The most important factor that we can do to break the cycle is to replace the bad habit with something that is more productive. It often isn’t enough to avoid doing something because it requires you to continue to think about it without participating, so you are indirectly still sending your energy toward it. It is more beneficial to create a positive replacement that you would prefer to start doing more of instead. In doing so, you will effectively STARVE the BAD habit and NOURISH the GOOD. Pretend that both habits were represented as two plants sitting directly in front of you. Whichever plant you place in good light, give attention, and continue to water will be the one that will flourish. You won’t be continually reminded of the bad habit because you have a positive replacement to holds your attention in a fruitful way.
I once heard a story about Mother Teresa, a passionate humanitarian, regarding a response she once had to be asked to support an anti-war rally. When asked to help stand for the cause, she informed people requesting her help that she had no interest in serving protests led by ANTI-WAR slogans. Her experience and maybe her instincts told her it was more efficient to represent the PRO-PEACE stance in demonstrations because it is more efficient to serve the positive message rather than the one led by negative momentum; one is being driven by love, the other almost always hate. I believe our experiences will remind us which direction wins the long game.
Kick the bad habit, and replace it with something you LOVE.