Thursday, June 24, 2010

Changing Annoying Habits

Habits have more control over us than we realize. We tend to think we can just stop a habit when we decide to. Some habits we can easily let go of but those that we have developed and continued for a long time will be harder to break. These long term habits are usually things that we do almost subconsciously. Over 95 percent of everything we do is a habit because we really don't think about it. For example, getting into a car, the way we eat, taking a shower in the morning or evening. That's why we sometimes feel we can't change our habits.

We sometimes feel our habits are just who we are because they are comfortable and to not do them is uncomfortable so we assume that must just be who we are or we wouldn't feel so bad when we don't do the habit. But the fact is that ANY new change will be uncomfortable at first. Discomfort is not necessarily an indication that it is wrong or not good for us. If fact, most changes we make that are good will be uncomfortable for awhile, that is why people many times don't change.

Here is the reason any change of habit is uncomfortable. Whenever a new behavior is introduced to your brain, it must form a new neural pathways before it feels natural to you. The more you repeat the new behavior the bigger the neural pathways become and after a few weeks the pathways are complete, you then have a new habit that is comfortable,automatic and effortless again.

So with that in mind, you can go into the decision to make changes with the knowledge that it will be uncomfortable for awhile but if you continue and persevere the time will come that the discomfort will leave and it will again for normal and natural for you.

Next post: practical steps to get those new neural pathways created.

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