Habits control us. They control our routines, and ultimately, affect our lifestyles and moods. But science is here to tell us that there are very simple mind tricks and behaviors we can change that WILL alter our habits so we can learn how to create positive habits and stick to them.
According to New York Times business writer Charles Duhigg in his book, The Power of Habit, every habit begins with a psychological pattern he refers to as a “habit loop,” which is a three-part process. If you want to learn how to create positive habits, first you must know, there’s a trigger that tells your brain to go into automatic mode, where a learned/repeated behavior ensues.
Next, there’s the routine, which is the behavior itself, and finally, there’s a reward, which is usually something that your brain appreciates. This helps your brain register the “habit loop” in the future.
I know what I need to change. We all do. So how do we apply this knowledge? Let’s use me as an example:
I stopped the habit of looking at things negatively, and instead, took every experience as an opportunity to learn something by employing this 3-step formula.
1) The Trigger – a challenging situation.
2) The Routine – every time I was faced with a challenging situation, I began to think negatively and mentally descend into darkness.
3) The Reward – I kept a notebook and immediately wrote down lessons from each challenging experience. Instead of inducing an ongoing stream of negative thoughts, I felt powerful and strong as I wrote and re-read the lessons I had learned. Now, I was better equipped for the future. I taught myself how to create a positive habit and stick to it.
This knowledge about how to create positive habits can be applied to anything. Drinking, smoking, eating, exercising, sleeping, etc. In any arena, you can train yourself to create a positive new habit.
Backed by science.
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