Let's face it, we all have bad habits whether we admit it or not. I'm not sure how we get them
and how they become bad. So I did a little research and the best thing to do is to break a
bad habit quickly. Before it really starts to become a habit.
It is a common misconception that it takes 21 days to break a bad habit. In truth, it can
take much longer depending on the severity of the addiction to the habit. It can take
several weeks to up to and including a year or longer.
So what actually is a habit? Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly
and tend to occur subconsciously. The American Journal of Psychology define it this way,
"A habit, from the stand point of psychology, is more or less a fixed way of thinking, willing, or
feeling acquired through a previous repetition of a mental experience. Habitual behavior often
goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting it because a person doesn't need to engage in self-analysis
when undertaking routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in
which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus
in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory. The process by which new behaviors
become automatic is habit formation. A couple of examples are, is you reach for a cigarette
the moment you wake up in the morning, that is a habit. If you put on your running shoes the
minute you get home from work and go for a run, you've acquired a habit. Old habits are
extremely hard to break and new habits are hard to form because the behavioral we
repeat are imprinted in our neural pathways.
As the behaviors are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. The increase in the automaticity of the behavior in that context. Features of an automatic are all or some of: efficiency, lack of awareness, unintentionality, uncontrollability.
There are nervous habits and bad habits. Here are some examples of nervous habits: nail-biting, stammering, sniffling, and banging the head. They are known as symptoms of an emotional state and are generally based on conditions of anxiety, insecurity, inferiority and tension.
A bad habit is an undesirable behavior pattern. Common bad habits are: procrastination, fidgeting, overspending, and nail-biting.
I have nervous habits and bad habits. A couple of years ago, I started pulling out my hair. I had pulled out so much that I had to have it cut short and wear a wig. I can say that it is mostly triggered by anxiety and most of the time I don't even know I'm doing it. I've even managed
to pull out hair in my sleep. I've tried a few things, but nothing as worked yet. It's not
as bad as it used to be, but I'd really like to get rid of it.
I think everyone can procrastinate to some point. I'm really good at that too. I've never really been a nail-biter, so I guess that's a big plus. I'm sure there are a lot more bad and nervous habits.
What are some of yours?