By our very nature, we are creatures of habit. 95% of our actions, thoughts and feelings are a result of habits. We generally follow the path of least resistance even if our behaviours are inefficient, unproductive or even harmful.
To carry out behaviours, our brain sends messages to the rest of our body through the different nerve cells. Frequently repeated thoughts or actions create neural pathways and the more frequent the repetition, the stronger the connection and the wider the pathway will become. The constant recurrence decreases the biochemical resistance to that certain thought or action. That is why we can perform certain thoughts and actions almost unconsciously.
In addition, our brains are designed to identify and create patterns. Neural pathways we use repeatedly tend to get stronger and wider. This leads to using them even more making them stronger. Our brain coats regularly used pathways with a myelin sheath which makes them even more resistant to change. You have probably heard the expressions, “he’s stuck in his ways” or “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” to describe someone who refuses to change their way of thinking or behaving often in light of new information or a changed environment.
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