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How are our habits formed and how can they be changed?

BingMag.com <b>How</b> are <b>our</b> <b>habits</b> <b>formed</b> and <b>How</b> <b>can</b> <b>they</b> be changed?

Most habits shape the structure of our daily lives without our realizing it. When we recognize a bad habit, we often try to change it only with the help of our willpower, while this approach is rarely effective.

Sometimes, we decide to make changes in our daily lives. create. For example, exercise more, complete tasks on time, or learn a new skill. Then we plan to achieve these goals and try to stick to it by strengthening our will. But in the end, like most people, we fail. In these cases, various factors can cause us to fail. For example, the journey to the club may be longer than we previously thought, or we may be so tired at night that we can not spend time learning something new.

Most people start blaming themselves at such times. they do. But behavioral researchers believe that behavior can be rarely given by strengthening the will. In other words, people who can make lasting changes are less likely than other human beings to use their willpower and instead know How to form good habits and replace them with bad habits.

habits of life they shape us

Research shows that people act on their habits much more than we know. Undoubtedly, humans have advanced brains that are capable of creativity, problem solving, and planning. But the daily habits or behaviors that we do every day without thinking are what determine How we spend our time and energy. According to research, about 40% of our daily behaviors are habits, so it is important to take a closer look at habits and their impact on our lives.

What is a habit?

BingMag.com <b>How</b> are <b>our</b> <b>habits</b> <b>formed</b> and <b>How</b> <b>can</b> <b>they</b> be changed?

habits are automatic behaviors that occur in response to environmental cues such as time or place, without the intention of doing so. Things like checking email as soon as you get to work, walking a certain route home every evening, biting your nails when you're nervous, checking social media news every night before bed, and are all habits. habits are formed when you are rewarded for a behavior and, like Pavlov dogs, may not even realize that you are learning something new. Powell was a Russian physiologist who noticed that every time a colleague entered the room, even if he did not have food with him, the dogs' saliva began to secrete. In fact, dogs linked their entry to food and therefore reacted to it by secreting saliva.

How do habits take shape?

When exposed to something pleasurable The brain releases a neurotransmitter or neurotransmitter called dopamine, which makes you feel good. Therefore, you are motivated to repeat that behavior to be rewarded again with dopamine secretion. Over time, the connection between stimulus, behavior, and reward is stored in parts of the brain, such as the ganglia and the striatum, that are associated with emotion and implicit learning.

For example, reviewing nightly news is at least sometimes possible Is enjoyable. So without even realizing it, you do it at bedtime, hoping it will release dopamine again. Very soon, this habit is stored in your brain and hardly changes.

habits remain even when the rewards are over

BingMag.com <b>How</b> are <b>our</b> <b>habits</b> <b>formed</b> and <b>How</b> <b>can</b> <b>they</b> be changed?

Over time, some habits can become so entrenched that they persist even after the reward is over. In a study of changing habits, researchers tried to force people to change a simple behavior in their workplace and use stairs instead of elevators. Researchers talked to participants about the benefits of using stairs, such as reducing electricity consumption and increasing physical activity, but there was no change in their behavior.

Thus, the researchers slowed down the elevator doors by 16 seconds. , So that one third of people were encouraged to use the stairs. An important finding of this study was that even after elevator speed returned to normal, employees adhered to their habits and continued to use stairs.

habits rarely change with knowledge, planning, or will

On the other hand, willpower, explicit knowledge (such as the ability to tell the truth), and planning are driven primarily by the forehead or frontal cortex. The frontal cortex is the most advanced part of the brain, and because it is separate from the habit storage, it alone cannot directly change habits.

habits are stored in a memory system that we do not have access to. Researchers say this helps keep our most important information safe and secure from change. For example, just as educating staff about the benefits of using stairs does not reduce elevator use, educating people about healthy eating is unlikely to change their diet.

How can you change your habits? Change?

BingMag.com <b>How</b> are <b>our</b> <b>habits</b> <b>formed</b> and <b>How</b> <b>can</b> <b>they</b> be changed?

The following tips will help you change your habits:

A habit Create a new one

The best way to change a habit is to replace it with a new one; That means you have to show a new behavior in a certain context, get rewarded, and repeat that behavior again.

Of course, this advice is easier said than done. Forming new habits is challenging because of what psychologists call "friction." Friction refers to obstacles such as distance, time and effort that get in the way of forming habits.

Create a Useful Environment

One of the best ways to overcome friction is to create an environment. Which makes doing new behavior easy and satisfying. The new environment ideally reduces the old symptoms that lead to bad habits and increases the symptoms that play a role in creating good habits. One of the most important things you can do to change your behavior is to pay attention to your surroundings. We all need an environment that makes it easier for us to achieve our goals.

This is where your planning and thinking comes into play. If going to the gym is a hassle or you do not want to do it, do your favorite sports at home and always leave your clothes and sports equipment in a place where you can easily access them. Or if you want to read a book before going to bed instead of checking your cell phone, put your phone away from the bed at night and read one of your favorite books.

Final Word

Even ordinary habits can be helpful. Given that habits consume very little of the power of the brain, they leave your mind free for other things. For example, you can call your mother while driving or think about important goals in your life. When you practice enough on one thing that you can do without thinking, you will be able to do other things as well.

This is for educational and informational purposes only. Be sure to consult a specialist before using the recommendations in this article. For more information, read the BingMag Meg Disclaimer .

Source: bigthink

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