Anything you do regularly and intensively can become a habit. Most habits are useful, but some are not, so learn how to retrain your mind and turn habits to your advantage.
Although we like to think of ourselves as thoughtful, rational people, in fact, the majority of our actions are automatic. We respond to familiar cues without thinking, saving ourselves mental energy and helping us move through the day more quickly.
Some of these automatic responses – ‘habits’ – are helpful, but some are harmful. Bad habits can harm your health or productivity, whilst addictions and compulsions can have you chasing highs and evading discomfort. Yet it is just as easy to have good habits as bad habits. So how can we retrain our minds to replace bad habits with better ones?
Habits are automatic memories, unconscious routines that are triggered by particular situations, thoughts or feelings. They give you a reward, and because of that, your mind remembers them. If you want to change your habits, you need to understand these cues and rewards, and then practice new routines that work in the same situations. You can replace bad routines with good ones.
The process of doing this is tiring, but the results can be transformative. By investing in your habits, you can save time and energy, work more productively, improve your health and get the life and work you want.