Disrupting Habits: A Path to a Healthier Lifestyle

This week, we’ve been delving into the world of behavioral therapy. Specifically, we’ve been exploring cognitive behavioral therapy and its application to health and fitness. One of the key aspects we discussed is the power of habits. Habits are neither inherently good nor bad; they are simply ways of maintaining the status quo in our lives.

Now, let’s talk about breaking those habits. It’s not an easy task, and I want to acknowledge that. Addiction, in particular, is a complex subject that requires careful consideration. However, research conducted during the Vietnam War sheds some light on habit disruption. It was observed that soldiers who had developed addiction while overseas often didn’t carry those habits back home. Changing from the regimented routine and environment of the military back to regular civilian seemed to disrupt the negative patterns.

This discovery highlights the significance of disrupting habits and patterns in our daily lives. Consider the people you surround yourself with. Are they contributing to your negative habits or holding you back? Sometimes, breaking free from certain triggers and spending time with individuals who have different perspectives and goals can lead to positive changes.

But breaking habits goes beyond just improving them; it’s about establishing new patterns. Our higher-order self may identify a habit as bad, but it can’t convince our lower-order self, which is governed by habits and emotion, to change easily. It’s a complex dynamic that requires strategy and patience.

So here’s my challenge for you this Memorial Day weekend. As you enjoy time with loved ones and savor those delicious barbecues, take a moment to think about one small step you can take to disrupt a triggering habit. It could be as simple as taking the stairs instead of the elevator at work or choosing healthier options for dessert. The key is to start small, find the smallest possible step, and commit to executing it.

I believe that by disrupting negative patterns and establishing new, healthier habits, we can make significant progress in our journey to improved health and fitness. Let’s make June our Fun Fitness month as we continue to support and inspire each other.

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