Habits

We all have habits in our lives and like anything there is a good and a bad side to habits. A habit is defined in the dictionary as a settled or regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up.

If we look at a habit in the context of the brain it is a well-defined neural pathway that requires little or no thought to set in motion. As I said there is a positive and negative side to habits and I want to consider the negative side of a habit.

Because a habit requires little or no thought it means that our brain is not stimulated. The habit is a result of things that have happened in the past, this in turn means that when you are living your life according to your habits you are living in the past. There is no present or future, just the past. You have caged yourself in habits.

If you look at your life it can be quite frightening of how much of it is habit, how much is past! We don’t deliberately set out to live our lives habitually but because it is easier it creeps up on us and dominates us more as time goes on. The brain is not stimulated and life can be very ho-hum.

The good news is that you can break habits, it requires being aware of them and doing things to stimulate the brain. It doesn’t require you to make huge changes all at once. It is like eating an elephant, one bite at a time.

If you become more conscious of your habits, you can consciously make little changes every day. Take for example your daily routine in the bathroom in the morning. If you say, brush your teeth before brushing your hair. Change that to brushing your hair and then your teeth, you will find that when you do that there is a tiny bit of anxiety.

Welcome it because it means that you are stimulating your brain.

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