animosity, which leads to fighting. Just being in a bar where fights are known to occur is sometimes a bad habit. Some people, both men and women, have bad habits of domestic violence. They do not think twice about hitting their partner in the face on the way in the door. They have no compunctions about throwing their spouse on the floor, even if she is pregnant. Are these bad habits? Yes, they are the most extreme forms of bad habits. There are illegal money transactions that are bad habits. There are many forms of illegal gambling. There are restrictions in every state about where gambling can take place. The kind of gambling is also regulated. Abiding by these rules will keep you out of jail. It will also keep you from losing money in a betting scam. Shoplifting is an illegal bad habit that young people get hooked into before they even think about it. One day they are going to the store and trying on clothing to purchase. The next day, they are going to the store to see what they can stuff under their coats. This can give a young person a very bad start in life. It can also give them bad habits that are hard to break. Sometimes, people who deal with other people's money decide to borrow a little for an emergency. They find out how easy it is, and they do it again and again. Eventually it becomes the bad habit known as embezzlement. This can land them in jail for years and cause them to pay restitution for the rest of their lives. It can also put the people they took the money from in a terrible situation. Arson is not always a malicious act. It is not always a well thought out scheme to collect insurance money. Some arsonists simply have a bad habit of starting fires. They are obsessed with flames and torch buildings for their twisted pleasure. It is a bad habit that can cause incredible destruction. Bad habits are more than just picking your nose. There are bad habits that can destroy property and ruin lives. It is these behaviors that society must work on. How to Break Bad Habits There are hundreds of bad habits and hundreds of ways to break them. if you need help, there are books, support groups, and counselors to help you. Mostly you can take a common sense approach and get the job done. If bragging is one of your bad habits, you could either be insecure or overly proud. It usually makes the other person feel bad, or they resent you. You can get a handle on this bad habit if you stop for a few seconds before you talk. Give yourself time to think about others and how this will sound to them. Think about whether you are telling it to them, or to yourself. Another one of these bad habits is name dropping. Again, you may be insecure. Most people will not take it in a friendly way. Try to tell your same stories but without the names to stop yourself from doing this. You might say, "My friend Brad" instead of "my friend Brad Pitt," or something like that. Cursing is one of those bad habits that can start at an early age. You may curse so much that you are unaware that you are doing it much of the time. The first thing to do is to pay attention. Whenever you say inappropriate words, put money in a jar. Even if it is your coffee money, put it in there. Also, you might want to think about anger management classes if your cursing is done in a hostile way. If you have the bad habit of chewing with your mouth open, there may be a physical cause. It is disgusting at the dinner table and might make you look bad at a dinner meeting. Perhaps all you need is a nasal decongestant. Maybe if you can breathe through your nose, you will close your mouth. You may be a whiner. This is one of those bad habits that annoy people from the time you are a child until you are old or until you quit it. It comes out in the sound of your voice and the expression on your face. However, it is rooted in a negative, doom and gloom attitude. Look on the positive side of things, and you will find yourself whining less. Gossips are notorious for starting trouble in any group to which they belong. These people often find their lives so boring that they cannot find anything else to talk about. Their only topic of discussion is other people's business. These people can break this bad habit by finding new interests to think and therefore talk about. Nail biting is a bad habit for people of all ages. It damages the fingertips and nails. It is not a very sanitary practice. People do it out of nervousness, and most of them would like to quit. In past times, people would wear gloves, but people do not wear them much anymore. You can buy nail polish that tastes bad, though. That seems to help at times. You can find a way to overcome any addiction or bad habit. Some of them are trivial in the scheme of things. Others are deadly serious. If you find the right help for your situation, you can stop your bad habits. When Are Bad Habits Helpful? Some bad habits can actually turn out to be helpful. They may cause trouble most of the time. Yet, there are those instances when they seem to fit the situation perfectly. Since most people have at least some bad habits, it is probably good that they have a helpful side. Some people have bad habits with regards to pointing out others mistakes. They