UNITED STATES─Is it possible to break a bad habit? That is a question that I have been grappling with for years and I mean years. I feel like once you have a habit it is nearly impossible to break it no matter what you do. This is particularly relevant for children, as well as adults.

Kids are probably the smartest creatures in the world and at very young ages they are quite impressionable. You might say what do you mean? Kids mimic what they see, specifically adults and little kids. I mean if they see you doing something they’ll watch and after seeing it a few times they immediately attempt to mimic what you’re doing. My niece is a perfect example of this. She didn’t use to whine as much, but lately she has picked up a very bad habit from her cousin, where she throws tantrums and fits when she is not allowed to get her way or do what she wants.

Yeah, it’s a test for my sister, who is working overtime to break the bad habit because it’s crucial to teach her now that she is not always going to get her way, and working to end that bad habit of throwing tantrums is going to be important moving forward. It is much easier to break a bad habit of child than it is for an adult. You might be saying why? However, once an adult has a bad habit in their daily conundrum, good luck if you can rid that bad habit from their life.

There are people who baffle my brain as to why they constantly leave dirty dishes with food next to the sink instead of discarding of that food in the trash that is RIGHT NEXT TO THE COUNTERTOP, and placing the dish in the sink. Like is it really going to kill you to take a few more seconds to do something that others do all the time?

This is where reverse psychology becomes a must. You take that plate or those dishes and return them to the place they originally had them. Oh, I have an even better idea: place those dirty dishes in their bedroom or a place they constantly relax at. Cause a bit of friction so they can see the issue right in front of them and not be allowed to ignore it. So we’ve talked a bit about bad habits, so what can we do to fix them, especially if we have a bad habit that we’re trying to curb.

I know some of you might be thinking, I smoke, I drink, I swear, and those are indeed bad habits that can be fixed as time progresses. However, you have to remember that a bad habit and an addiction are not the same thing. Bad habits are sometimes things you just do, where an addiction is something you utilize to cope with each day. I would argue an addiction is much harder to break than a bad habit because you’re actively working against chemicals in the brain where you might feel joy or happiness that are triggered by such addictive behavior. The issue of addiction is a whole other column that we just do not have enough time to discuss today, but we will address it.

The key with any bad habit is to acknowledge that you know it’s a bad habit, once you do that, it becomes easier to find a way to curb that habit or to do things that will completely eliminate it from your life. Will it be easy? Of course not, but with a little bit of persistence and dedication, you can make it happen.

Written By Zoe Mitchell