In personal and professional lives, we all develop some habits that further affect our behavior patterns. As far as the behavior is not negatively affected, we really do not bother about these habits. However, it can be an issue if habits lead to a problematic behavior pattern. While many people make efforts to change these habits, they simply cannot change their behavior. They are so run by their habits that they become unable to alter their behavior. Let us try to understand why this happens and how it can be corrected to bring a change in behavior.
When we talk about habits, they are not a part of our conscious mind. You may not even notice when a habit is being formed. These are automatic. Our brain constantly seeks information and keeps on finding ways to organize it. Thus, it transforms some tasks in order to free up some of its power. This transformation can also be in the form of habits. When a habit is formed, it allows us to do that task automatically without much thinking. Thus, our brain receives more power to handle other information. This is the reason we cannot observe habit formation.
As its formation is an unconscious process, it is also difficult when we want to break a bad habit. Your behavior is actually hacked by this habit when you cannot change it. However, it is not an impossible task to alter this behavior by bringing a change in your habit. For this purpose, it is critical to understand the way a habit works. This habit loop actually starts from a cue that triggers your brain to use an already formed habit. When you use this habit, you perform a routine. This routine then leads to a reward that indicates the importance of this habit to your brain. Thus, when this routine and reward loop is repeated, it keeps strengthening your habit.
If you want to bring a change in any of your habits, then you will have to follow the same habit loop. That is because the brain recognizes this pattern. In fact, you will have to start by making your routine healthier so it brings the same reward. It is always a negative routine that leads to negative behavior. Thus, it is important to replace this routine with a positive one. However, you do not need to alter the cue and the reward. For example, suppose that you go for a smoking session with your colleague every day in the middle of your office break when you are tired. This routine rewards you by socializing, as well as having some relaxation from your work.
Now, you can bring a positive change in this routine of going for smoking. Replace this by going for a tea break with the same colleague. While it will replace your negative habit with a positive one, you will receive the same rewards of socializing and relaxation. Your cue of being tired during the office break also remains the same. On the other hand, if you simply remove your routine, then it would not work. You will be unhappy if you do not go out with your colleague on a smoking break. Thus, you will have to follow the same habit loop while only replacing the negative routine with a positive one.
When your negative habits take a turn, your behavior also reflects those changes. If people used to see you as a smoker, then they would start seeing you as a sober tea drinker after a change in your habit. Therefore, it is only a matter of understanding the way to replace a routine with another and you can surely bring a change.