are constantly telling their friends or family members what they are doing wrong. It gets annoying and frustrating for the person being picked on. Quite a bit of resentment can build up over this. However, there may come a time when the person will actually point out bad habits you have not been aware of before. They may stop you from making a huge mistake. You may not be inclined to fall at their feet and thank them, but you may be glad you heard their criticism nonetheless. Procrastination is usually one of the most common bad habits. People put off doing what they know they need to do. They plan to do it, just not today. Procrastination can prove to be helpful if the situation changes. If you were planning to water your garden you might procrastinate and put it off until tomorrow. If it rains unexpectedly that night, you have saved both effort and water. If you complain too much, people will tell you that you have too many bad habits. It does create a negative environment when someone is constantly seeing the worst in everything. However, sometimes the only times you can get anything done are when you complain. Some bosses manage by the theory that the person that complains the loudest is the person who needs the most attention. In other words, the squeaky wheel gets the grease. When you complain in this situation, you accomplish something. Working too hard is generally a bad habit. It is bad for your relationships and it is bad for your health. You feel that you will not succeed unless you put in overtime. Mostly, this is not true. Yet, there are times when the extra work can pay off. This is true especially if you allow yourself to indulge this bad habit for only the duration of a short project. If you are too stubborn, you will be accused of bad habits like demanding to have things the way you see fit. You will not give in until you are satisfied that things are going as they should. This is usually a bad habit. Sometimes, though, it takes the form of tenacity. This is a positive attribute that makes it possible for you to hold on through the hardest of times. Breaking the law almost always involves bad habits. Theft, drug peddling and use, violence, and many more bad habits come into play. On the other hand, some of the world's greatest heroes have broken the laws of their own countries. They did it in civil disobedience of laws they deemed unjust or inhumane. The world would be a different place if these people had been afraid of having these "bad habits." That is why not all habits can be strictly labeled bad or good. It has to go by the situation. The Astrology of Bad Habits Astrology is a complex subject, and when it comes to bad habits it is no different. There are many details to consider about any person when discussing their astrological sign. Birth date is just one of them. However, it is fun to dabble in astrology and find out the general rules for the astrology of bad habits. Capricorns are said to be persistent, hard workers. Perhaps this is why they are thought to be workaholics. They are driven to get the job done no matter how long it takes. In fact, they may not stop with the job at hand, but go on to other jobs instead of going home and relaxing at the end of the day. They can help curb these bad habits by keeping a gratitude journal. Aquarius is a sign given to independent people. In many ways this is a good thing. However, they have the bad habits of shutting people out of their lives. They do like novelty, though. Close relationships that involve a creative aspect are for them. Alcoholism is one of the major bad habits of people born under the Pisces sign. The usual treatments for alcoholism apply to them, just as they do for anyone else. Bad habits like this are hard to overcome. Aries is a sign of selfish people. The best way for them to combat this is to care for another living being. Taurus people thrive on clutter. All they need is a little direction in how to get organized. These are both fairly innocuous bad habits. If you live with a Gemini, then you probably find yourself talking to the air at times. A Gemini has bad habits when it comes to paying attention to people talking to them. If you do not talk to them, they will eventually beg you to do so. Cancer peoples' sugar addictions can only be aided by substituting sweets like dried fruits, for example. Their bad habits are based on oral gratification. Leos are all full of themselves. They will keep up their bad habits of bragging on themselves until they learn to be different. They can do this by practicing complimenting people. Virgos have more habits that can be good or bad habits. It depends upon how you look at them. Virgos are bent on perfection. Nothing is ever good enough for them. If you encourage them to lighten up and have some fun, they can reduce these bad habits. Libras love to look at pretty things. It would be nice if they would spend their time taking walks in the garden, or going to fine arts museums. However, many Libras go to another extreme. They become shopaholics to gratify the urge to be around beautiful things. These are costly bad habits to have. Scorpio people can have the bad habits of getting very angry and holding onto that anger for a long time. Doing relaxing things like getting a massage will help them ease away their anger. Finally, there are the Sagittarians. These people have the bad habits of going overboard with honesty. They just need to learn a little compassion and tact. While these descriptions might not apply to you, a detailed analysis of your horoscope may reveal something more telling. Or, you may not believe them at all. In any case, find your bad habits by whatever means it takes and eradicate them. Support Groups for People with Bad Habits There are support groups all over the world for people with bad habits. These groups provide a framework by which the person with bad habits can get better. They are available to anyone who wants to attend. Alcoholics Anonymous is the gold standard for support groups. There people with bad habits relating to alcohol can meet and discuss their bad habits. They can talk about their experiences and share their hopes. They can gain strength by spending time with people whose goal is also to banish their bad habits. Alcoholics Anonymous practices the Twelve-Step program for those whose bad habits have brought them to seek help. The system is designed to guide alcoholics through their despair and into sobriety. It is a rigorous program, but it is worth the work if you come out on the other side without your bad habits. Another group the uses the Twelve-Step program for gaining control over bad habits is Overeaters Anonymous. Contrary to what the name implies, it is not just for people who eat too much. The largest number of members of any one group is those who overeat. However, it is also for those with bulimia or anorexia. It is for anyone who is "powerless over food." This group holds meetings as AA does. It also uses tests and other tools to help people evaluate the extent of their bad habits and depression. The Twelve-Step program leads them to work on their bad habits from perspectives that are physical, emotional, and spiritual. It has helped many people to gain control over their eating disorders. Yet another group is based on the Twelve-Step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. This is Narcotics Anonymous. It is for people with bad habits with all kinds of drugs. You can be involved in the program no matter what kind(s) of drugs you used. It does not matter if you used a few times or you used constantly for years. The important thing is what you want to do about it. Narcotics Anonymous provides you with a way to deal with these destructive bad habits in your life if you will do the work. There are all kinds of smoking cessation support groups to help people quit their bad habits with smoking. There are groups at medical centers. There are groups at colleges. Some groups meet at community centers. There are even smoking cessation groups that meet online. The websites give quite a bit of helpful information about your bad habits. They often will have a blog where people can compare notes about how their recovery from nicotine is going. Then, there are live chat support groups. There are not support groups for all the bad habits that people have. No one is going to go around smacking your hand and saying,"Do not drum your fingers!" At least, they will not do it as a support group. Yet, for many serious bad habits, there is help. In some cases, you will have to drive across town. In other cases, it is as near as your computer. Social Bad Habits Having bad habits in social situations can make you a very unpopular person. You may not even know how others feel about your social blunders. However, if you are acting in ways that are not considered appropriate, people will notice. Many bad habits can be noticed when people go out to a restaurant together. It can be a very unpleasant experience if people have certain bad habits. For instance, chewing with an open mouth can be disgusting to the person watching. When a person does this, it is a thoughtless gesture. Some people have the bad habits of eating other peoples' food. They will just reach over and take a bite of something on their neighbor's plate. They do not consider the fact that the person might want to be asked first. They do not take into account that the person might find it repulsive to share food with someone who has already used their fork. Loudness in a restaurant is a bad habit that is sometimes appropriate and sometimes is not. In some settings, loudness is the order of the day. In quiet restaurants, though, a person needs to leave the volume turned to a low level. They need to try to fit in with the ambience of the restaurant. Have you ever heard someone belch, and then say "not bad manners, just good food"? Well, it is bad manners, and bad habits, too. Nobody wants to hear that, and it is not excused by an attempt at humor. Some people seem to do this every time they feel the urge without thought to how others feel. One of the sickening bad habits people have at restaurants is blowing their noses in a cloth napkin. It is not appropriate to blow their nose at the table in the first place. When they use a cloth napkin, the waiter cannot just throw it away. It has to be handled in order to be washed and reused. It is an