Behavioral And Social/Cognitive Approaches To Forming Habits

1108 words - 5 pages

Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits
PSY/250 Psychology of Personality
Faye Flanagan
December 9, 2013

Behavioral and Social/Cognitive Approaches to Forming Habits
Can habits be changed or broken? Change is a process that does not happen overnight and generally it can create doubt or take a person down a winding road to their past. The result of change can be twofold and the impact depending on the person can be detrimental. For some that trip can be the very thing that improves their life or the quality of their life; for others change has the potential to cause more harm than good depending on their internal drive or emotional state of mind. From time to time ...view middle of the document...

To release or remove the heavy feeling I began to shop. Shopping made me happy, it took my mind off my problems, and it numbed the emotional pain I was experiencing. For me shopping forced me to be outside and more observant of my surroundings. I found that the simplest things like the formation of the clouds, the various shapes of leaves or the way plant roots intertwine lifted my spirits and the dark and dreary cloud that was hanging over my head. After several months of this routine the negativity was removed from my lips and began to feel free. The pleasurable activity, shopping, which was freeing me had an enormous control over my mind and was taking a toll on my wallet.
Shopping was used as a method to release emotional stress but it quickly became a bad habit that ended up causing more harm than good in more ways than one. In my attempts to make myself feel better I took to shopping. Oddly no one in my household seemed to mind or suggest that a problem existed. However, after another self- evaluation I noticed that I was becoming obsessed with this recreational activity so I attempted to break the habit; but it was not easy to change the behavior that was seemingly so rewarding. When feelings of depression arouse shopping was an automatic response. I did not discriminate; I would shop anywhere, the corner store, department stores, grocery store, and even the farmers market. All I know is that when I was in a store spending money I was happy. According to Duhig I had that experience because my brain processed the behavior and turned it into an automatic routine. Thus breaking this habit would not be easy and without consistent monitoring there would be a possibility that the habit could resurface.
The mind is a powerful tool and it can affect our behavior and cause people to perceive things that are not acceptable to the normal standards as bad. Change does not necessarily represent something bad it can also be a tool used to improve performance, image, and perception. Changing routine patterns or the way that something is done is called breaking a habit. A habit begins as psychological pattern called a "habit loop" (Duhig, 2012). There are three stages of the habit loop: 1) mental trigger 2) implementation of behavior and 3) reward. The mental trigger is where the brain is alerted...

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