There are numerous behavioral problems that an adult can have, and some of them may even be more than just behavioural. First, it’s important to understand the difference. If you have an addiction problem, studies have shown that this is more like a brain disorder, and actual illness, rather than a behavioural problem.
Behaviors aren’t always easy to let go of, and some of them are technically still in line with addiction. Once you cut your addiction to something, you still need to try to change the behaviours that go along with that addiction; like putting a cigarette in your mouth, or snacking when you are bored.
Realize The Patterns
Changing behaviours and addictions both take learning patterns. Maybe you smoke a cigarette every morning when you wake up, or maybe you get in a screaming match with your significant other every morning. You see that there is a pattern, so you need to figure out what the trigger might be, but more about that later.
If your habit of anger, smoking, eating, drugs, drinking, or whatever, are something that you do at the same times each day, you need to break up that pattern. Get up earlier, eat lunch in a different place, take a different route to work. Do anything that gets you off track, even just a little bit.
You may notice that when you do the rest of your day in a different order, or change up the way you normally do some things, you may not smoke or eat at certain times, when you normally would. You may start to snack less, or maybe you notice you smoke fewer cigarettes each day.
Recognize The Trigger
Certain things trigger addicts to take a pill or alcoholics to take a drink. Triggers can make you angry, they can make you sad, and sometimes they can make you happy. A trigger can be a person, place or thing.
Maybe a memory triggers your depression and makes you eat. Maybe drinking alcohol socially makes you need a cigarette. These types of things need to be noticed and realized in order to stop letting them cause you to do whatever behavioural (or addictive) behavior you’ve been doing.
While not all triggers can be avoided (like your in-laws) you can take some time to learn some meditative skills, or how to be more aware in any situation. If you are focusing on something else, you’ll be less likely to focus on that bad habit
The key is change. Change the way you do things. Even addicts need to make changes post recovery. They may need to change careers, change friends, or simply change their daily schedule.