Now that we have discussed how mental habits/addictions can have a tight grip on your life, I want to explain how you can free yourself from them for good.
Different forms of addiction have different aspects to them, but they all share one common core principle which is habit. Drug addictions have additional physical and biochemical aspects to them and mental/psychological addictions have additional security/identity aspects to them. If you were to give up a drug like heroin, you would experiences a lot more physical suffering and if you were to give up your ego, you would experience a loss of (false) identity.
You simply or not so simply as the case may be, have to give them up. You have to give up your ego and all of the mental patterns and cycles that you get a false sense of security from, just the same as you would have to give up drugs. We all know how you would give up drugs; you would have to stop taking them. It’s easy to know this as people are fully aware that they are taking them and they are also aware of how this is feeding their addiction and causing them to suffer. This doesn't mean it is easy to stop.
Unfortunately when it comes to mental addictions, people are mostly unaware of their presence in them. They often mistake their ego for who they are and would defend it. They would also deny without any thought or introspection, the possibility of even having egocentric mental patterns and habits running their lives. This happens because of a lack of awareness. The ego and these mental addictions cause vast amounts of suffering and conflict in people’s lives and if you want true inner-peace and freedom, you must be open to any possibility and willing to uncover parts of yourself that you don’t like. Anything you uncover that you don’t like about yourself isn't actually you; it would more than likely be a part of your ego that has formed through unconscious living. The uncovering of these patterns is the beginning of the end for them.
You must first work on expanding your awareness which allows you to see your mind as a separate entity to you and then with time you will become aware of its habitual patterns and how it goes about seeking temporary relief from what is basically itself.
You must then give them all up, which essentially means, stop feeding the habits. Drug habits are sustained through the consumption of the drug. Mental habits are sustained through feeding them with your focus/attention or by continuing acts such as gossiping that is feeding your ego, so to give them up; you have to cease fueling them through these methods. The cessation of any form of habit/addiction is going to cause uneasiness and fear to arise. Don’t fuel these feelings either with your attention. You have to allow whatever arises to arise freely while abstaining from focusing or putting your attention on it. These deeply ingrained patterns which were possibly a big part of your life will take time to lessen in intensity and fade away so you have to allow for that. You must ride this phase out just the same as someone experiencing withdrawal symptoms from drugs.
Familiarize yourself with the difference between awareness and attention. Awareness is the key to their dissipation and the unveiling of your true self.