The Secret To Changing Habits - For Good.
The secret to creation is as old and natural as the human body itself, but changing a reflex, habit or perception can often feel like something reserved for those do-it-all superheroes with an insane amount of self control and discipline.
But to be honest, the secret to creating real change is quite simple when you look at the science behind creating new habits: stick with a practice long enough and the brain is able to carve deep neural pathways that turn repeated action into an unconscious habit.
Neural pathways are strings of nerve cells that transmit messages. The more times you perform an action, the stronger that neural pathway becomes. This means that every time you feel stressed out and head to the fridge to soothe your soul with whatever it is you can get your hands on, a string of nerve cells in the brain is activated.
The more times you make that journey, the stronger that neural pathway becomes so that, at a certain point, your stressed out body is scanning the contents of the fridge without remembering how you got there. Eventually, the habit becomes unconscious.
The good news is that you can consciously perform that same conditioning with healthy habits. The first, second, and even 21st time you get up early for yoga, select a salad over nachos, or sit down to journal might feel hard or even pointless, but each time you choose that latter option, you are carving that habit deeper and deeper into your being.
Resistance to new habits is normal, but its presence doesn't have the ability to stop the power of repetition on your neural pathways. Climb, jump or soar over that wall of resistance enough times and you will soon be popping out of bed, grazing on greens, and taking deep, nourishing breaths without having to think or scale a psychology wall to do so. Change is good - never forget that.
The brain is flexible, resilient, and understanding. It contains the wisdom of thousands of years and countless generations. Not only can it change, but it actually welcomes change. The brain is built to adapt, adventure down new neural pathways, and work to create new, life-changing habits. You just have to choose to be as flexible as your brain is.
It is the brain's neuroplasticity, its constantly changing potential, that makes anything possible. Play with your brain, it is your greatest collaborator.
*Image via here