Ask anyone who’s ever tried to stop smoking or lose weight and they will tell you that it’s very hard. Even those who manage to change their behavior will often fall back to their old ways at some point, often during stressful or difficult times.
Why is it so hard to change what we do? Aren’t we in control of our own actions? Turns out, we’re not. Not consciously at least. When we repeatedly engage in a certain type of behavior, a small part of our brain called the basal ganglia stores the behavior and a habit is created. We no longer need to consciously think about it, we go on auto-pilot. Continue reading »