How to Replace Bad Habits with Good Ones: The Science of “Habit Management”

Written by Dr. Stephen Kraus, Success Scientist

Few things are more difficult than kicking bad habits or developing more positive ones. But it is definitely worthrepparttar effort. Bad habits like smoking, overeating or self-criticism shorten lives and lead to underachievement, and unsuccessful attempts to change them lower self-esteem.

In contrast, good habits create a kind of “success auto-pilot,” leading to greater accomplishment with less thought and less effort.

So how do you best eliminate bad habits and create good ones? Research fromrepparttar 126153 new field of “positive psychology” –repparttar 126154 scientific study of happy, successful people – points to at least four proven techniques for successful habit management.

1. Replace a bad habit with a good one. Completely eliminating a habit is much harder than replacing it with a more productive habit. Studies of people who compulsively bite their fingernails have shown that it is very difficult for them to completely give up their habit, and much easier for them to substitute biting withrepparttar 126155 more productive habit of grooming their nails.

Similarly, people who talk too much during meetings struggle to become silent, but find it much easier to replace their compulsive talking with highly attentive listening.

2. Exercise. A habit of regular exercise is obviously important for lasting weight loss. But you may not realize that exercise helps in accomplishing a variety of goals, and in eliminating a number of bad habits.

Frequent exercise helps break habits of overeating, and in kicking all kinds of addictions, particularly if exercise is substituted for an end-of-the-day cocktail or cigarette. Among smokers who become competitive runners, for example, over 80% give up smoking.

How to Get Happiness

Written by Susan Dunn, MA, Emotional Intelligence Coach

I’m a coach who works with clients on personal and professional development issues. While no client has ever specifically asked me to help them become “happier,” I think it’srepparttar purpose, yes? Our goals, plans and dreams are all designed to make us happier.

But what happens when we achieve a goal? Well, have you ever talked to someone who finally got a book published, or won a political campaign, foundrepparttar 126152 partner they wanted, hadrepparttar 126153 new baby, or gotrepparttar 126154 big promotion and found them somewhat down inrepparttar 126155 dumps after a week or so?

It’s a law of physics and a law of emotions that what goes up must come down. We need our successes, and certainly to have our goals and to reach them. This makes life interesting, allows us to explore ourselves and our potentials and talents, gives us a livelihood, and enriches our lives. We celebrate our successes with great joy and happiness, but this can only be a temporary state. What then?

Authentic and lasting happiness is a state of being not a state of mind. It must come from inner states, not external events. When you develop your emotional intelligence, you’re more likely to achieve this state. It allows you to conduct yourself in happiness, in a positive state, through allrepparttar 126156 ups and downs of life.

Why develop your emotional intelligence? As W. L. Shirer wrote, “Most true happiness comes from one’s inner life, fromrepparttar 126157 disposition of mind and soul. Admittedly, a good inner life is hard to achieve, especially in these trying times. It takes reflection and contemplation and self-discipline.”

These are all emotional intelligence competencies which you can develop. It’s well worth your time. Instead of focusing on “time management,” or “stress management,” or “leadership,” or “communication,” go torepparttar 126158 foundational level and develop your emotional intelligence. Instead of taking a part, grabrepparttar 126159 whole. It will keep you offrepparttar 126160 “pleasure roller coaster,” where you expect momentary highs to last forever, or to sustain you throughrepparttar 126161 inevitable challenges.

If you expectrepparttar 126162 highs to continue indefinitely, you’re going to be disappointed. You have to be able to appreciate, as well, slow days, calm days, boring days, andrepparttar 126163 ordinary day because on some days that’srepparttar 126164 reality, and all we have isrepparttar 126165 day we have. You can stay present, instead of going intorepparttar 126166 future or back intorepparttar 126167 past.

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