Adding Positive Habits Make Us Happy
The vast majority of us, sooner or later, have attempted to change, efforting to break bad habits and create new ones.
In the case of decreasing sugar admission, getting the chance to get to bed early or fitting exercise into every day of our schedule, making changes is no simple job. This is an archived challenge going all the way back to Aristotle who expounded on the impact propensities have on our lives, ““We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” Aristotle was onto something; habits shape our lives in intense ways. Basically, our lives grow or whither around our order of habits throughout our lifetime. These habits drive an existence of satisfaction or the opposite, despair.
Habits are amazing.
They enable us to shower while still half snoozing, brush our teeth, complete our morning constitution and get out the house on time for work. These everyday jobs are completed with very little cerebral effort because repeated often enough they are automatic. Our ability to automatically carry out mundane tasks releases the brain’s capacity to complete complex problems like a new project at work or challenge your partner’s assertions in conversation.
Forming new habits require consistent repetition.
Forming new habits, require behaviors to be repeated frequently enough that they are automatic. When we learn a new task the prefrontal cortex in our brains is activated. Repetition is a crucial step in automating habits.
What can you do to support your process of habit formation? Scientists suggest focusing on these three main areas:
STARTING A NEW BEHAVIOR
Want to make meditation part of your daily routine? Define your goals; goals are specific, measurable and achievable. Write down your motivation for meditation and what benefits you’ll receive. Next, specify when and where the behavior will take place. Formulate “if…” “then…” plans that specify how to overcome daily challenges. Like, “If I don’t have time to meditate tonight…then I will meditate in 1 hour or at 4pm.” Lastly, relate to yourself with gentle kindness relating to inevitable setbacks with self-compassion so you’ll continue with the practice.
The cliché is that “you can develop a habit in 30 days.” Researchers vary on the amount of time required to form a habit. On average, a continued repetition of 66 days not 30 days in the same activity is necessary for a new habit to emerge. We usually experience a burst of energy when starting a habit that makes it easy to continue. This initial burst of motivation fades over time. Reviewing goals and intentions increase motivation helping you continue and experience the long-term benefits of the practice.
Automating activities are key to habit formation. Researchers suggest that selecting an existing cue and consistently performing a new activity enhances automaticity. If your aim is to practice meditation daily, start by choosing an existing habit you do each day, and match the desired new behavior (meditation) to that cue. Once the meditation has become a habit then more elasticity can be introduced.
Next time you set out to form a new habit, whether it’s meditation or another endeavor, consider these recommendations and you might have a new habit in no time at all.
Form your new habits considering these recommendations and you may have another new habit in the blink of an eye.
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*The content presented on this page is not intended to diagnose health problems or take the place of professional medical care.