Healthy habits

You broke your bad habit. This is how you build something better in its place – CNN

Summary

When it comes to living a happier, healthier life, breaking bad habits is the first step. What comes next is filling the space left behind with ones that push you toward your goals.

Habits are behaviors people engage in outside of conscious thought and are reinforced through repetition. Routine, familiar contexts or stress trigger these activities, as part of the brain regulates some of our actions to free up space so the conscious mind can focus on thoughts that require more problem-solving, social psychologist Wendy Wood told CNN.

“Everyone thinks, ‘OK, I’m a stress eater.’ They don…….

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When it comes to living a happier, healthier life, breaking bad habits is the first step. What comes next is filling the space left behind with ones that push you toward your goals.

Habits are behaviors people engage in outside of conscious thought and are reinforced through repetition. Routine, familiar contexts or stress trigger these activities, as part of the brain regulates some of our actions to free up space so the conscious mind can focus on thoughts that require more problem-solving, social psychologist Wendy Wood told CNN.

“Everyone thinks, ‘OK, I’m a stress eater.’ They don’t think ‘I’m a stress exerciser or I’m a stress worker,’ but in our research we find that people do those things as well just as often as acting badly,” Wood said.

Since the habitual side of the brain is connected but not separate from the thinking brain, weeding out the bad and maximizing the good takes more than just the will to do it, she added.

A ‘good’ habit is what works for you

The bad news: There is no one-size-fits-all list of good habits to add to your life. The good news: Experts say a good habit can be whatever works for you.

“Most habits are set up in a good way. They help us survive. So, it’s great that I don’t have to relearn how to put my clothes on or how to get my spoon in my mouth, right?” Dr. Judson Brewer, executive medical director of behavioral health at Sharecare, told CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta in his recent Chasing Life podcast. Brewer is also an associate professor of behavioral and social sciences at Brown University Medical School.

Educator Michelle Icard works with families to help their children navigate adolescence, and when she recommends strategies to build productive habits in response to stress, she said it’s best not to get too prescriptive.

Icard and her clients make a “try this first” list of 20-minute activities that are enjoyable and disrupt negative patterns of thinking. Many adults want to see their children engage in obviously healthy things like reading or exercise, but Icard said it’s less about the activity and more about getting in a better headspace.

“This is such a personal thing to feel nourished and feel like you are taking care of your own life,” said Icard, who is also author of “Middle School Makeover: Improving The Way You and Your Child Experience the Middle School Years.”

Movement and therapy are two go-to healthy habits John Duffy, a Chicago-based clinical psychologist, most often encourages people build, particularly in response to stress, but he also finds there is no sweeping answer to a good routine.

“I think some people are most adaptive and recharge their batteries when they go out and they establish a habit of like we’re going to have a book night and a dinner once a …….

Source: https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/02/health/good-habits-replacement-wellness/index.html