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Rewiring Your Brain

9 May

Do you have a bad habit that you want to get rid of?

Reaching for the chocolate when stress builds?  Or smoking after a meal?

Perhaps you want to go to the gym on weekend mornings instead of sleeping in?

Human head and brain. Different kind of waveforms produced by brain activity shown on background. Digital illustration.

Well, after months and years of practicing the same habits over and over again, your brain has created  “mental highways” of habit.  Going to the store for chocolate on the way home from a stressful workday is a habit that keeps getting reinforced.  Same with lighting up after dinner.

When you are younger, it’s easy to break the old connections and forge in a new direction. But darn …  it’s much more challenging as you get older.

The key for us older folks is repetition – and lots of it.

Turns out that if you want to develop a new habit, you will have to practice it for 45 days straight, according to Dr. Loretta G. Breuning, author of Habits of a Happy Brain.

It will be hard – for sure.

If you stick with it for 45 days, despite how you feel, you will rewire your brain into a new habit. After that critical point, it will come almost naturally to you.

Now, no one said that this will be easy and you will have to resist the temptations to get back on the old habit highway. But think about it … in 1 1/2 months you can rewire your brain and be on a new path.

Jeanette

P.S. I am going to give this a try. Hmm – which bad habit should I try first?

 

 

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