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What Do I Need to Know About Habits?

woman struggles with bad eating habits

Habits are behaviors that become natural and automatic. You may not even realize a habit because it becomes so routine. Healthy habits include eating when you are hungry, showering, attending work or school. There are also habits that aren’t as healthy. Unhealthy habits can be smoking, drinking to excess, or negative self-talk. These things become routine just like the healthy ones do, because your brain can’t tell the difference. You do these things instinctively and are often unaware of the consequences. Since your brain cannot differentiate between good and bad habits, it takes a lot of effort to break a habit and form a new one in its place.

How Do Habits Get Their Power?

Alison Morgan, an author from Psychology Now, explains that you can create “new neurological patterns in your brain,” but it is difficult. This is because behaviors have an intense amount of power when they become habits. Here are how habits are formed:

  1. Trigger: Something will trigger your brain to automatically do something, for example, use a drug. This trigger can be anything from a scent in the air or an emotion you feel. There are many different things that can trigger someone.
  2. Routine: The habit that occurs after a trigger becomes routine. It can be physical, like using a drug, or emotional.
  3. Reward: Once you complete the routine, there are physical sensations, like getting high, or emotional rewards that help your brain remember the routine you just completed.
  4. Craving: Over time, your brain anticipates the reward it remembers. When you are triggered, you start to expect and crave the reward before you know it.

Arbor Behavioral Healthcare is here to help you break your bad habits and form new ones. We can help you, but you have to reach out. You are worth it. Your recovery is worth it. Call us now at (844) 413-2690. We can’t wait to speak with you and help you today. Call us now, you won’t be disappointed.