Breaking Bad Habits With Pat Mesiti

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( — December 8, 2013) New York, NY — 

If you are like most people, you have a bad habit. According to Pat Mesiti, it does not mean you are a drug addict or smoke too much. Bad habits include things like eating just before bedtime (or after), drinking too much coffee, biting your fingernails or anything considered bad that you do often. Because it is a habit, you will not be able to stop doing it easily and sometimes, you may not even want to. Many bad habits are relatively harmless, but others are dangerous and expensive. If you are looking to ditch such a habit, read on for some tips from Pat Mesiti, an expert on mindset.

Bad Habits and Why We Form Them

Food, coffee and even relationships are things we can make a habit of. The habit typically begins because these things feel good, taste good or are good for our lifestyles. Of course, repetition and overdoing it turn those good things into bad things. You can become addicted to a great many things. That is why Mesiti says we need to be careful for “our well-being.” In short, if you want to be healthy mentally and physically, you need to get hold of your bad habit.

Pat Mesiti says that every bad habit is kickable using relatively the same process for each habit. The bottom line is changing the root of the problem. Every habit comes from a desire for something good. We are soothing ourselves, comforting ourselves and lifting our spirits. Whatever the habit is takes that role. We are using substances, repetition, food and even intimacy as a means to an end that each item is not intended for.

Forming a Bad Habit

Temptation is the path to a bad habit. We all get tempted by things. Attractive people, delicious foods, intoxicating substances and affection can tempt you at any time. That temptation sets you on the path to having a habit or worse. Once you give in, it is easier to give in again and again until you barely have time to be tempted before you give in to your habit. Sometimes, we beat ourselves up for not having more self-control, which only makes us glummer and gives us more need for whatever act, person, etc. that gives us the boost we are seeking. This is how the cycle Mesiti speaks of perpetuates.

There are any number of triggers for a habit. Take nail biting for example. You may bite and chew your nails when you are stressed out. Stresses are possible at any time. You may wake up and go to turn off the alarm clock only to knock over a glass of water. You can get stuck in traffic. You may have to give a presentation at work. There is no escape from the potential for stress. There will always be things that can trigger a bad habit. Life is too full of them for avoidance to be an option. It is all about getting rid of the inclination, not the trigger.

Breaking Bad Habits

The following are Pat Mesiti’s five steps for breaking bad habits:

1. Acknowledge that you have a bad habit and commit to getting ride of it.

2. Figure out exactly what it is that triggers your habit.

3. Reach out. You do not have to break your bad habit alone. Tell friends and family that you intend to kick the habit and let them know that you need their assistance. Do not be afraid to reach out to professionals, either. They can give you great tools.

4. Breaking a habit can be a life long effort, though it certainly gets much easier over time. Therefore, you have to make long-term goals and strategies. Tell yourself what you will do if you make a mistake. Map out a game plan for when a trigger hits. If you have to, fill the gap where the habit used to be with something positive or neutral. Used to nail bite? Hum to yourself instead.

5. The last step is simple. Reward yourself for your successes.

Stick with your plan and get in a good mindset. Be good to yourself when you succeed and always be accountable when you do not. Breaking a bad habit takes time, but according to Pat Mesiti the return on investment is worth it.