inconsiderate bad habit. Some parents have bad habits when it comes to their children's public behavior. Some will let their children run through the restaurant doing as they please. They will not say a word when their children misbehave. This can spoil an otherwise nice evening. Other parents are so harsh and critical with their children that it also destroys any chance of anyone having a good time. These are bad habits just as letting the kids be destructive are. Ideally, parents can find a middle ground. There are also bad habits that affect the way people feel about themselves. If you are a know-it-all, a person might feel inferior to you at first. Eventually, though, it will get old and they will resent you. If you are tactless, you can hurt peoples' feelings without thinking. You do it just because you are in the habit of "telling the truth." There are bad habits that affect the way you communicate with others in the social setting. Monopolizing the conversation may make you feel good, but others will feel unappreciated. Interrupting can be a bad habit that prevents you from developing closeness with acquaintances. Correct your bad habits in social situations and you will find that people are friendlier with you. You will see that good habits will get you much more good attention than bad habits. Self Help Books About Bad Habits Bad habits can take over your life. They can make you fail at work, school, and relationships. It is important to address these issues. Self help books are great for this. Here are a few. The 12 Bad Habits That Hold Good People Back: Overcoming the Behavior Patterns That Keep You From Getting Ahead is a book by Waldroop and Butler. This book focuses on bad habits in the workplace. It explains how you can understand your own bad habits and learn new ways to relate to people. They suggest that doing this will help you to advance and prosper in your career. James Claiborn, Ph.D. and Cherry Pedrick, R.N. have collaborated on a book about all habits. It is called The Habit Change Workbook: How to Break Bad Habits and Form Good Ones. This book follows a cognitive-behavioral approach to bad habits. It uses psychological principles to get to the root of bad habits. Then, it goes into great detailed steps of how to break them. It also tells about a group of people who have bad habits and explains how each one is conquering theirs. What to Do When You Don't Know What to Do: Bad Habits and Addictions is a short book on the subject by Henry Cloud and John Townsend. It offers a religious perspective to those who feel overcome by their failings. It gives advice on how to find ways out of habits and addictions. One book is a rather heavy read on the subject of addictions. However, it does offer some sound psychological advice. It is titled Changing for Good: A Revolutionary Six-Stage Program for Overcoming Bad Habits and Moving Your Life Positively Forward. The authors, James O. Prochaska, John Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente, work together to put together a system of coping with undesirable behaviors. It involves six steps, which are discussed in full. If you have children you want to help, there is a book for you, too. It is called Good Kids, Bad Habits: The RealAge Guide to Raising Healthy Children. In it, Jennifer Tratchenberg discusses the kinds of habits children have as they are growing up. She gives insight into how these habits can follow them into later life. Then, the author helps parents set up a program that is designed specifically for their child. This will help the children to break bad habits. Of course, what subject would be complete without an "Idiot's Guide?" Suzanne LeVert has come up with the Complete Idiot's Guide to Breaking Bad Habits. This book is a tremendous introduction on the subject of bad habits. At the same time, it does it with a sense of humor and warmth. Reading this book may not break your bad habit. However, it may put you in the right frame of mind to do it. Self help books for breaking bad habits are very useful tools. They help those habituated to understand their problem behaviors and find ways to banish them. It always helps to have a second opinion. Reading these books on bad habits will give you advice that you would never think of on your own. Kids and Bad Habits Kids go through periods of having bad habits. Some of their bad habits are worrisome and some are just really annoying. Parents agonize over what to do about their children's unacceptable behaviors. There are a few things they should know. 1. What you see as bad habits may actually be natural stages of child development. If your very young child is examining the lint between his toes regularly, you might think it is a bad habit. It might be, though, that the child simply finds toe lint interesting. The child will outgrow the fascination and the bad habit will disappear. 2. So-called bad habits may be ways for the child to soothe themselves. At times when they would ordinarily feel like screaming and crying, they may suck on their clothes instead. This makes them feel calm and secure. 