Saturday, 23 June 2012

Habits and how to change them

The advantage of not being a student is that I can do pretty much whatever I want while I'm not working. No worries about exams or studying after classes. Time to train, to party, to read, to cook, etc.

So last night I've finished reading this book about habits. I've decided to bought it because I was curious why I was doing some activities without even thinking.

This book shows some clues about what is an habit and why we do it and like the title says "Why we do what we do and how to change". The book also gives an overview on how companies are now working to use our habit formations to sell and market products to us.

Think about something it took you a really long time to learn, like how to parallel park. At first, parallel parking was difficult and you had to devote a lot of mental energy to it. But after you grew comfortable with parallel parking, it became much easier — almost habitual, you could say.

Parallel parking, gambling, exercising, brushing teeth and every other habit-forming activity all follow the same behavioral and neurological patterns. 

So how do habits form? Simple. It turns out that every habit starts with a pattern called a "habit loop," which is a three-part process. First, there's a cue, that tells the brain to go into automatic mode and let a behaviour unfold.
Then there's the routine, which is the behavior itself and that's what we think about when we think about habits. The third step is the reward: something that the brain likes that helps it remember the "habit loop" in the future.

Some habits are good some don't. Like eating while watching TV or others.

So how can we change them? By simply change the routine.

A good read to understand my good and bad habits and how to change them. I'm going to apply the methods explained to change some of my life routines.

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