Psychology of overcoming bad habits

Like any other human being, I have certain annoying bad habits too. They produce guilt, frustrations and we just cannot seem to get over them. Can you relate to me?

A few days ago I went to ISKCON and met a monk. And we had an hour long discussion about various mental illnesses and human behaviour. I asked him how to overcome a bad habit? I wanted to know how can I do more of what I want and less of what I dont want. Then he shared with me the below verse from Bhagavad Gita:

श्रीभगवानुवाच |
असंशयं महाबाहो मनो दुर्निग्रहं चलम् |
अभ्यासेन तु कौन्तेय वैराग्येण च गृह्यते || 35||

Bhagavad Gita: Chapter 6, Verse 35

BG 6.35: Lord Krishna said: O mighty-armed son of Kunti, what you say is correct; the mind is indeed very difficult to restrain. But by practice and detachment, it can be controlled.

The monk said “Yes it is very difficult to control our minds, behaviours and habits, but with consistent practice and detachment to the stimuli of habit will break the circle in time. So don’t stop your efforts to do the things you want to do. Keep practicing it. And become detached to the results and your failure. Practice detachment to the element of bad habit.”

These 2 techniques should go hand in hand. We often discard simple advices. I have done it many times. But we fail to realise that simple things work. This advice is working for me. I am sure it will work for you too.

Sometimes we are lost in too much analysis, thinking and reading about our problems that we forget to take action. Action is what will change our life. So we must focus on practicing what we learnt and then ocassionally revise consiously what we learnt.

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