Ok, here's some more research on why breaking habits is so hard to do. But we know that already don't we? It's all about how habits feel good, how they interact with the brains reward centres and how we are 'creatures of habit' and once they're established they're difficult to forget. Like riding a bike or driving a car. You're on auto pilot and releasing dopamine to boot - at least with pleasurable habits, even if they're killing you!
What's really important in this research is that it's all about the subconscious brain - that bit of the brain that does things without you really thinking about it, that's responding to our environment constantly, that knows what the wallpaper in your bedroom as a child looked like, that is noticing what your clothes feel like on your skin right now, or the temperature of the air, or that constant sound - even if you have stopped paying conscious attention to them, or noticing them.
I work with brains everyday! And I work with the subconscious part of the brain in particular because that's where the problems lie. And it's surprisingly open to change. Fast change. You see habits that are years old are just a few seconds old in the brain, they are are only as old as it takes to trigger those established neural pathways. Because they happen in the here and now. Thought, feeling, trigger, BAM.
That makes them ideal for 're-programming' - change the response to the old trigger and you change the habit. Simples!
Here's the research if you're interested:
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