25th June 2018
‘A habit is a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about it, but continue doing, often every day’.
Taken from the ‘Power of Habit’ by Charles Duhigg.
How many of you have a habit you would like to break from? Biting your nails? Picking up your phone every few minutes to check it? Or maybe even, saying something that you can’t seem to stop yourself from saying, however much you may want to?
Well, if this is you, have a quick read of the following to give yourself the heads up on habits.
Bear in mind that habits can be helpful. When a task or decision becomes automatic, it frees up our brains to think about other things. But whether habits are harmful, helpful or neutral, one thing is certain, they are extremely difficult to break!
So how do you break a habit?
The 3R’s of habit formation:
If the reward is positive, then you will have a desire to repeat the action the next time a reminder pops up. Eventually this repetition will form a new habit.
Reminder – the cue or trigger that starts the habit. This can be a situation or emotion.
Routine – the action you take. The automatic behaviour of the habit itself.
For example, doing breathing or energy exercises, eating regularly.
Reward- For example, your breathing or wellbeing improves, blood sugar stays balanced, energy improves. Or, you could treat yourself to a massage when 7 consecutive days of 3R behaviour is achieved. You need to find something that your brain likes in order to help it remember ‘the habit loop’ in the future.
Once you are able to link these three actions together for your own personal situations, it will enable you to consciously steer away from your bad habits.
You’re feeling bored so you get up. Your eyes stare straight at the fridge so you walk to it (the emotional and physical cue). You reach for the chocolate in the side of the fridge door (the response) and are distracted by enjoying the chocolate you eat (the reward).
Your brain then associates the fridge with the alleviation of boredom and it’s not long before you find yourself reaching for your fridge door whenever you are faced with a moment of downtime!
I find these techniques really useful and I’d love to hear if they have also helped you.