• sarah scarratt

Kicking bad habits ...part 1/3

Our brains like habits. From an evolutionary point of view, it saves mental energy and time when we do things automatically. Reflecting, mulling things over and making decisions uses up precious energy and for our ancestors, when getting enough food wasn't guaranteed, anything that saved energy was a bonus, freeing up mental capacity to deal with more complex or urgent matters. Habits can also be comforting; in fact, almost half of our daily actions are repeated unconsciously .. and therein lies the problem. Living on auto-pilot can deaden our senses, giving us the impression that we're on a tread mill while life around us speeds up and we become immune to daily pleasures. Where it gets even more complicated is that even bad habits are doing something for us... you might know that smoking is bad for your health but it's also a great moment to share with colleagues, a way of relaxing at the end of a busy day, a time to wind down. You know you should do more exercise and you want to eat more healthily and spend more time with your kids ... and how to fit this in with increasing pressures of work ... Too often, we set ourselves unrealistic goals without taking the time to figure out how its going to pan out, and then get disappointed in ourselves when we 'fail'. In these three posts, I'll put some ideas which might help in making a change really stick!

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