Easy ways to break ten common bad habits
2. Knuckle Cracking
Even though you may love the sensation, you probably want to stop as a courtesy to people who don't enjoy that grating sound. Dr. Claiborn recommends relying on a "competing behavior," a.k.a. doing something instead of cracking your knuckles. Punching your other hand or fanning out your fingers will prevent you from going to town on your knuckles. To crack down on cracking for good, keep a record of your successes—when you substituted another behavior for your bad habit—and your relapses. Figure out why you slipped, and you'll be closer to a knuckle-cracking-free life.
3. Gum Snapping
Again, you may enjoy that gratifying sound, but it's irritating to everyone who can hear it. So ask yourself how important it is to keep chewing gum, says Dr. Claiborn, and consider giving it up altogether. With a stick in your mouth, it's tough to resist snapping it. If you'll miss the pleasurable process, try deep breathing or a relaxation exercise—it may calm you just as effectively. On the other hand, if you chew gum to freshen your breath or stave off hunger, pop in a mint instead.
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