Thursday, October 29, 2020

5 Habits That Are Hard to Quit.

September 26, 2020 by  
Filed under Health, Opinion, Weekly Columns

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( Having a habit can be a trying thing to deal with. Sure, you have minor habits that don’t put your life and that of those around you at risk but the ones that do tend to be the hardest to quit. Sometimes, the minor habits just become a regular part of your life and can be viewed as “Oh, that’s just a quirk of theirs. No big deal.”

This can have the negative effect of you not addressing it. After all, it’s a quirk and it’s not harming anyone else—even if it’s worth looking at why this habit of yours exists. There’s also attempting to not qualify your habit as a habit. “Well, at least I’m not doing _____ so it’s not that serious” or “I don’t do _____ like that. I don’t have a problem.”

Here are some habits that can be hard to quit.

Chain Smoking

This is one of the hardest habits to get stuck with and try to kick. From birth to 33 years old, in had never smoked a cigarette. In 2018, I tried it for the first time during a stressful period and almost two years later, I’m still smoking. Imagine people who have been smoking since their teens or 20s. On that note, years before I started smoking, an older woman once told me that the teens and 20s are when you should be doing all the vices.

I never put much stock in it at the time. I’m more amazed at how quickly and quietly I took to smoking since I couldn’t stand cigarette smoke before. You think “I’ll try it and quit.” Sometimes, it works—especially if you didn’t enjoy it. It’s that pincer attack of either enjoying it or being indifferent that is dangerous. When I tried it, I was indifferent. It was new experience but really did something to or for me.

Unfortunately, I can’t say how to get over chain smoking since I still do it myself. There are patches, substitutes, being scared straight, and so on. However, I haven’t reached that stage where I can say “Well, this worked for me.” I’m no longer as stressed but when bored I will go smoke. I’ll also smoke if I don’t have my phone around me and to measure time.

Chain smoking isn’t so much of a habit as a behavior caused by a habit. You go from smoking regularly to smoking regularly heavily.

Binge Eating

Another tough one. I’ve dealt with this as recent as two years ago. Fortunately, I’ve managed to dial it back significantly but it was a problem for years. When it comes to binge eating, there is often some underlying issue such as an eating disorder, depression, or loneliness—which was my case. In this respect, it was a case of “eating my feelings.”

The solution isn’t as easy as saying “eat less” or “use moderation.” Since there is an underlying cause, it’s best to address it and seek professional help if needed. Like smoking, it’s a hard habit to deal with and will have an impact on your health.


This is an odd but common habit that could be dangerous. Personally, I never understood the need to speed since I make it a point to be early to wherever—or on time at minimum. That said, some folks believe they’re doing well. Basically “There’s nothing to see here. Move along” while zipping down the street and popping all the potholes and debris.

It’s understandable that they either have to get to their destination—which points to poor planning and preparation to a degree. Sometimes folks get into some really bad traffic. However, speeding just because you can or because you love speeding? C’mon, now.

The thing is, I don’t think this a hard issue to fix. I mean few people refuse to adjust their behavior when it significantly impacts their wallet. Praise them enough and reward someone with pay and they’ll get in line. Hit their cash consistently with fines and tickets and that person get it together to stop the bleeding.

When it comes to tackling habits, sometimes professional help isn’t necessary. Speeding is one of those things that you could possibly get help but for immediate effects—hit the wallet.

Heavy Drinking

This is similar to chain smoking. There’s even secondhand drinking where alcoholism can impact others. Secondhand drinking without context made me go “How?” initially but it’s a thing. Drinking takes different forms. Someone can drink socially and it has little effect on their daily life. Some people can drink heavily and be functional at work and around family.

Then you have drinking to the point where not only are you ineffective at work, you damage relationships, your academic performance drops but you’re really doing a job on your liver and aging like Emperor Palpatine from Star Wars.

Consequences can become worse if you mix heavy drinking with smoking. Even worse if you figure it’s a great idea to drink heavily and operate heavy machinery or automobiles. Drinking is something that professional help or a group would help you get over—like smoking and binge eating.

As for myself, I’m a social drinker. If I’m not at a family gathering or a get-together where the glasses, booze, and brews come out, it’s rare for me to just drink. Like smoking, I didn’t start until my early 30s and was a teetotaler since 18 mainly because I just never had an interest or saw the appeal of drinking.


Hard drug use should be mentioned and I’ve seen people deal with it but for some reason I’ve seen more people with a compulsion to steal more. I’m talking about folks who have the need to just steal stuff—minor things in most cases. It can be for the thrill of stealing or because they can’t help themselves.

On one hand, a therapist or support group can definitely help but I believe the sobering effect of getting put in the clink or hit with fines over stealing the remote from a TV display at the store hits harder and faster. These aren’t people who are professional thieves who fence hot merchandise. In most cases, they have accepted that they can go to jail and it will accept their family—but money is important.

Kleptomania is a different thing. I can see it not being hard to think “Why would I get a fine or go to jail over stealing a box of taco shells?” Until it happens because they did it too many times and got caught. There will be people who are indignant about it. There are addicts who are indignant about going to jail for drug possession and losing their jobs.

It’s those who wonder “What am I doing with my life?” after it happens who make progress in getting themselves together in that respect.

Staff Writer; M. Swift

This talented writer is also a podcast host, and comic book fan who loves all things old school. One may also find him on Twitter at; metalswift.

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