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Humans have anxiety-related behaviours like chewing on nails, or stressing any part of their body, which are repetitive and habitual.
A new study shows that an increase in stress provides a surge in habitual behaviours, as they demand the least cognitive effort.
Our habit memories are mostly rigid and inflexible, so it can be a challenge when the changing environment and circumstances require a corresponding alteration in behaviour.
If a person is strictly adhering to their personal routines and habits, change can come as a shock, and also lead to many mental health issues like eating disorders, depression and anxiety disorders.
Improving mental flexibility and reducing the causes of stress and anxiety is the antidote to our unhealthy and repetitive habits and behaviours.
Mindfulness meditation can help us increase our cognitive flexibility, as can physical activity, social interaction and new experiences.
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Resolutions feel huge, requiring a lot of mental bandwidth and loads of constant motivation to keep up. Resolutions are easy to decide on but tough to maintain daily.
Start small with something you already desire or like to do, to ease out the entire process for you right at the start.
For example, if you plan to write more, why not buy a journal and a pen that you want to use, and keep them handy, facilitating the writing habit naturally.
Even with massive amounts of information drowning our senses, we can focus on what is important and take action.
The brain’s ability to focus on a particular signal while filtering out the...
The brain’s ability to focus on one thing while obscuring, curbing or reducing the signal strength of other (presumably unwanted) stimuli can be dangerous if those turn out to be unexpectedly important.
The brain, evolved as it is, has a unique way to handle this issue, by reducing the signal strength of the focused object about four times per second, suppressing what’s important to focus on the other signals, some of which may also be important. The brain is already wired to blink.
Though companies like Nike try to ignite our willpower with their slogans, ultimately willpower cannot squash our subconscious and unconscious behavior.
Repetition of action and thought can...
Just merely knowing something is good or bad for you is not going to give you any benefit, unless the implementation is done. Conscious knowledge cannot change your behavior, one has to make necessary changes to successfully act in self-control.
If you know that you will eat junk food because your refrigerator is filled with it, remove all the junk food.
Just as removing friction aids in doing the activity more often, adding friction can aid to remove the bad habit, by making it difficult or cumbersome to do so.
Example: Cigarette smoking declined due to adding taxes, banning in public places and removing from vending machines.