Everyone has at least one bad habit. That one thing or multitude of things that you seemingly have no control over and just happen to do without having to think too much about it.
So how do they form?
A habit in totally is the repetition of 3 stages:
1. "The trigger or Que" - This in layman terms is the cause, i.e. Feeling sad or stressed.
2. "The behaviour or action" - This is the act you carry out, i.e. Smoking, drinking or biting your nails.
3. "The reward" - The euphoric feeling you get after the act is done. This is considered as a positive or pleasurable experience by you brain. Therefore it releases a hormone called dopamine.
The brain remembers this sequence and stores it in the archives for next occasion. So in continuation, Every time you feel sad or stressed, you'll think "I should have a cigarette so I can feel calm or happy". The repetition of this is the birth of habit.
Breaking your habits:
1. It can take between 18-256 days to create a habit. You want to train your brain by repetition to learn a different sequence.
2. On average it takes about 2 months to make a behaviour automatic. Each day you repeat the behaviour it take less will power to make it stick
A few handy tips to get you started:
1. Write down your habit
2. Learn to avoid your triggers
3. Become consciously aware of what your doing in the midst of your act and try a different one I.e. Eating an apple instead of biscuits
4. Learn your triggers and try to avoid them
Cue, Behaviour, Reward- A Lesson in learning and Development - Rory C. Trotter Jr
The Power of Habit - Charles Duhigg
Using Behavioural design to make more engaging products - Kat Matfield