What if I told you that after only two weeks without smoking, you are over the nicotine addiction? Surprising isnâ??t it? And yet, people often go back to smoking after two years! Why?
 
You see addictions are habits. But hereâ??s the crux of it: Instead of trying to attack the actual habit you need to examine how you respond to the psychology (and not physiology) behind it. 

The real habit is the thought behind it
 
You see the real habit is actually the thought process that leads to the physical habit and not the habit itself (i.e. smoking, nail biting). If you ever want to stop a habit you need to overcome an extremely powerful barrier: Habitual thought. In any given circumstance, a thought pops into your head, and the emotion follows and then you relent to your chosen habit to ease the emotions the thought prods â?? itâ??s a vicious circle!
 
Hereâ??s how to kick a habit fast…

1. Investigate yourself! First, be a detective working out what actually keeps your habit going. You will find invariable thoughts associated with certain actions and emotions. And you will track down the triggers that activate these thoughts.
 
2. 10 Questions you need to ask yourself: Itâ??s not good enough to do this â??all in your headâ?? â?? you need to write it down too. This orders your thoughts and helps you put ethereal emotions and thoughts into a concrete, manageable form. Try recording the answers to these questions:

  • Where is the problem most likely to occur?

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  • When? (What time of day, what day?)

  • Who else is there?

  • What are you doing at the time?

  • Are certain thoughts or feelings associated with the occurrence of the problem?

  • Is it preventing you from doing something you are relieved not to have to do?

  • What are the benefits of suffering the problem? (For example: Do you get more attention, can you put off a difficult decision?)

  • What was the consequence of the behaviour? (For example: How did you feel after? What effects did it have on other people?).

  • Is the occurrence of the problem predictable? Can you tell when (under what circumstances) it will strike (or get worse), when it will leave you alone (ease off)?

  • Is it controllable? What can you do to influence it

3. Action, action, action! After this, YOU can be in control. You can start to get rid of the triggers to the unwanted habit. It might sound bizarre but to get rid of a habit, you need to replace it with something else. And it needs to be something similar to the original habit.

Replace your habit with something positive
 
For example: Part of the habit of nail biting is the action of putting something to your mouth. So have something other than your nails to do this. Or if youâ??re addicted to sex, make a deal with yourself that instead of walking over to introduce yourself to that next gorgeous person, youâ??ll do something totally different: Maybe youâ??ll call your spouse and tell him/her that you love them. Or maybe itâ??s complaining. So each time you catch yourself, you might stop and insert a positive statement on the subject: â??The boss is an idiot… But of course, heâ??s also smart enough to hire me.â?

Any such habit can be temporary. When it is no longer convenient, you can replace it with something else.

About the author

Pascale Barrow, editor of Insider Secrets will bring you ideas so ingenious that just one idea you read today could be the one you’ve been searching for. Packed full of actionable tips and advice from experts in every field: business, personal finance, tax, alternative health, sex, careers, and business opportunities… visit www.fsp.co.za 

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