It’s simple: good habits make your life better while bad habits make it worse. It’s also complex: bad habits are hard to break.

For instance, if you feel sick and tired much of the time, it may be because some habit is compromising your health and well-being. It might be anything from eating unhealthy foods to smoking cigarettes and more.

Here are 5 ways that you can replace bad habits with good ones:

  1. Notice the payoff. 

Understanding why you have a bad habit will help you to find what need it satisfies. Often a bad habit may exist because it relieves stress or alleviates boredom. The bad habit offers a psychological reward: a change in your emotional state.

  1. Substitute the payoff.

Since you now recognize why you have a bad habit, you’re in a position to find something else that will give you the psychological payoff you’re seeking.

If you eat unhealthy foods, then it’s because you have a craving for comforting foods. Replace your snacks with healthier foods, foods that not only taste good but that are also good for you.

If you addictively smoke tobacco cigarettes, then it’s because you have a craving for the calm feeling that nicotine gives you. Replace cigarette smoking with e-liquid & vape juice options. This will calm you without the toxic effects of tobacco and other cigarette additives.

  1. Cut out the need for a payoff.

If you have a strong urge to do something, then find the root cause for that need and satisfy it.

For instance, if you are always irritated by slow drivers on the road and you have an urge to yell and scream at them, then you have a need for control. One way to cut the need for control is to practice mindfulness and meditation. These disciplines will help you to have a more accepting attitude toward yourself and other people.

  1. Surround yourself with like-minded people. 

Many of our dysfunctional emotional reactions occur because we feel lonely and vulnerable. We don’t feel heard or understood by the people in our lives. As a result, we crave emotional support. A simple way to overcome this issue is to befriend people who are more like you, people who share your interests and your values.

If, for instance, you love to read English literature, but don’t know other people who share your literary interests, then you may feel isolated because you have no one to share your insights, inspiration, and ideas with after you’ve just finished a wonderful book.  You can surround yourself with other literary aficionados by joining a book club.

  1. Change your self-talk and self-image.

Often our problems are not caused by the environment but generated from within.

If, for instance, you constantly feel frustrated with everything around you, it may not be because people around you are incompetent or obstructive. It could be because you are excessively self-critical, only noticing what’s goes wrong and never appreciating what works.

If you are the cause of your own frustration, then you must change the words you say to yourself. By regarding yourself with more compassion, you will change your inner dialogue. Instead of criticizing yourself, you’ll start encouraging yourself.

Another reason that you may be pessimistic is that you have a negative view of yourself. You see yourself as someone who always fails at everything. You are emotionally charged with feelings of fear, anger, and frustration. All this will change when you train yourself to see yourself as succeeding wonderfully. As try to live up to this new self-image by doing more constructive things, then you will be able to accomplish your goals.

In summary, you can improve the quality of your life by removing bad habits. Some ways to do this include noticing the payoff for bad habits, finding positive habits that give you the same payoff, cutting out the emotional need that makes you crave the payoff, surrounding yourself with like-minded people, changing your self-talk, and visualizing yourself succeeding. If you persistently practice these five new habits, you’ll notice how much things improve.