Understanding how habits form
The amygdala is the section of your brain that experiences emotions.
With each emotion, new synapses are formed. The more intense the emotion, the more synapses are created.
Prolonged emotions cause hardwiring of these synapses, making specific emotions, memories and even physiological symptoms easier to recall.
This is how habits are created. Actions or behaviors, like playing video-games, smoking a cigarette, or listening to your favorite song, evict the emotion that fires the same synapses over and over; increasing your association between X emotion and Y behavior.
Recognize your bad habits
Let’s focus on the video-game example. Everyday when you get home from work/school you turn on your gaming console, sit on the same part of your couch, and breathe a sigh of relief. That sigh is the connection between what you are doing and how you are feeling.
Know how to stop them
1. The moment you feel the urge to act on your habit is THE ONLY time you can change your habit.
While you’re at work, you can’t ‘stop the habit of playing video-games’. It’s only when you’re about to press the “On” button that you can decide not to.
It is the same as the person who just finished a cigarette. They don’t currently have the urge to smoke. So it’s only once they feel the urge, can they decide to break their habit.
2. Fear and Anger are THE ONLY (2) emotions that fuel addictive behavior.
You can stop any bad habit or addiction by finding out why/what you’re afraid of or why you’re angry.
Managing your bad habits will allow you to form new synapses with positive emotions and memories. And over time, the positivity will be hardwired in.
If you’ve found this information useful, share it with a few friends!
P.S. This was originally sent on June 23, 2023. Sign up today for Daily Emails and get our free OCD resource: Unstuck.