Habits are a powerful thing. They shape our days and, eventually, out lives. Because of that, the right habits are incredibly important for achieving our goals and getting the life we want. However, habits are difficult to change. If you have some unhealthy or unhelpful ones, it is necessary to change them in order to change your everyday life.
Why Changing Habits is So Hard and How to Do It Anyways?
Shahram Heshmat Ph.D. shared a great article about changing your habits. It points the light to the nature of habits, which explains why they are so difficult to eliminate. Based on this knowledge, he also gives some great advice on how to make this process less difficult and to successfully implement some healthy habits in your life. You can read the whole article here: https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/science-choice/201602/why-old-habits-die-hard. Here are the most interesting parts of it.
- Habitual thinking and behavior are a result of powerful neural pathways in our brains, and memories that are automatically and unconsciously accessed; we get brain chemistry rewards every time we access those memories.
- Unconscious thought processes can predetermine, without an individual’s awareness, decision-making bias and actual decision-making.
- Emotions are the key driver to decision-making, not logical, analytical thought. Our logical processes are often only rational justifications for emotional decisions.
- Your brain will put up defensive mechanisms that will try to protect you from change.
- Because the brain operates in a quantum environment, our perceptions and self-talk alter the connections and pathways in our brains. Whatever we focus our “attention” on changes or creates new brain connections.
- Individuals should focus on desired new patterns of thinking and behavior to help employees change, not analyzing and trying to fix the old patterns because the latter will only reinforce the problems.