3. Children may use bad habits to feel a sense of control over their environment. If they are dropped off at a daycare center for the first time, they may start having odd behaviors. This could be, for instance, rubbing the material of their clothing. As time goes by, if the daycare center continues to feel threatening to them, rubbing the clothing material could become a bad habit. 4. Kids sometimes do things adults see as bad habits that they do not understand. Sometimes, the kids are simply solving a problem. If their hands are cold, they may put them between their legs to warm them up. Adults often misinterpret this and overreact. If they knew the problem was cold hands, they might have a different solution to offer. 5. Shaming and punishment are the worst things you can do. If a child is doing the bad habits in an effort to soothe herself, making her feel bad is counterproductive. It will give her more to self-soothe about. This is why parents often become frustrated when trying to deal with a child's bad habits. 6. Substituting more pleasant behaviors for the annoying or destructive bad habits can work better. You can teach your child to be aware of when they are doing a bad habit. Then, you can teach them another behavior to do instead. When they do, reward them. 7. Incentives work to help some older children get over bad habits. This is especially true if they are old enough to think in the long term of at least a few weeks. You can offer them a reward every day that they do not do their bad habits. By the time they have quit, they will have a large reward waiting. 8. Usually, the best thing you can do is to wait for the bad habits to go away all on their own. As long as you do not reinforce the bad habits by doing them yourself, the kids should grow out of them. Once they get older, their school mates will make it more attractive to them to stop doing their bad habits. Kids like to fit in. The most important thing to remember about your child's bad habits is that you should not be too alarmed. Only when they are destructive or dangerous is it essential for you to stop them immediately. Otherwise, be understanding and gentle when dealing with your kid's bad habits. Irritating Bad Habits Some bad habits can irritate the people around you. These habits can grate on peoples' nerves until they feel like physically stopping you themselves. Some of them are nervous habits and others are thoughtless behaviors. Some bad habits have to do with shopping. You can really irritate someone if you have the bad habit of following their car to a parking space and waiting with your car close behind. This makes them feel rushed, and it may make it hard for them to get out. By the time the leave they will be very irritated. You might display bad habits when you get in line to check out at the store. If you cut in line, everyone behind you will be annoyed with you. You make them later, and you give the impression that you are more important than they are. Sometimes people have bad habits when it comes to what line they choose. They may get in the express line where you are only supposed to have 15 items. They may get in that line with 30. Some people will get in the express line with a whole cartful. It irritates people who want to use the express line for just one or two items and have to wait for you. There are many nervous bad habits that irritate. Some people crack their knuckles. This sound can in turn get on other peoples' nerves. It is worse for the one listening because they do not know when the next crack of the knuckles will happen. Rhythmic behaviors are also bad habits to get into if they are not related to the arts. These are behaviors such as tapping a pencil, tapping your feet, or drumming your fingers on a desk. These behaviors often occur when a person is in a stressful situation. They can be detrimental to you or others. If you tap your pencil when taking a test, it can distract others and keep them from doing well on the exam. If you drum your fingers on your boss's desk, it will make you look bad. You might lose yourself a promotion. People can irritate with other noise-producing bad habits. Grinding your teeth can irritate others. Clicking your teeth can do it also. Smacking your lips can annoy. Any extraneous noise that you make repetitively with your body can be an irritating bad habit. Other sound-related bad habits annoy, too. Popping your chewing gum can drive other people to nearly mad with exasperation. If you regularly leave your faucets dripping it is an irritation that they must take care of themselves if you will not. They may find themselves following you around, shutting off faucets. They will not be happy. Another bad habit is letting your dogs bark at the top of their lungs all night long every night. Sometimes there is a reason and it cannot be helped. However, there is usually a solution to this problem that will be better for the dogs. At the same time, it will make the neighbors' nights more restful. It is usually hard to break irritating habits. Often, people are not even quite aware that they are doing these behaviors. Yet, if they try, they can make themselves alert to their irritating bad habits. They can do wonders for the nerves of those around them if they can stop.
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