Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

The Science of Habits: How we make and break them

From the July 1, 2020 article at Medical Express

“Professor Barbara Mullan is the Deputy Head of Curtin University’s School of Psychology. She’s been researching how habits work.

She says the main driver of forming habits is a cue that makes you think of something, which is followed by a reward.

For example, on your drive home, you see a McDonald’s sign (cue) and buy yourself a Happy Meal (reward).

“For a lot of us, we have routines,” Barbara says. “One step which leads to the next step which leads to the next step.”

The good, the bad and the loop

This cycle is called habit loops or habit stacking.

“When we’re trying to get people to form good habits, we often get them to think about something they’re already doing and seeing if they can hook it on to that,” Barbara says.

For example, if you’re trying to remind yourself to take a new supplement, you can put it next to your toothbrush and take it when you brush your teeth.

The reverse is true for breaking bad habits. If you eat lollies when you watch TV, maybe it’s time to stop watching TV for a while.”

Read the entire article at https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-science-habits.html

August 13, 2020 - Posted by | Psychology

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