How Neuroplasticity Works In Habit Building?
Neuroplasticity is the brain’s ability to reorganize itself by creating new neural pathways to adapt, learn and remember new things. This is how we are able to develop habits.
The process of habit formation begins with a cue, which triggers a routine, which leads to a reward. The cue can be anything from seeing a certain object to feeling a certain emotion. The routine can be anything from taking a specific action to thinking a certain thought. And the reward can be anything from getting a desired outcome to simply feeling good.
Over time, the brain starts to link the cue and the reward together so that the routine becomes automatic. This is because the neural pathways that are used become stronger and more efficient with repeated use. The same process that helps us develop positive habits also works against us when it comes to forming bad habits.
Fortunately, neuroplasticity also allows us to change existing habits by creating new neural pathways. This process is known as “unlearning.” To unlearn a bad habit, we first need to become aware of it and then make a conscious effort to do something different. For example, if we want to break the habit of smoking, we need to become aware of our smoking cues and then find an alternative activity to do instead of smoking.
It’s important to remember that it takes time and repetition to change a habit. But if we are patient and persistent, we can train our brains to form new, healthier habits that will benefit us in the long run.