Healthier Habits Made Simple – How Habits Work
So how do we actually form habits then? Well, first we need to understand how habits work because if we don’t then it’s very difficult to build ones that last. Essentially all habits work the same way, it all starts with a cue, something that triggers a response in which we act on that leads to some sort of reward. This is known as the habit loop system and the more we do the behaviour the more the “loop” gets reinforced until eventually, it all becomes automated.
For example, consider someone who’s walking down the street and suddenly they sense a smell (Cue) of their favourite food, the smell triggers a craving to seek out the food and before you know it, they’re getting stuck into a full-size pizza! (reward).
Now consider if the same person, walks the same street and every day gets triggered by the same cue, can you see how easy it is to fall into the same patterns of behaviour and eventually form an unhealthy habit?
This is why it is important to notice the cue that trigger us during our day, cues can be many things, emotions we feel, the people we are with to the environments we spend most of our time in – All can impact how we behave and how we act overtime. That’s why it’s important to notice what the cues are first and set your own triggers that are align with your goals.