The Science Of Habit Formation And Change - Deepstash

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Chunking - The Root of Habits

Chunking - The Root of Habits

The process in which the brain converts a sequence of actions into an automatic routine is known as ‘chunking,’ and it’s at the root of how habits form.

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Habits emerge...

...because the brain is constantly looking for ways to save effort. 

It will try to make almost any routine into a habit, because habits allow our minds to ramp down more often. This effort-saving instinct is a huge advantage. 

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The 3 Step Loop of Habit Formation:

The 3 Step Loop of Habit Formation:

  • First, there is a cue, a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use.
  • Then there is the routine, which can be physical or mental or emotional.
  • Finally, there is a reward, which helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future.

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Habits and brain functioning

When a habit emerges, the brain stops fully participating in decision making. 

It stops working so hard, or diverts focus to other tasks. So unless you deliberately fight a habit, unless you find new routines, the pattern will unfold automatically.

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The Golden Rule of habit change

A habit cannot be eradicated—it must, instead, be replaced. And if we keep the same cue and the same reward, a new routine can be inserted. 

But that’s not enough. For a habit to stay changed, people must believe change is possible. And most often, that belief only emerges with the help of a group.

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