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Changing habits is hard, here's what you can do about it

Here’s an example of an emotional eating habit cycle:

cue - feelings of sadness

The cue leads to a routine, which is eating

Then the routine leads to the reward, which is the happiness, relief etc

Here’s the thing, when a habit emerges, the brain fully stops participating in decision making.

So, deciding ‘I’m goin to stop eating when I feel sad’ isn’t going to cut it because the habit is on an autopilot mode.

Habit cannot be eradicated, it must be replaced. So, what you can do is change your routine while keeping the cue and the reward the same.

This means, when you’re feeling sad, you respond to sadness by doing something else instead of eating. This new response needs to make you happy and give you relief you want( same reward). Reading, walking outside, taking a bath, talking to a friend etc are all great options.

A second important aspect of changing your habits is believing you can indeed change. Being a part of a community or having the support of a coach is tremendously important to increase feelings of belief in your abilities.

After a about a month, the routine you changed, will become automatic. And you’ve just developed a new habit.

I highly recommend reading ‘The power of habit’ by Charles Duhigg.

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