By undesirable habits we can mean many different things: addictions, watching too much TV, putting off tasks and studying,.... It can range from trivial things to drastic changes in your daily life. Addictions such as a medication addiction or an alcohol addiction can cause great harm in your life. Even postponing tasks and studying can sometimes have a big impact: you have to retake your exam, you are very behind on your tasks causing you a lot of stress, you have to retake your year,.... So it is useful to distinguish healthy habits from unhealthy ones. But how do we know when a certain habit or behavior is desirable or undesirable?

When do we speak of an undesirable habit?

We all have desires in our lives: for ourselves, for the people around us. Then we adjust our behavior to make these goals come true. One goal is already more important than another. However, there is one existential life goal, based on desires and deepest wishes for ourselves that serve to realize this life goal. Unwanted habits are habits that distract us from this life purpose. Here we should note that only undesirable habits with a greater impact are addressed, as going to bed late once and getting up tired is not going to distract you from your life purpose. It is more about unwanted habits, which are associated with high levels of stress such as depression, anxiety and even addiction. These learned habits in turn have multiple consequences that cause us to experience more stress, depression and anxiety, which completes the vicious cycle of unwanted habits.

The why behind the undesirable habit!

If we know that drugs and alcohol are not good for us, why do some people consume them anyway (on a frequent basis)? Addictions and sometimes undesirable habits in general can be ways to cover up or temporarily eliminate negative emotions such as anxiety, depression, stress,... to cover up or push away temporarily. However, this is never long-lasting, as these feelings often come back stronger from the moment you stop consuming a particular substance or stop engaging in a particular unwanted habit. Unwanted habits are therefore not a solution to negative emotions and their processing.

Habits arise from a concatenation of a thought, a feeling and a behavior in a particular situation. For example, this could be 'I'm stressed at work, I need to find a way to be less stressed' and consuming a cigarette. The thought here is 'I need to find a way to be less stressed', the feeling is 'stressed' and a behavior (for solution) is consuming a cigarette. Since it would be too tiring for our brain to evaluate the situation again and again, habits are formed so that our brain does not go into 'overdrive'. So habits are a kind of automation of a certain behavior.

Choose your life!

Although habits represent automated behavior, the choice remains with you as to which behaviors you want to adopt or not. Even under the influence of addiction, this existential life purpose remains present and there is the possibility of calling it up. So at any time you can choose to adjust your habits and replace unwanted habits with desired habits in order to get closer to your life purpose. Often it is difficult for people with a particular addiction to break their addiction, as it causes negative emotions to be temporarily masked. However, changing your habits offers a long-term solution.

The "treatment" of unwanted habits consists of replacing unwanted habits with desired ones. This is done step by step, according to your individual pace, where freedom of choice is central. Replacing unwanted habits can be done in many different ways: there is no one-size-fits-all answer about how to deal with addictions. Everyone has different ways of dealing with withdrawal and preventing relapse.

The program 15Minutes4Me. com supports you by means of psycho-education and therapeutic intervention, while you determine for yourself how you would like to dress your healthy habits. In this way you can continue the learned principles and your healthy thinking process after the program to systematically get rid of disturbing undesired habits.

Unhealthy habits test?

We spoke earlier of how addiction can sometimes also cause unhealthy habits to temporarily suppress negative feelings such as stress, depression and anxiety. Would you like to know if this applies to you? Then do the free online self-test here! The test takes about 5 minutes and shows you your personal results immediately after completing it.