A habit refers to a behavior that an individual performs routinely or regularly and usually occur subconsciously. Some of the habits tend to be hard to break and also forming new habits can as well be challenging, but an individual can also be in a position of forming new habits through repetition. Habits can be replaced, changed or ignored. This essay discusses how my habit of biting nails follows the habit loop, the role of craving in the creation of a habit, how I can use the Golden Rule to help change my nail biting habit and the role of belief towards changing my nail-biting habit.
According to Duhiggs explanation of the habit loop it consists of three steps whereby the brain usually put a lot of effort when a habit starts while looking for something that is referred to as a cue. The cue provides a hint of the pattern that should be used. The brain ensures that everything unfolds as required. The cue acts as a trigger that directs the brain. After the cue, there is the routine which can be emotional, mental or physical. The final step in the habit loop is the reward that assists the brain in determining if that given loop is of any importance in the future. After a given period the habit loop tends to occur automatically (Duhigg 13). My habit follows this loop since I have the routine of biting my nails whereby I bring my hand up to the mouth to bite my nails and bite all the rough edges of all my fingernails. The cue for this routine is mainly boredom and nervousness, and the reward of biting the nails is that it helps me in relieving stress.
Craving plays a significant role in habit creation since it makes the rewards and cues to work. The craving that is created assists in powering of the habit loop. The first step is to find a cue that is obvious and simple and then define the rewards. Rewards are of great importance since they help in satisfying cravings (Duhigg 25). To change my nail-biting habit, I will figure out which craving drive a specific habit whereby I will use different rewards to experiment. When I feel the urge to raise my hand and put my fingers into the mouth to start biting the nails, I will adjust that routine and start chewing gum or eat something to distract me from biting the nails. Through this, I will get a different reward where my fingernails will start getting longer and apply nail polish. Chewing of the gum will help satisfy my craving of having something in my mouth which will help me solve the habit of biting my nails.
The Golden Rule of habit change according to most studies is one of the most powerful weapons that can help create change. According to Duhigg this rule to change a particular habit one is required to use the old cue and reward but shift to a new routine (Duhigg 33). I will use the Golden Rule to help change my habit my maintaining the same cue which is nervousness and boredom and maintain the same rewards of relieving stress and shift my routine to rubbing my hands together or even talking to a friend to kill the boredom.
According to Duhigg belief assists an individual to change from a bad habit to a good habit and maintain it. When an individual believes in their change and the value of the new behavior, they tend not to go back to the old habit. To incorporate this concept in my plan of changing my nail biting habit I will start by making small changes successfully as that will give me hope and make me believe in myself and appreciate the importance of the small progress that I make. I will also ensure that I have a support group that will help me to continue believing and having faith in myself.
In conclusion, the habit loop consists of three main steps which are cue, routine and reward. Understanding of how a particular habit operates one is able to control that particular habit. The golden rule is of great importance when one wants to change a particular habit. An individual should believe in themselves that they can change a particular habit and have people who encourage and support them to change a certain habit.
Duhigg, Charles. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business. Random House Books, 2013.
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