Habits: the good, the bad, and the powerful

Aug 04, 2017

Why is it so hard to change our actions, even when we really want to? It’s because our brains are incredibly efficient at their job – constantly seeking the quickest path to a reward & creating habits in their wake.

Some habits are apparent – brushing your teeth, your exercise routine, daily meditation – but others are a bit murkier. Have you noticed that you sit at the same seat for dinner every night? Try changing that. How does it feel?

Whether subtle or profound, habits are a big part of our personality. Here we’ve compiled resources to help you get a handle on habits, whether you want to change the old, make new, or simply understand why:

Start early. “Good habits formed at youth make all the difference,” according to Aristotle. Charles Duhigg, author and writer for the New York Times, explains that the formation of habits can be attributed to a three-part recipe: cue, routine, and reward. In his article, How to Form Healthy Habits in Your 20s”, Duhigg unpacks the lasting effect of habits and how to form the ones you want.

Bad habits. We all have habits that don’t serve us – nail biting, smoking, people pleasing – the list goes on. While tricking our brains out of these action-reward loops might seem impossible, it can be done. Kelle Walsh walks readers through ways to unwind habits through willpower, recognition, and mindfulness in 5 Ways to Kick Bad Habits.

The Power of Habit.  Charles Duhigg is back with this article for Scientific American, this time taking a deeper look at the neuroscience behind habits. In an excerpt from his book, Power of Habit, Duhigg takes readers deep inside the brain – past risk and reward – to explore how and why it’s so easy to make a new habit and so hard to break an old.

Tough times. We have all felt the initial rush of starting a new habit – the thrill of new running shoes, the excitement of opening a savings account, but how do we keep up the momentum after that initial glow is gone? Siri Scull, certified hypnotherapist and nutritional counselor, has readers covered with 3 Tips To Get You Through the Tough Part Of Forming a Habit. We are pinning this article for our New Year’s Resolutions…

New habits. Why not try a new habit that’s easy to maintain? Meditating for only a few minutes a day can make a big difference in your health and well-being, as well as the well-being of those around you. Try Namchak’s guided meditations and start with just five minutes a day. Your brain will thank you!