How to Break Bad Habits with Brain Science – The Ultimate Guide
The ability to break bad habits is one of the most powerful abilities we have. Not only is it possible to change bad behaviors, but changing them consistently can lead to significant improvements in our lives.
The power of habits lies in their consistency and their predictability. Once we learn how habits work, it’s easy to change old ones into new ones. This article will explore the mechanics of habits and how changing a routine can break bad ones without leaving a trace.
Habits are a part of the nervous system, which is one of the most complex systems in existence. The human brain has an incredible amount of cells, with more than 100 billion neurons in the brain alone.
Each neuron is connected to roughly 10,000 other neurons. This means that there are more than 1 quadrillion connections in our brains! The complexity of these connections cannot be overstated.
It’s not just the sheer volume of these connections that makes our brains so complex, but also how they interact with one another. These interactions take place on a microscopic level and can occur within milliseconds.
This means that our brains are capable of making millions upon millions of decisions every second. That number becomes even more overwhelming when you consider that each decision can have an effect on every other decision made by your brain at any given moment!
It’s almost impossible to comprehend how complex the human brain is, yet it’s only one part of what makes us who we are. Our bodies, emotions and experiences all play a role in how we think, act and feel every day.
The ability to break bad habits is just one small part of what makes us unique as individuals. We all have different goals and different dreams for ourselves, some big and some small. Breaking bad habits isn’t always easy but it can lead to significant improvements in your life if you put effort into it over time!
What are habits?
Habits are routines that we perform every day that tend to become second nature. We learn to do tasks while doing them, and the result is a habit that we can “turn off” when we’re not interested. This is why they’re also called learned behaviors. What are habits are actually doing is helping your brain learn new tasks and switch off when you’re not interested.
Why is habit-forming behavior so difficult to change?
Habits are hard to change because they’re automatic and intrinsic to our nature. We’re not doing anything different with our behaviors, we’re simply performing them automatically as if we were not thinking about it.
If you want to change a habit, you need to consciously try to perform the behavior or think about doing so. While habits are not bad per se, once you understand how they work, you’ll see that they can become a strong source of stress in your life.
How do you change a habit?
The process of changing a habit is very simple, but it’s also very difficult. It takes time, patience and effort. It’s not simply a matter of deciding to change something in our lives.
We need to make a conscious effort to replace the old behavior with the new one. The most important thing is to be patient and try not to get frustrated if you don’t see results right away.
What are the different types of habits?
Habits can be either good or bad depending on what they are – good habits are called “good” and bad habits are called “bad” for a reason! In general, there are two types of habits: repeated actions and learned behaviors (mental processes).
Repeated actions include things like brushing your teeth, driving your car or eating food; learned behaviors include things like adding numbers in your head, remembering names or speaking in public – all things that we learn how to do over time.
There is no difference between these two types except that repeated actions tend to be physical while learned behaviors tend to be mental. It doesn’t really matter which type your habit is because they both work the same way!
The Role of Neuroscience in Changing Habits
When we were growing up, there was probably a good reason why you always wiped your feet before you went to bed. Oftentimes, these habits are learned early in life, so it’s possible that your sleeping habits were formed during a time when you didn’t have much experience with waking up early.
Neurobiologists have established that habits are formed through specific neuronally-based processes. These processes are similar to how our muscles and senses work, and they’re what allows us to form new habits.
The power of repetition
Repetition is the key to forming new habits. It’s what gives behaviors the consistency that allows them to become automatic. As a habit-forming behavior becomes an ingrained part of your life, it will be harder for you to change.
For example, brushing your teeth for two minutes every morning became a habit because you made it a part of your morning routine. If you woke up and found that you hadn’t brushed your teeth for two hours, it would be really difficult for you to start over.
The psychology of habit formation
When you form habits, you weaken the connections between neurons in your brain. This means that once you form a habit, it’s much harder for you to break the habit.
As a result, forming habits can actually have a positive effect on your brain health. For example, regularly taking antibiotics can strengthen your immune system, allowing you to fight off illness longer term.
How to break bad habits with brain science
What makes a habit bad? The short answer is that habits are negatively reinforcing. That is, habits cause you to feel bad, like when you don’t perform the habit you love, you get a slap in the face. Let’s look more closely at what that means.
Negatively Reinforcing Activities –
When we do a habit, whether it be brushing our teeth or walking to work, we feel good. We feel content and optimistic. We might even feel “at ease” while performing the activity. However, this is usually because we’re doing the activity we love.
However, when we don’t do the activity, we feel bad. We might even experience negative mood swings while in a “not-doing” state.
For example, if you stop walking to work and start watching TV, you’re probably going to feel bad during the first few hours of not walking. However, as the routine becomes second nature, you’ll start to feel less and less bad as the day passes.
The Power of Self-Referral in Breaking Bad Habits
When you give a behavior a name, you open the door to a world of opportunities.
For example, you may have always wanted to “run” to work, but you didn’t know how to start the run. Once you defined what you were trying to do during the run, you were able to separate your feelings about not “running” from the actual activity.
If you want to change a bad habit, you can think of ways to self-refer to change it. For example, if you want to change your eating habits, you could say to yourself, “I don’t want to eat that again, so I’m going to try to avoid it.” If a certain activity gives you stress or causes you to hit a low point, you can say “I’m going to take a break from that until I feel better.”
In this way, you are giving the behavior a name and a plan. This is the first step in getting rid of it.
The Power of Self-Referral in Making New Habits
It’s easy to get caught up in feeling bad (or good) about yourself for your current habits. However, it’s important to understand that you’re not your habits. In fact, you can be completely different than what you do at any given moment.
You can change your habits by doing something new or different. Once you start defining what you want to do instead of your old habits, you’ll see that there is always an alternative action to take.
For example, if you don’t like what happens when you watch TV after work, try reading a book instead. If this doesn’t feel right either, try going for a walk outside or calling up a friend on the phone instead of watching TV.
It might take some time to find something that works for your lifestyle and personality – but once you do it will feel great!
A Few Key Takeaway
The more often you do something, the easier it becomes to do automatically. The process of changing a bad habit is similar to learning a new language.
At first, you might be unable to understand a word someone is saying, but as you become more proficient, you’ll understand more and more things automatically.
When you want to change a bad habit, picture yourself performing the activity you want to stop doing and see how you feel. If you feel good, then the activity is likely a habit you can break. If not, it’s time to re-evaluate your life and see what areas can use some improvement!
Also Read – How to Keep Your Consistency when Life Throws Your Curveballs