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Truth & Character Thursdays

Habits. Good & Bad

Why are Habits Formed

Whether it’s biting your nails, cussing too much, or dialing your exes after too much wine, We all have habits in our lives. Good or bad, we’re creatures of routine. But why do you habits form? And how?

The answer is quite simple, actually. It begins with a loop, a repetition of simple behaviours. Once you’ve performed an activity, when you go to perform it again, there will be a cue in your brain prompting you to do so. Next comes the actual activity, whether it be mental, emotional, or physical, and then following it, a reward or lack thereof. something such as biting your nails can trigger a mental response which relieves anxiety or stress, which is why you do it more when you’re nervous. When you repeat this process, your brain recognizes this activity as a stress reliever. 

Now, when you experience stress, your brain will give you the cue or trigger to begin performing this activity, because it knows that there is the reward of relaxation. The same is true of any habit. 

When it develops, it becomes fully automatic, and is no longer a conscious decision to partake in the activity. This means that in order to break a habit, you must consciously decide not to participate. 

It’s easy to develop new habits, whether we want to or not. Keep in mind that this can happen whether or not you’re intending to create a new pattern in your life, and be mindful of what you make routine!

Recommended Book

The Power of Habit

Feb 28, 2012
ISBN: 9780679603856

Interesting Fact #1

About 40% of all activities performed in a day is routine.

SOURCE

Interesting Fact #2

It takes an average of 66 days to form a new habit.

SOURCE

Interesting Fact #3

There is something called “keystone habits” which set off chain reactions and affect other habits. Ex. when people start exercising, they often become more productive in other areas of their lives. It affects much more than just their exercise.

SOURCE

Quote of the day

First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits, or they’ll eventually conquer you.

- Rob Gilbert

Article of the day - Habit Formation

What Is Habit Formation?

Habit formation is the process by which new behaviors become automatic. Someone who instinctively reaches for a cigarette after waking up has a habit. But so does the person who feels inclined to lace up her running shoes and hit the streets as soon as she gets home.

Old habits can be difficult to break, and healthy habits are often harder to develop than one would like. That's because the behavioral patterns we repeat most often are etched into our neural pathways. The good news is that, through repetition, it's possible to form—and maintain—new habits. And even long-time habits that are detrimental to one’s health and well-being can be shaken with enough determination and a smart approach.

How to Build Better Habits

Whether the ultimate aim is to end a disruptive habit or to establish a new one, behavior change can be tough. Excuses, fatigue, and the vagueness of our goals can spell doom for such endeavors. With some focus, however, these obstacles can be overcome.

Experts advise that strategies such as creating a specific and reasonable goal for change, being mindful of how one’s environment influences the effort to make progress toward it, and looping in other people who care about one’s progress can all help 

Question of the day - What's one good established habit in your routine?

Habits. Good & Bad

What's one good established habit in your routine?