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The Role of Belief in Habit Change (Essay Sample)


For this assignment, you will explain how a habit you have (or have had) follows the habit loop as explained by Charles Duhigg. In order to explain your habit and connect it to Duhigg’s discussion of habits, you will have to explain a few concepts to your readers.
Be sure to think about the various aspects of habit formation described by Duhigg, including the habit loop, craving, the Golden Rule of habit change, and the role of belief in habit change (introduction)

What your habit is as well as how DO you plan to change it.


The Role of Belief in Habit Change

Habits are a primary characteristic of all living organisms. Every other living being has a certain set of activities that he or she repeats over time and thus gets into a certain pattern of repetition, such that thinking isn't required for the action to take place. It is as if it becomes an automatic procedure, that does not need input. However, the issue arises when a bad habit is formed leading to negative consequences time and again for the individual. In such a case scenario, it is of paramount importance that the functioning of the brain and the mechanism of how habits are formed is well understood. A very problematic bad habit I have had for a long amount of time is the inability to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. Every day, I make up my mind to be asleep at a time that allows me to have the prescribed healthy amount of sleep. However, when it is time to put this thought into action, the translation becomes a near impossible task. As a result, there are major health implications that have taken the rise. My eating habits have disintegrated significantly, along with a sense of tiredness throughout the day. It is a significantly strenuous process, of trying to form a break in unwanted habits. This becomes all the more multiplied when the engagement of an individual within these activities has continued for a long period of time. Upon reading through Duhig’s literature, I have eventually come to the realization that habit loops are the governance of the repetitive occurrence of any habit. Usually, a habit loop is initiated and starts in a certain pattern. These patterns are respectively labeled as cue, routine, and reward.
The cue is defined as the factor that is the head start of a habitable behavior. It is what triggers the initiation of a habit. Anything in the environment of an individual can be referred to as a cue. Some instances of cues are a certain time of the day, which results in an individual practicing a certain action repeatedly. Further on, a cue could also be a piece of music that triggers an individual to partake in a certain dance. In my case scenario, the queue was initially to find a sense of quiet and peace in the night. The sense of solitude during the time seemed a great trigger for me to stay up until late hours.
Further on, a routine is a behavior that is directly linked with the trigger. It can be defined as the habit segment in the habit loop. Routine is the set of actions that an individual is not able to stop doing. For example, if an individual bites his or her nails as a habit, due to a nervous trigger, it may come about every time the individual is nervous. Routine is a result of undertaking the same practice over and over, such that it becomes a behavioral routine.
Finally, one of the greatest determinants of a habit continuing over a long period of time is the reward. Drawing a pattern with my case scenario, the routine that I had fallen into what repeatedly sleeping until it was too late to have a healthy amount of sleep. The award is the production of a great amount of dopamine by the brain (Baid). Oftentimes, the reward directly linked to a certain behavior catalyze the habit situation of this behavior. If an individual engages in activities that cause enjoyment or allows them distress, it results in the brain wanting to do it again and again. defined as the inclination to stay awake and binge-watch my favorite web series. The reward acts as a great reinforcement, contributing to the foundation of a habit. The curiosity to understand, and know what might happen in the next episode of this show catalyzed my ability to stay awake, even though I might have been physically exhausted throughout the day forms the reward in this case scenario (Hill).
Further on, it has been explained by Duhig that the presence of the three different aspects of a habit loop, namely- Cue, routine, and reward isn't enough for the formation of a new habit. While these might be important companies, there are distinctive other segments that contribute to the formation of a habit. This fuel that is utilized to power the formation of a habit is referred to as craving. In my case, this craving could be the time that I reserved to myself during these hours when the rest of the people were asleep acted as a great reward that contributed to turning this activity into a great problematic habit. Craving plays a major role in the creation of a habit and must be noted, to understand the mechanism of habit formation. A craving for the reward sets the tone, and backdrop for the successful implantation of a habit in the lifestyle of an individual. Craving refers to an individual’s desire for a reward. The greater it is, the easier it is to instill certain habits in the daily life of an individual.

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