How Habits Are Formed

The way we start to break bad habits and create new, positive habits is to get an understanding of how and why habits are formed.


Everything you know how to do is a habit, like driving or typing on a keyboard. Even the more basic of tasks like walking, eating and even breathing. Your brain has adapted to create habits so that you don’t have to learn how to certain things over and over again.

Bad Habits

With that being said, some habits are good and aid your life, whereas others not so much. Procrastination, laziness, eating too much, doing drugs. These sorts of behaviours, if repeated, are detrimental to your happiness. Tand are keeping you locked in the same pattern of behaviour.

You are probably thinking, why do I form these habits then if they are not helping me?

Feeling Happy

The answer is because your body is craving the feel-good chemical called serotonin. When you feel happy, such as when you eat your favourite food or get a Facebook notification, your body will automatically create a behavioural pathway in your brain so that it knows how to get that good feeling again. There is a part of you always searching for that happy feeling and habits are a result of that.

The problem with this is that this pathway is not taking into account the damage it is doing to other parts of your life, such as, putting on weight from eating too much or spending all day online instead of doing a work project that you have been putting off.

Automatic behaviour

This behaviour has become automatic. Most of the time you won’t even realise that you are behaving the way you do. This is the reasons why habits are so difficult to break.

Remember it’s not your fault, your brain has just found a way to make your life a little easier without taking the long-term costs into account.

With this information, what you can do is to start to recognise your habits. Then you can start breaking the bad ones and create new, positive habits that will aid your life.

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