The Power of Habits

Repetition of the same thought or action develops in a habit...

The power of habits is not to be underestimated. A mature understanding of habits and how to use them is fundamental to becoming a fully whole and integrated human being; Because your habits are the primary determinant of who you are and who you become.

Repetition of the same thought or action develops into a habit, which, repeated frequently enough, becomes an automatic reflex.

What you do every day will change who you are. The issue is that most people have poor habits which they complete every day without thinking about them. Your habits will help you to correct some of your subconscious tendencies.

The Subconscious Mind

Consider that half of all of your daily activities are automatic. You do not put any conscious awareness into them. Habits are a way for our brains to conserve energy over time, and they are vital to our functioning. Imagine if you had to calculate every step to work beforehand, how to make your breakfast, open the front door, take each step to the car, start the ignition, drive in busy traffic etc.

Thankfully, our subconscious mind takes care of all of it! The brain is only capable of remembering between 5-10 facts in a single moment. The rest is passed to the subconscious for processing. When you do something once, you can complete it the next time around on autopilot far more easily. Most of your habits are driven by unconscious fears that you are not yet aware of. Correcting habits can have the effect of correcting these fears, though it takes time.

How to Master Habits

Nearly everything that you do during the day is no more than a habit. Some habits are deeply ingrained. The longer that a habit is put in place, the harder it is to replace.

It takes 3 days for the body to get used to a different kind of diet. Letting go of caffeine for example, can be very difficult. The first 3 days are the most difficult, and after this, you will have a much easier time with cravings. This is because the body is physically dependent on caffeine, and has adapted to its presence. After 3 days, it will have adapted to functioning without caffeine. This time can vary from person to person, depending on the amount of caffeine consumed, and the duration of time the body has adapted to its presence in the body.

Scientific studies have established that it takes 21 days for a habit to become ingrained. After 21 days, it is likely that the person will continue doing it afterwards. So, if you really want to master a habit, the 3-day and 21-day marks are the most important. After these points, it will become a lot easier. Once a habit has been installed, it just becomes second nature. It does not really matter what it is. This is the beauty of habits, once you understand them and use them to your benefit.

Of course, the ultimate habit that you want to maintain is positive thoughts. The minute you find yourself thinking of a negative thought, try to change it to something positive. Overtime, even this will become second nature, and negative thoughts will have become a thing of the past. This is perhaps, the ultimate habit to adopt!

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