It seems like breaking a bad habit would be simple: just do the opposite action a bunch of times, and viola, you’re changed, right? Maybe not. Sometimes you may find yourself drifting back into the same bad habit and wondering why.
A recent article in Wired talked about some reasons for this. When we look at bad habits, our focus is often on the habit, not on what triggers us to engage it. The articles talks about the “cues” that trigger the habit: when we don’t think about what triggers us, we can find it hard to change.
Wendy Wood, author and professor at USC says, “If you want to change a behavior, then try to identify what might be a trigger that generates the behavior,” She says that we think setting a goal is enough, but habits can overcome goals. “We tend to overestimate the extent to which our behavior is driven by our goals and desires, and we underestimate the extent to which it’s driven by habit.” Learning our triggers can help; for example, we see an ad and think it’s something that we need to have, not that we’re only thinking about it now because we saw the ad.
The place to start is to clearly identify what habit you want to change, then look for those triggers that lead us back down habitual routes. The main problem people run into when reviewing their history of a habit, Mendelsohn says, is that they may not know what questions to ask or be honest with themselves about the answers. Having a conversation with others, including your Celebrate Recovery® sponsor, can help you get a better perspective on what flips your levers.
Patience matters. While some habits may change immediately; others may take a while. “I think something that is useful to keep in mind is the longer a time period you’ve had living the way that you have, the harder it’s going to be to change that,” Alana Mendelsohn, a psychiatrist and neuroscientist at Columbia’s Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, reports. Your Celebrate Recovery® group is here to help you through each step of that process. Quick or long, remember to celebrate the work that God is doing in you as you take each step toward seeing recovery through in your life!
Source Article: https://www.wired.com/story/how-to-break-bad-habits/