What if the answer to change is in the questions that we ask ourselves?
How do we form habits?
“Habits play an important role in our health,” says Dr. Nora Volkow, director of NIH's National Institute on Drug Abuse. “Understanding the biology of how we develop routines that may be harmful to us, and how to break those routines and embrace new ones, could help us change our lifestyles and adopt healthier behaviors.”
Habits can arise through repetition. They are a normal part of life, and are often helpful. “We wake up every morning, shower, comb our hair or brush our teeth without being aware of it,” Volkow says. We can drive along familiar routes on mental auto-pilot without really thinking about the directions. “When behaviors become automatic, it gives us an advantage, because the brain does not have to use conscious thought to perform the activity,” Volkow, says. This frees up our brains to focus on different things. For the full article click here
How do we change habits?
Stages of change In the transtheoretical model, change is a "process involving progress through a series of stages:"
Precontemplation (Not Ready)-"People are not intending to take action in the foreseeable future, and can be unaware that their behavior is problematic"
Contemplation (Getting Ready)-"People are beginning to recognize that their behavior is problematic, and start to look at the pros and cons of their continued actions"
Preparation (Ready)-"People are intending to take action in the immediate future, and may begin taking small steps toward behavior change"[nb 1]
Action – "People have made specific overt modifications in modifying their problem behavior or in acquiring new healthy behaviors"
Maintenance – "People have been able to sustain action for at least six months and are working to prevent relapse"
Termination – "Individuals have zero temptation and they are sure they will not return to their old unhealthy habit as a way of coping"[nb 2]
In addition, the researchers conceptualized "relapse" (recycling) which is not a stage in itself but rather the "return from Action or Maintenance to an earlier stage."[nb 3]
What if learning more, creates new strategies for a fresh start?