Habits are the habits that we have developed over a period of time that help us to cope with whatever life throws at us. We all have habits but they can become an unwanted habit. Such habits can include eating the same food everyday, doing the same things repeatedly, not taking a walk, or sitting at the same place. All these habits contribute to the rise of stress in our lives. Some habits we are not aware of while others are consciously controlled but nevertheless cause us great stress.
For example, if you eat habitually and experience no change in your physique, then it is safe to assume that you are suffering from a dietary habit. Habits like this are called repetitive habits. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a habit as “a fixed pattern of activity; a set of repeated physical or emotional actions or thoughts.” A habitual or repeated act of the body is one which is regularly carried out without fail on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. In other words, it is a pattern of habitual behavior. A habit is a pattern of habitual behavior and yet often the body is unaware of it until it is too late.
Habits can be a form of repetitive actions which can be difficult to give up when the routine is so ingrained in your mind that you just cannot imagine giving it up. One example of a habit could be repeating your breathing as you go to sleep every night or that you need to write down everything that you read in your daily newspaper. A habit loop is a term used by those practicing behavioral modification or habit reversal training. This simply means that for any given routine to be broken, you must trigger the break from the routine.
Habits can also be broken down into smaller components such as the number of minutes you spend on each task like exercising, eating, cleaning your house, or watching TV. These habits can be broken down further such as the number of repetitions you make for every task, the time you decide to exercise, how many times you eat or drink every day, the time you clean your house, etc. Again these habits and behaviors can be broken down even more into smaller steps like the amount of time you spend on task x, the time you decide to eat, etc. These smaller steps in breaking habits can be extremely beneficial because it breaks down the habits into more manageable pieces.
Habits can also be broken down to more than just a few steps such as the amount of time you spend on each task required for performing that task. These habits can also be broken down into smaller components such as the time it takes for you to get up in the morning, the time you decide to eat, how often you decide to exercise, the time you clean your house, and other similar components. In order to change habits, you must first replace the bad behaviors with new, effortless behaviors.
The best way to develop good habits is to first break them down into their small components. For example, if you want to lose weight, instead of just focusing on one aspect of diet and eating, breaking the diet down into several steps such as portion sizes, portion frequency, the types of foods you eat, and other factors will help you change into a more healthy lifestyle. Similarly, by replacing bad habits with new, easy habits, such as making a schedule for your daily activities, having a set time for sleeping, spending time on relaxing activities, and so on, you can begin to shift your life in the right direction. This shift will require that you put some effort into changing your life; however, once you have made the changes you want, you will find that the effort is well worth it.