Habits can be extremely useful and it would be impossible to run our lives without them. They automate many of the routine activities in our lives and free up our minds so that we are capable of concentrating on higher level activities.
For example, if we had to consciously think about basic functions like walking or chewing our food or talking, we would have no mental ability available to perform other functions. The ability to write or type automatically allows us to focus on producing a great article, letter, email or novel. Similarly, walking by automatic processes allows us to be able to think about where we are going! We have thousands of these good ‘habits’ that our muscle memory has built up over time. Even breathing can be thought of a deeply ingrained habit. Driving a car and riding a bike are all a series of habits and actions we perform without conscious intent.
Therefore, habits play an important role in simplifying our lives and REDUCING the amount of sensory stimuli we need to process. It’s estimated that out of every 11,000 signals we receive from our senses, our brain only consciously processes 40. Habits save us energy as by their nature they are automatic and require little physical and mental strength, for instance brushing your teeth or tying your shoelaces require very little mental energy.
Good habits serve to create routine, order and efficiency. Unfortunately bad habits have the opposite effect and can lock us into negative or rigid patterns of behaviour. Bad habts such as overeating, smoking or driving too fast can be damaging to our health and wellbeing.
Our brains are very powerful and are constantly scanning for patterns in our lives or things it can turn into habits. Unfortunately, our subconscious mind does not discriminate between good and bad habits and anything that is repeated over time has the potential to become a habit.
Fortunately, we can take control of this process and CONSCIOUSLY CHOOSE which thoughts, actions and behaviours will become habits.
To start simplifying your life with the help of good habits and to break bad habits that are holding you back, tell us where to send your free e-book summary “7 Steps to Make or Break Habits” below.
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