Habits – What and Why
Simply said, habit is any learnt behaviour performed repeatedly and automatically. Habits are a kind of shortcuts that are used by the human brain to devote its energy to other, more complex tasks. Imagine getting up in the morning and every day having to learn all the grooming rituals afresh – brushing your teeth, taking a bath, combing your hair, putting on your watch, tying your shoelaces and so on. If your brain had to consciously perform a million more of such actions throughout the day, it would not have the energy for more demanding tasks such as writing an essay, coding a program, making a presentation or even driving through rush hour traffic. In order to free up its cognitive resources, humans have the capability to learn certain activities well enough to perform them perfunctorily. These are called habits.
Trouble arises when we pick up habits detrimental to our overall well-being – for example puffing on a cigarette might seem to relieve tension now but doing it repeatedly and most importantly using this habit as a coping mechanism for stress and other difficulties paves the way for physical, psychological and behavioural problems in the long run.
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# Putting things off
The word is procrastination – aptly, a mouthful considering how it blocks goal achievement in your life. If you find yourself repeatedly putting things off for another day, week or some indeterminate time in the future, you will end up having serious problems in both your professional and personal lives. One of the simplest ways to stop yourself from procrastinating is to break complicated tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks – for example if you have to write your assignment by the end of the coming week, start by gathering resources as the first step, then check for help with resources that you need, then look for Top assignment experts who can proofread your assignment and so on till finally your paperwork is complete. Make sure that you check assignment expert reviews before you plan to get the assignment proofread. Tackling the toughest bits early in the day, giving yourself a pep talk every now and then as well as rewarding yourself with treat like a coffee at your favorite deli could be useful ways to combat procrastination.
# Spending Beyond Your Means
Living in the consumer culture as we do, it is easy to rack up credit card bills way beyond your income. The best way to break this habit is to freeze all your credit cards but one to pay only your utility bills and that too with a reasonable limit. Make a budget on paper so that you can compare your income and expenses in black and white. While writing your budget on paper you can take help from some financial helpers like OnlineAssignmentWriting. Another useful tip is to go for auto-debit so that as soon as your pay comes into your salary account, a chunk of it goes into a nest-egg. But even as you keep learning money management, also educate yourself about the power of consumerism so that you develop the inner resources to withstand the lure of advertising.
# Not Moving Enough
With WHO warning that 39% of adults worldwide were overweight and 13% were obese, one of the most physically harmful habits clearly is lack of exercise. In order to get moving, choose any activity that you enjoy – it could range from brisk walking or lifting weights to aerobics or Pilates. Join a club or class if you can’t motivate yourself enough to do it on your own and reward yourself once you meet fitness landmarks like staying 3 months in the fitness program or losing an extra 10 pounds. However avoid related bad habits like untimely snacking, binge drinking or TV meals which may negate all the hard work put in by you in your fitness regimen.
Image Source: Shape Magazine
# Finally Affirm Yourself
None of the above bad habits can be unlearnt in the long run if you do not affirm yourself. This simply means to separate yourself from your bad habits so that while you recognize the harm caused by your actions, you do not blame yourself. Restrict your self-scrutiny and self-evaluation to your actions but always remember to accept yourself without conditions. This will not only help you to give up negative actions for positive ones, but in the long run achieve emotional balance and inner peace.