What is a habit and how is it acquired

  • Dec 28, 2021
What is a habit and how is it acquired

A habit constitutes a behavior that, after repeating it a considerable number of times, becomes internalized as a natural form of behavior. But, how do you make a healthy life habit like, for example, a food habit? At present, the 21-day technique is especially used as the ideal method of acquiring new habits.

If you want to know what a habit is according to psychology, in the following article we reveal this information, solving questions such as what is a habit and how is it acquired. Finally, we will talk about the importance of acquiring healthy habits as a source of life.

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  1. What is a habit
  2. How to acquire a habit
  3. The acquisition of healthy habits as a source of life

What is a habit.

A habit is a prolonged repetition behavior, which is internalized and assumed as a way of life. Habits, once acquired, are carried out automatically so they do not require the participation of certain higher mental processes such as attention, information processing, intervention conscious, etc. This characteristic of habits has a positive and a negative aspect.

This automation of behaviors allows investing personal resources in other matters without hardly attending to them. ritualized behaviors. On the contrary, in the case of negative behaviors acquired as habits, the very inertia of the behavior and the lack of The attention that is produced, among other aspects, makes it difficult to replace this behavior with a more appropriate one.

How to acquire a habit.

Like all learning in life, the acquisition of a habit constitutes, at the beginning, the learning of a new behavior. Therefore, it requires a process typical of any learning process. The different steps to acquire a habit are:

  • Determine behavior. It is about specifying the behavior that we intend to achieve.
  • Planning. It is necessary to carry out the programming and schedule that we will carry out in order to integrate the healthy habit, in this case. The Health Sciences states that a minimum of three weeks (21 days) are necessary to consolidate any habit.
  • Practice the habit. It is necessary to carry out a conscious, voluntary and programmed repetition that will allow the integration of the chosen habit.

How do you make a habit? You should know that to carry out this third stage, it is essential to surround yourself with motivating stimuli that encourage us to carry out the behavior as it has been planned for its internalization. These elements can be both external and internal.

It is about making use of everything that strengthens us and encourages us to continue with the proposed objective (music that we like it, family or friends, positive habits that motivate us towards this new, concentration and relaxation techniques, etc.).

In the same way, it will be essential to arm ourselves with a whole series of strategies that allow us combat resistance that, due to previous habits and / or unconscious beliefs or mental schemes, will make it difficult for us to finally integrate the new habit to acquire.

An example of resistance when making a habit is when a person tries to integrate healthy eating habits but certain insecurity problems lead to anxious gluttony behaviors that prevent them from carrying out the habit proposed.

What is a habit and how is it acquired - How to acquire a habit

The acquisition of healthy habits as a source of life.

Our life is full of habits that, in reality, are nothing more than the automation of behaviors learned in the past. We have acquired them throughout our family and school educational process or from other life experiences. Some have been consciously chosen and others, however, have been unconsciously assumed.

Among all these habits, there are some that are less advisable in terms of personal well-being and physical and mental health; and others that are more positive and that promote the integral health of the human being and their optimal growth and development in all areas of their lives.

Ideally, to maintain a healthy life that allows us to stay in good physical, mental and emotional condition and nurturing positive relationships with the environment and nature, will be maintain healthy habits and get rid of habits that take away our health.

If we take into account, as we said before, that at the base of a person's life project there are shortcomings emotional or the assumption of family, educational or social precepts on which certain beliefs of life; the erasing unhealthy habits or the acquisition of healthy habits will present more or less important resistance that must be taken into account when carrying out this work of personal improvement.

The acquisition of healthy lifestyle habits is essential as it brings together the basic elements to nurture and strengthen personal, community and family life. For this, our post about How to improve family life. In these terms, the promotion of these habits and the elimination or reduction to minimum levels of harmful habits must become a fundamental tool for social change.

Inasmuch as the integration of these modes of conduct, inherent in truth to the reality of the human being, presuppose personal and neighborly care and, with it, better health, better coexistence and, finally, the social progress in peaceful contexts. We tell you more in What is personal and emotional self-care.

The basic healthy habits that it is convenient to consider as new ways of life, if we want to change our life, that of our community and, finally, the world are:

  • Stay active by taking care of the body and doing regular and moderate exercise.
  • Take care of the diet, integrating a healthy, balanced and toxic-free diet.
  • To rest what our body needs to replenish vital force and energy. The necessary hours of sleep will depend on personal characteristics.
  • Nurture relationships cordial and positive social and family members. This refers to the social habits that will keep us united with others and, therefore, with the necessary social network to adequately carry out our personal life project.
  • Keep the peace and inner joy, primary sources of health, well-being and the good life.
  • Fight harmful habits permanently (substance use or toxic diet, sedentary lifestyle, anxious or depressive states, etc.) that interfere with the functioning of these healthy lifestyles

This article is merely informative, in Psychology-Online we do not have the power to make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment. We invite you to go to a psychologist to treat your particular case.

If you want to read more articles similar to What is a habit and how is it acquired, we recommend that you enter our category of Other healthy life.

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