Habits are the small decisions you make and actions you perform every day. According to researchers at Duke University, habits account for about 40 percent of our behaviors on any given day. Your life is essentially the sum of your habits. how successful or unsuccessful you are? A result of your habits. How happy or unhappy you are? A result of your habits. How in shape or out of shape you are? A result of your habits.
Essentially habits form the person you are, the things you believe and the personality that you portray. So, lets discuss the habit loop, distinguish bad and better habits and how they can transform your life. Remember you have the ability to break from whatever chain of habits you are enslaved to.
The Habit Loop
Firstly, a habit is build through four simple steps; cue, craving, response and reward. Let’s break this pattern with a simple example. Your phone buzzes with a new text message, that’s the cue. A cue simply triggers your brain to initiate a behavior.
The second step involves you wanting to learn the contents of the message, that’s the craving. Cravings are the motivational force behind every habit. Every craving is linked to a desire to change your internal state. You do not crave smoking a cigarette, you crave the feeling of relief it provides. Without craving a change, we have no reason to act.
The third step is the response. You grab your phone and read the text. The actual habit you perform can take the form of an action or thought. A particular response to a craving also depends on your ability. Are you capable of doing the action? This is crucial since you cannot perform an action you are incapable of.
Finally, you satisfy your craving to read the message. Grabbing your phone becomes associated with your phone buzzing. The response delivers a reward. Rewards are the end goal of every habit. Rewards have two purposes, this involve satisfaction and teaching. Reward provide benefits on their own. A good meal will satisfy your craving for hunger. Teaching entails choosing which actions are worth remembering in future.
What causes bad habits?
Bad habits are caused by two psychological factors. This entail stress and boredom. Most of the time, bad habits are ways of dealing with stress and boredom. Activities such as overspending on a shopping spree, getting drunk, punching walls, wasting time on the internet can be a simple response to stress and boredom.
Breaking the chain of bad habits
There are many solutions to break away from this chain of bad habits. The way you response to stress and boredom is very important. Try healthy ways of dealing with stress, boredom and negativity. Go out for a walk, engage in sports, focus on your blessings, stop procrastinating, bet on yourself and learn to accept each situation you are in but don’t let engage in situation loops. Situation loops are majorly caused by overthinking and being paranoid.
Recognizing the causes of your bad habits is crucial to overcoming them. Are there certain beliefs or reasons that are behind the bad habits? Recognize them and find a healthy way to deal with them.
You don’t eliminate a bad habit, you replace it. All of the habits that you have right now – good or bad, are in your life for a reason. In some way, these behaviors provide a benefit to you even if they are bad for you in other ways.
~ have a fruitful week ~
“we choose our joys and sorrows long before we experience them.”