Today I will discuss how we can change our destructive addictions into good ones.
Our basal ganglia is a primitive part, so it can not discriminate between good and bad habits. It only understands the dividend it gets after the particular ritual. And if it doesn’t get the reward it seeks, it turns against us. We can get rid of our addictions, but our basal ganglia won’t let us do it. No matter how hard we strive, we eventually get tired of fighting these mind games and give in to our old patterns. It is too powerful to resist.
Cue and rewarding the habit loop are like solid magnets which require too much force to pull apart, which exhausts the person mentally and physically too soon.
So, Instead of getting rid of our addictions completely, we can transform them from bad to good, which is viable. Duhigg gave a golden rule for this transformation, and he says, ‘If you use the same cue and provide the same reward, you can shift the routine and change the habit.’He called it short circuit the loop. By applying this rule, we can transform almost all our patterns. We need to keep the old cue and reward the exact change of the routine in between, which is the main element we want to change.
The process of habit change requires a lot of patience, persistence, and effort. We can’t change any addiction overnight. Duhigg has provided a general four-step framework to change a habit. As there are a lot of different addictions, no single formula can work. But we can analyze our habit, which we want to change and categorize its components in cue, routine, and reward, and then according to that, we can use his four-step guide to shift.
To Be Continued…