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!