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Habit formation is the process by which new behaviors become automatic. It is defined as ‘an automatic response to a specific situation, acquired normally as a result of repetition and learning’.
The Physiology of Habit formation
This can be explained as when a stimulus is repeated and a response is elicited, the connection becomes strengthened. Eventually, it brings about an organization in the nervous system known as a habit. Which is otherwise termed as learning.
Habit Formation is when any learning process or experience gained by an individual is retained. When this learning experience is repeated it is retained stronger. This ability to retain helps us to get it strengthened and becomes a habit.
Very often habits develop as people go about pursuing life goals. Habit formation is closely linked with goal pursuit. It is noted that behavior becomes less responsive to current goals as habit associations strengthen.
Another interesting aspect of habits are that we indulge in them because they take us towards something pleasurable. Say, for example, smoking. People smoke for the immediate pleasure of the high, that they get. You will find many claiming that “it calms our nerves”. However, we know that even though it may be serving a short term pleasurable goal. In the long term, it is not helpful at all.
Studies have shown that people will perform automated behaviors like pulling out of a driveway or brushing teeth – the same way every single time, if they’re in the same environment. But if they take a vacation, it’s likely that the behavior will change.
We all possess many habits. Some good and some Bad. Do you want to inculcate more good habits, and get rid of your bad ones? If yes, Click here to speak to an Expert about your Habits