Last Updated on November 14, 2022
Summary: In reality, most of us are merely scraping by because of our habits, which don’t help us become better people. This is because our default behaviors almost always have negative effects.
Our minds work in such a way that we get attracted to negativity for many reasons. It is easy to acquire bad habits, but one must understand that in the long run, it damages us completely and traps us.
In this article, we will find out why is it so easy for all of us to get influenced by bad habits, behaviors, and actions more swiftly than positive ones.
Why Do People Form Bad Habits Easily?
The reason why we form bad habits easily is that our brains operate on a trigger and reward basis, which is the basis for the so-called “habit loop.” This habit loop is hard to break and fight back resulting in unwanted or bad habits.
The other important reason is, bad or negative habits appear to give us pleasure. When we see bad actions, we tend to get attracted to them because we think it is cool and it gives pleasure, but it actually makes us miserable.
The pleasure we get after indulging in negative actions we tend to do it more and get attached to it.
There might also be a chance that our minds focus more on the negatives than the positives. Only one negative comment is enough to flush hundreds of positive comments.
It takes a lot of effort and a very strong mind to think positively and see the positive things. The reason why people fall into overthinking, anxiety, and depression are that they forget to see the positives.
Reason Behind Bad Habit Formation
Some acts become habits easily and fast, while others require much more time and repetition to be converted into habits. The reason behind this is simple, bad habits, in particular, are easy to develop since they are quickly reinforced and provide immediate gratification.
Think about how simple it is to get into the habit of eating fast food versus how challenging it is to get into the habit of eating sensibly.
Eating junk food provides instant gratification, whereas eating properly takes months before you start to see any noticeable changes in your body. We have a hard time forming good habits not because we lack the willpower or intelligence to do so, but because our brains are wired to reward or punish us for our actions in the here and now.
Bad habits tend to give us the comfort we think we need or desire but that comfort comes with many negative consequences. Our brain is wired in a way that it craves the reward after doing something.
Smoking, alcohol, porn, and other sorts of bad activities release a lot of comfort giving a ‘feel-good hormone’ called dopamine.
In a study by NIH, it was found by Dr. Poldrack that:
This dopamine, when released, makes us feel good, but then our brain gets addicted to it. The pleasure causes us to crave more and we start associating this good feeling with bad habits. and we find it difficult to stop it.
Hence, as the brain wants instant pleasures, instant joy, and instant reward, we tend to form bad habits easily as they are pleasurable in the short term but harmful in the long term.
How To Easily Form Good Habits?
The obvious question now is how one can form good habits if it is so hard to predict how long it takes to break the “Bad Habit Loop”?
The first step is to realize you are caught in a habit cycle. Start noticing what sets off the habit so you can break it. When you realize what you’re doing, you’ll be able to give yourself the credit you deserve.
While it’s true that humans have a natural propensity to build habits, this ability may be harnessed to great effect by providing immediate rewards for desirable actions. One method is to give yourself rewards at predetermined intervals or when you reach specific goals.
Most people, you may have seen, don’t stick with going to the gym to achieve their ideal body shape for more than a few months. This is due to the human tendency to seek immediate pleasure.
Nonetheless, one can get out of that negative frame of mind by keeping a physical or digital workout diary to track progress and by rewarding oneself for meeting daily goals.
For instance, you may reward yourself after going a month without having a cheat day. Another form of reinforcement could include making sure you get plenty of rest, eat well, and think positively while you work toward your goals. Because in the long term, you’ll get more done if your mind is healthy and rested.
To put it simply, if you ever find yourself in a scenario where you feel the want to indulge in a single cigarette, alcoholic beverage, or unhealthy snack, know that this is a craving for dopamine and short-term satisfaction. To develop self-control, it is necessary to rewire the brain’s reward system and reinforce specific actions until they become automatic.
The human mind is wired in such a way that negative habits are easy to acquire, but good ones are just as simple to establish once you know how to play the game right. With long-term practice, you’ll win your fight.
Go do positive actions, watch positive and motivational movies, hit that gym, eat that veggie, and then your mind will train itself to work harder. Give your mind that dopamine by doing some hard work, not by shortcuts.