What role do our habits play in our lives? There are obviously good habits and bad habits. The good habits, are rituals on schedule we don’t break unless an emergency were to take place. Examples are exercising, eating right, or at the same time of day or taking vitamins to keep you healthy everyday. Examples of bad habits are overeating, addictions we take place in, on a regular basis, and bad habits we fall into, like not getting out of the home enough causing fear and anxiety. Let’s take a look at the definition of habits in our Webster Dictionary and the Daily Wisdom Words Definition.
Webster Definition-1. A settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. 2. an addictive practice, especially one of taking drugs. 2. An automatic reaction to a specific situation.
Daily Wisdom Word Definition of habits-things we do on a regular basis like clock work that can be good or bad for us.
Habits are created, not set in stone. Before creating a habit, we have to, in some way benefit or get pleasure from it. Habits can harm you if they are in control of you, rather than you controlling them. Bad habits are hard to break. Habits are found in the part of our brains called the ganglia. Your brain forms neuronal connections based on what you do repeatedly in your life, both good and bad. Every time you act the same way, a specific neuronal pattern is stimulated and becomes strengthened in your brain. Habits are the brain’s internal drivers.
How do we change our habits? It is not easy. To change an old habit you have to find out how to replace the routine, but still look forward to the same reward. There is a book worth getting if you have gotten set in bad habits worth breaking. “Tiny changes, Remarkable Results.” title, “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. Because habits are hard to break including the bad ones, because they cause our brain to literally change, if you have bad habits, it is worth reading this book.
What are your habit patterns like? It would be worth your while to think about that and write them down. This way, if you want to improve, you can change the habits you don’t like. Remember: because the brain has made autonomic changes, you do need to find a substitute that gives you the same reward.
When I think of habits, I remember my mother smoking. She made up her mind to quit, and replaced the reward of a cigarette with a stick of her favorite gum. She did not drive, for a long period of time. She overcame this bad habit by facing her fears and driving again and the feeling of independence was reward enough in itself.
Do you feel habits are extremely hard to break? Now you know why, as the brain plays such a role with them. Ask yourself what habits you would like to change. Replacing them with another habit that provides the same reward to you.
How important is it to you to change one or more habits? Below is a place where you can “join the discussion”. I would love to see either a quote, a poem, or a comment on your feelings about habits.
Thanks so much for reading and I look forward to your responses. Samantha Leboeuf/DWW
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