How habits are created

Your life is a collection of decisions. It takes a lot of power and tires the brain to continually evaluate the choices, so it tries to create shortcuts to use less energy. Your brain knows how to optimize your functioning, and since decisions are very energy consuming, they are eliminated for the repetitive process which can be automated. In other words, you are not in charge anymore! What’s more, you may not even be aware of this.  

Habits can be compared to algorithms, which work in a specific sequence once they are fired. Because habits are formed in some context (when particular person or emotion is present, or you are in some place, or there’s a specific time of the day), they also get fired in the presence of this context.

This is called a trigger or cue, and it forms part of a habit loop.

Formation of a habit is basically a neuroplasticity process. For neuroplasticity to take place one of the most crucial things is repetition (the same as for a habit). Neuroplasticity forms habits regardless of how good or bad they are for us. But the first decision is made by you.

The more you repeat, the more your brain sees the pattern, and automates the process, taking decision making away and optimizing energy. The energy it uses and the efficiency of its work are the only things that the brain is concerned with. It doesn’t evaluate how useful or harmful the habit is for your body, at least not in this process.

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