The Power of Habit

Press Play Button Below, Synchronize Reading & Listening "Habits Podcast" *An Audio Blog*

Habits frame one’s life way more than we probably realize. Habits are strong and the human brain clings to them. Every person has many habits. Habits are an important part of an individual. They grow stronger and become more powerful with the passage of time and slowly turn to an automated behaviour.

It is thus very important that you have the right habits as they are going to be a part of you for a long time. Habits are very powerful because they are responsible for building or creating the neurological cravings. For example, one certain behavior leads to the release of pleasure or happy hormones in the brain.

The Habit Loop

  1. Cue: A location, time of the day, some people or an emotional state.
  2. Routine: Watching TV or listening to music, smoking cigarettes, eating desserts or chocolates or nail biting.
  3. Reward: The pleasure giving hormones that are released in the brain because of such routine.

Because of the reward, the habit loop becomes stronger. The loop itself is a self-reinforcing procedure which becomes automatic over time.
When a habit is developed, the brain stops participating fully in the decision making. Understanding how habits work through, the habit loop makes it simpler to take control over them. Breaking down a habit into its own components makes it possible to change the “logic of the loop”.
Habits are embedded deeply in the structure of the brain. This actually saves us a lot of effort as we do not have to learn everything all over we do.

Have the right habits

The automating of a person’s actions frees up his energy which can then be used to focus on other tasks. This is actually advantageous for you! But if you build a bad habit, you need to change it before it gets installed in your brain. Unless, the person intentionally fights a bad habit and replaces it with new ones, the pattern will go on automatically over and over each time the habit is triggered by the cue. Our brain cannot identify the difference between the bad habits and good habits. The person is aware of it and he himself would need to change the loop. The good news here is that habits are not your destiny. You can change, ignore or replace any of the habits any time you feel like. But, the truth is that it is not easy to replace or erase a habit because one habit never completely disappears, the best thing to be done is replaced by another new habit.

The Rule of Habit Change

Habits never really go away. If you want to get rid of one, you need to distract yourself and replace it by another new habit. A bad habit cannot be extinguished, it can only be changed.

How to Develop a Keystone Habit

Most of the time, the habits get implanted in our personalities, even without being noticed. It’s just something that we repeatedly do until it becomes a part of who we are. But habits can also be cultivated intentionally. If you want to see a change, you need to repeat the action which will get you closer to that result. You need to make it a habit.

Which habits can give you in small wins for yourself?

Identify your good and bad habits. The good habits will obviously be beneficial for you and the bad ones bring you troubles.
It can small habits like watching your calories, talking morning or evening walks, eating healthy, making a to-do list, etc. Once you have identified the keystone habit repeat them consciously and consistently. This will build up the habit and eventually deliver positive effects on your life.

Overview

You know yourself in and out. You are aware of what is good and what is bad for you. So it is time to replace the bad habits and bring up new good habits for a better life ahead. The team of Living In Wellbeing is always there to assist you at whatever step you need.

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Dr Purushothaman (LivingInWellbeing)