How Habits Are Changing My Life
One of the most difficult changes to make in your life is breaking bad habits. There are many habits that we have gotten into over the years that just seem to grow stronger with time and perhaps no one seems to be able to get rid of them. Habits do not mean you are lazy or a slacker; it means you are habitual.
One habit that seems to grow in strength over time is compulsive eating. A person may eat uncontrollably for no apparent reason. They may see a large amount of weight gain and are unsure why. They can’t control their compulsions to eat and find themselves picking at and deleting the calories from their bodies in an attempt to bring the numbers down. This habit is usually reinforced by the reward of food: the larger the reward, the more the compulsive eater feels compelled to continue.
Another habit to get out of hands is smoking. People may feel like they can never stop, even if they are aware of all the dangers of smoking. Others seem to be able to fight their addiction and keep it under control but then slip back into bad habits as soon as they start smoking again. Either way, quitting smoking requires a change in thinking and will power. Many smokers have found that simply changing the place they smoke can help them to quit for good.
Some habits that are hard to break are those that are difficult to do even when the brain is distracted. One such habit is reading. Reading habit is similar to nicotine habit: once you are hooked, you will struggle to not look at a book. This means you will need to focus your mind on a task while your eyes are glued to the book, or you will need to focus so much on the book you don’t stop reading until the book is finished.
To break habits, your brain has to be prepared to shift its attention from one habit to another. For instance, if you smoke after eating, your brain is now thinking about having another cigarette. If you smoke right before sleeping, your brain is now thinking about that third cigarette. The trick is to condition your mind to perform any task with an eye to completing your current one. To achieve this, you must find a way to get yourself in the habit of performing the task, which requires the use of willpower.
Changing behaviors is easier than you think. You might think that it is too difficult to exercise willpower every day when there are so many temptations to smoke. However, if you look closely at your own behavior, habits are easy to change. If you brush your teeth twice a day instead of three times, you will soon find that your habit of smoking is on its way out. It is just a matter of finding a new behavior that requires the use of your willpower.