Negative habits range from the little things, such as nose-picking or nail-biting, and up to more major issues like smoking, drinking or drug dependence. They can be quite problematic and life-altering, having the lethal potential to destroy you as an individual, your relationships, and your obligations in life.
On a deeper note, these nasty habits are not actually the problem themselves. They are, in fact, symptoms that point to a more profound problem. Here are some of the root causes that may bring out your negative habits.
Fear, Depression, Lack of Focus and Lack of Motivation to Live
The most obvious example on habit development is a person suffering from autism. He or she does not have the ability to really focus on a particular thing, especially if it does not interest him or her. And this inability to focus typically results in repetitive body movements such as pacing, hand-flicking, rocking, twisting, spinning and even hitting oneself, in an attempt to tune out his surroundings.
We are like them in many ways, although not to the extreme. When we are afraid or nervous, we start biting our fingernails, shaking our leg, or rocking. When depressed, we resort to hair-pulling, stress-eating, smoking, drinking and doing drugs, in a futile attempt to tune out reality.
On a more serious level, these are only forerunners to a series of more destructive habits, such as constant self-isolation and antisocial behavior leading to spacing out. And when you are often spaced out and your mind is idle, then a domino effect follows and more bad habits develop.
Spacing Out and Too Much Idle Time
Spacing out literally means listening to your mind. Instead of focusing on the real world and being active, proactive and productive, you start following your mind and you get lost in your own little world. This becomes even more problematic if you have access to the internet, which is of course is highly educational and informative but can also be severely degrading.
A crude example is being an “avid” gamer. Online gaming, once out of hand, is one bad habit that is very hard to transcend. There has been news about a couple whose baby died due to their gaming addiction. Worst-case scenario is the internet porn addict, who wastes his time on obscenities and increasing his chances of becoming a potential sex offender.
Nothing productive in real life is achieved by these nasty habits. In fact, they are even more counter-productive and very self-destructive. “The idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” so the saying goes.