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When you are able to break down your habits into these four parts it becomes a lot easier for you to understand how habits work. In turn this provides you with a way to break a habit. The psychologists call this 4 step process the “habit loop”. It makes sense doesn’t it – something triggers your habit and then you have a craving to indulge in it.
The craving for the habit is so strong that it elicits a response from you which is a behavior or action. While you are indulging in this behavior you will send pleasure signals to your brain which will reinforce the habit.
Here is an example. You have had a stressful afternoon at work. This triggers the craving for a drink.
Instead of going home after work you go to the bar just down the street where everyone knows you.
You spend all night in the bar which sends pleasure signals to your brain.
The 4 elements in the habit formation process form a neurological loop which enables you to create new habits and put them on autopilot. As soon as the habit is triggered you will follow the routine automatically. It is not really automatic, but because it happens so fast it certainly feels like it is. The good news is that there are a number of effective ways that you can eliminate the bad habits from your life. Some of these are going to be more effective for you than others. This is because we are all different and have certain inclinations and unique circumstances.
So let’s take a look at the five most common ways of eliminating bad habits:
This is a classic way of eliminating a bad habit that has been around for a very long time. It is probably the hardest method out there and takes an incredible amount of willpower. A lot of people that experience a certain amount of success with the cold turkey method report that the bad habit returns after a while.
What is cold turkey?
Well it means that you just decide to stop the bad habit from this point forward. So if you smoke cigarettes you can just stop smoking them. Cold turkey is used a lot to wean people off of a hard drug addiction. You may have seen documentaries on TV about this. It can be a very tough road to shake off an addiction.
Eliminating bad habits using any method is not going to be easy. The reason is because all of our habits are deeply ingrained within us. Bad habits often trigger repeats and when this happens the old bad behavior quickly comes to the surface.
Unfortunately it is this triggering that makes cold turkey the most ineffective of the methods that we will share with you in this report. If you go cold turkey and you are unable to sustain the breaking of your bad habit then this can leave you feeling resentful and that you wasted your time.
This can be a crushing blow for your self esteem. You tried and you failed. It wasn’t possible for you to pull it off. You do not have the resolve or the stomach for a fight like this. Can you see how this can happen?
That doesn’t mean that cold turkey never works though. A lot of people have quit smoking and other bad habits using cold turkey. They had to endure a lot of pain and anguish to achieve this but the reward for giving up smoking was so great for them that they pulled it off.
Breaking a bad habit with the cold turkey approach is very good for you as a person. It demonstrates that once you put your mind to something you are going to follow through with it. This sends powerful signals to your subconscious mind which will help you to persevere with other tough challenges in the future.
There have been a number of studies that have shown that the brain stores habits in a different way than it does other memories. With a habit, there is an emotion within you that creates a trigger which in turn creates a strong urge for you to behave in a certain way or take a specific action. So what does this mean?
Well one school of thought is that habits are hardwired into your brain meaning that there is no way you can remove them. So after you have formed a bad habit it will remain there for the rest of your days. This would explain why a lot of drug addicts return to their bad ways after rehab. But it doesn’t explain why some do not.
Another school of thought is that you do not eliminate a bad habit but you overwrite it. Instead of performing the old routine when the habit is triggered you will perform a new routine which is good.
You are effectively reprogramming your brain to take another course of action instead of the old one.
To make this work for you, the new routine has to be a lot stronger than the old one for the overwrite to stick. The science of neuro linguistic programming (NLP) works in this way. It is an effective method for interrupting old destructive patterns and replacing them with new ones that are beneficial to you.
This does work and can be very effective. What you are doing here is changing your existing habit loop. The trick is to replace the original loop with another that means more to you. It brings a greater reward.
So if you smoke cigarettes the next time that you have an urge to smoke you can replace this with something else. You know that this is bad for your health so you replace the smoking routine with something that is good for your health like some gentle exercise. If your health is more important to you than the kick you get from smoking then this will work.
Over time this new pattern takes hold and you will find that it is near impossible for you to return to the old bad habit.Other Details
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- Year Released/Circulated: 2021
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