I think we all know what a habit is but to be clear so we’re all on the same page, a habit is an automated and unconscious behavior, feeling or emotion.
It is something we have done repeatedly for a long period of time and it gets stored in the brain. This can be a good or a bad thing.
Remember the brain processes about 70.000 thoughts during any given day and we are not always aware of them all, so a lot of them are automated. You can drive your car, listen to music or news on the radio, tell your children off on the backseat of the car, and you can do all of this at the same time without giving it much thought. It would be a crazy thing if you would have to stop your car to listen to music or to say something to your child. There are a lot of these daily rituals/actions that we do without thinking.
95% of our thoughts are unconscious so we’re only aware of the 5% left, which makes it very difficult to change.
And 95% of who we are by the age of 35 also lies in the subconscious mind. This means that we behave in an automated manner and we’re not very conscious of it.
The way these habits get into our system is as follows:
Try – fail – learn, try differently. When you come to the solution of your problem your brain lights up and it feels like you have won, this is your reward.
For example, you feel anxious and then you decide to go for a run and it calms you down; your brain then knows next time what it needs to do to get to this desired state of calmness, so you will go for a run.
This again can work both ways. It totally depends on your reward. For example if you have a cigarette when you feel anxious and it calms you down, you will probably become a sturdy smoker and it’s difficult to turn that learned habit around.
The way to get habits out of our system is from the inside out but most people begin with an external factor like quitting smoking or losing weight. Then they try to change the habits that go with it. No more buying cigarettes or going to the gym. Then you need to change your identity: your self-image, how you see the world, your judgement against yourself and others.
A better way to change is to do it the other way around. Begin with your self-image: See yourself as a non-smoker or as a slim person. Focus on who you wish to become! Then talk accordingly, I AM a non-smoker or I AM a slim person and then put into action what you need to do and be consistent. When you fall off the wagon, get up straight away and try again.
Consistency is key until you get into your new state of mind and the habits that go with it will be become automatic and unconscious.
As you can see it’s not easy to change your habits but the first step is always consciousness. Then if you want to change you will have to think about what you can do and how that will make you feel. Make a plan, feel already like the new you, put steps in place and repeat, repeat and repeat.
If you need or want help with this, I’m ready to help. Together it’s much easier and more fun to do.
You know where you can find me, so don’t wait anymore and schedule your first free session with me. Can’t wait to talk to you!
With love and health,