Postdate: 05 July 2017
Did you ever try to break bad habits, but did you give up? Good news: it is possible to learn new, good habits, and to unlearn bad ones, as long as you take in account several factors.
Duration of change
You can call something a habit when you repeatedly and through a fixed pattern do something without thinking about it. Do you want to change a habit; you have to start with thinking about it, to become aware. It will make you aware of your pattern. There a big differences in the duration to learn good habits. It requires daily discipline, courage and hard work to learn good habits. However, most habits, no matter the complexity can be learned and unlearned. According to recent research of the European Journal of Social Psychology, it takes on average 66 days for a good habit to become an automatism.
‘The habits that took years to build, do not take a day to change’
Which factors have influence on the change of emotions? It depends on repetition, the kind of behaviour you want to change, and intrinsic characteristics. By repeating certain behaviour daily, you will make it a habit faster. Learning a good habit often means in practice unlearning a bad habit. Personal characteristics definitely influence this. Are you flexible and are you able to let go easily? Then you will learn new habits fast, but it will be more difficult to keep them. Are you persistent and conscientious then you will have more trouble releasing habits and learning something new. But when you succeed you will keep up with it. Even when you find disadvantages of certain habits, like sadness or pain, you can be motivated to learn something new.
You have influences from the outside that unconsciously play a role in learning or not learning a new habit. Think about the pressure of the society, especially group pressure. Everyone does it, or expect you to do it- so you do it. Successful people usually developed good habits for themselves that lead towards more success. These habits contribute to who they want to be or how they want to develop themselves.
Learning new habits costs time, and also depends on how you deal with changes and your relationships with others. You can choose to deal with the need of the bad habit, or the change the habit by replacing it by something healthy and contributing to your happiness.