Bored? Are you going to eat?

Habits make up a large part of our daily activity. Have you noticed that you go to your office almost on auto-pilot? This routine of driving is composed of tiny patterns that you had to learn in the early days of going to the office. 

Some of our habits are not the best for us. Our habits are formed when we make decisions. Here is what happens, we get a cue from our personality area, a trigger of some sort, for example, we are bored. This cue causes our brain to figure out an activity that will satisfy the urge resulting from the cue. We take some action – a response to the urge. And, if the urge or the original cue is satisfied, then we have a reward.

We can inadvertently stitch an incorrect response which has a reward to our initial urge. Now this incorrect response will become a habit to this cue. This is how our decisions end up dictating what we become. As an example, let’s say that in response to the boredom cue, you started eating. As all healthcare professionals and students know, eating excites the satiety center in the limbic system resulting in temporary relief of craving. You just connected eating to boredom.

We will discuss later how to fix this, however, in this discussion let’s become aware that our cues end up in responses that satisfy the craving caused by these cues.

Most importantly, make sure that you check your first-time decisions. Make sure that these decisions if they became a habit, will these be healthy and constructive for you in the long run.