How do you break a habit?

It can be hard to break the habit of constantly checking your phone. (Image credit: Maskot via Getty Images)

(opens in new tab)

We all form habits, behaviors that we perform automatically in response to a cue or trigger. Habits can be good, bad or benign. The best ones produce beneficial effects without requiring too much brainpower, like regular time with a loved one. But some—like emotional eating or spending money to relieve stress—can have long-term negative effects and often need to be broken.

But how do you break a habit? There are three strategies, according to Benjamin Gardner (opens in new tab), an associate professor of psychology at the University of Surrey in the UK who studies habits. There is no “best approach” as it depends on the behavior you want to avoid.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *