August 28, 2020

Breaking The Habit


There are certain habits that we need to break. The longer we drift into the repetitive cycle of habitual events, the harder it is to resist or break the bond which was formed. How do we distinguish a good habit from a bad habit? Since we percieve information along a widespread area, there will always exist variance. However, there are central or overlapping areas of agreement. The act of pursuing an interest for the purpose of progression requires the refinement of habits that deter growth. Such habits are often born through comfort.

Comfort is a necessary component of adaptation. Generally, if someone is anxious within an environment, there is an overload of stimuli. Anxiety can also be chemical in nature, so the chaos would be internal. When we expose ourselves to new stimuli, our brain works hard to organize or process it. The level of stimuli exists on a spectrum. Therefore, if we skip many levels or progress too rapidly into a situation, then we potentiate the risk for anxiety. Once we acclimate or organize the chaos, then anixety dissipates. This is the stage when discomfort converts to comfort.

To progress in any situation, we must welcome discomfort. If we live too comfortably, then life could become stagnant. Therefore, once the mind gets into a repetitive loop, overthinking could follow. Building new habits helps mitigate this issue. But to do so, we must let other habits perish or reduce the freuqency of habitual behaviors.

Every time we step into a new situation, endless possibilties exist. If we cross paths with a possibility, it coverts into an opportunity depending on our previous habits. Being able to continually shape or mold our life in a positive direction is key. To uncover such a direction, we need to encounter more situations to open up possibilities.

Breaking habits is not an easy task, especially if the habit persists over a long time period. The habits should never be eliminated abruptly because it may backfire. For instance, dropping a smoking habit immediately could shock the body and add uneccessary tension. The transition period should be smooth if new habits are introduced into a lifestyle. Tapering off slowly helps maintain balance and minimize the load.

These habits arise from the outer expression of our inner world. If the outer world is chaotic or disorganized, then the inner world often follows a similar trajectory and vice versa. There is always room to improve within an area of interest. To initiate any positive changes to our mental habits, we need to venture into the unknown.

Seneca, a stoic philosopher proposed, "It is not because things are difficult we dare not venture, it is because we dare not venture that things are difficult." Breaking bad habits starts with uncovering new habits. If we stay stuck in a continuous loop, we find ourselves repeating the same mistakes over and over again. There needs to be a new event that triggers a strong enough reaction to break the bond. But it starts with a choice to seek the outer world of endless possibilities.