Why the Stressed Brain Falls Back on Old Habits
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.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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.
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.
They generate an impulse to do a behavior with little or no conscious thought.
By forming a habit, the brain frees the mind to do other things without deliberation. So behaviors that require concentration, deliberation, or extended effort, are not habits.
Motivation is not driven by pleasure and pain, but rather by the desire to escape discomfort.
Our brains get our bodies to do what they want through discomfort. And the same rule applies to psychological discomfort.