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The Neuroscience of Bad Habits and Why It’s Not About Will Power

The Neuroscience of Bad Habits and Why It’s Not About Will Power

Why are bad habits so hard to break? What if the bumper sticker “Just Say No!” actually works against us? If willpower were the answer to breaking bad habits then we  decisionswouldn’t have drug addiction or obesity. There’s something going on in our brains where we literally lose the ability for self-control, but all hope isn’t lost. Nora Volkow, head of the National Institute on Drug Abuse calls the phrase “Just Say No!” “magical thinking.” It appears that dopamine is…

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Start A New (good) Habit, Kill An Old (bad) One

Start A New (good) Habit, Kill An Old (bad) One

Odds are, you are trying to break a bad habit or institute a good one right now. As a species, we are impressively committed to self-improvement, and most of us believe that habits are an effective means to that end. Habits – actions performed with little conscious thought and often unwittingly triggered by external cues – are powerful influences on behavior and can be our greatest allies for positive change. But because they are so difficult to break, habits are…

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Why ‘2-minute Mornings’ Might Be More Effective Than New Year’s Resolutions

Why ‘2-minute Mornings’ Might Be More Effective Than New Year’s Resolutions

A fool-proof way of sticking to your New Year’s resolution Author Neil Pasricha takes us through new ways to cultivate happiness and success in 2018. Neil Pasricha would like to see the end of New Year’s resolutions. The motivational speaker and bestselling author of “The Book of Awesome” and “The Happiness Equation” says the problem with resolutions is that they tend to be vague and are thus doomed to fail. “I don’t think resolutions work. I know they don’t work…

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The Science Behind Why Breaking A Bad Habit Is So Hard

The Science Behind Why Breaking A Bad Habit Is So Hard

Engaging the goal-directed side of your brain can help you override the part that controls your bad habits. Habits are your brain’s version of autopilot. They allow you to get ready for work, navigate your way to the office, and find your way home without having to reinvent the wheel every day. They save time and energy . . . except when they involve grabbing a candy bar from the vending machine every afternoon at 3 p.m. In cases like…

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Why Letting Yourself Make Mistakes Means Making Fewer of Them

Why Letting Yourself Make Mistakes Means Making Fewer of Them

Allowing mistakes is the best way to avoid making them. Think back to the last time your boss assigned you a new project or task at work, or the last time you tried to tackle something really difficult in your personal life.  How did it feel?  I’m guessing scary, right? While some people seem eager to tackle new challenges, many of us are really just trying to survive without committing any major screw-ups.  Taking on something totally new and unfamiliar…

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5 Things To Give Up Right Now (Even If You Don’t Want To)

5 Things To Give Up Right Now (Even If You Don’t Want To)

“Nothing is more intolerable than to have to admit to yourself your own errors.” Ludwig van Beethoven Giving up anything we’ve come to embrace (consciously or not) as part of ourselves is often a tough endeavor. Compiling a list of things that each one of us “shouldn’t do” is hard too, by the way. But we digress. It is our sincere belief that giving up the 5 things on this list will lead to a happier, healthier, and more fulfilling…

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7 Ways Mentally Strong People Bounce Back

7 Ways Mentally Strong People Bounce Back

For some people, failure becomes a permanent roadblock between them and success. For the mentally strong, however, setbacks are an opportunity to sharpen skills and become better at what they do. Whether they are passed up for a promotion or their side hustle costs more money than it earns, mentally strong people don’t let failure define them. Here’s how mentally strong people turn setbacks into comebacks: 1. They keep failure in proper perspective. Mentally strong people don’t get overly upset…

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The Domino Effect: How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits

The Domino Effect: How to Create a Chain Reaction of Good Habits

Human behaviors are often tied to one another. For example, consider the case of a woman named Jennifer Lee Dukes. For two and a half decades during her adult life, starting when she left for college and extending into her 40s, Dukes never made her bed except for when her mother or guests dropped by the house. At some point, she decided to give it another try and managed to make her bed four days in a row—a seemingly trivial…

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The Psychology Of Habit: Why We Become What We Repeatedly Do

The Psychology Of Habit: Why We Become What We Repeatedly Do

BY BRIANNA WIEST Understanding whether or not our personalities are fixed or malleable – and to what degree – has been the question philosophers and neuroscientists alike have spent years trying to understand. It’s comforting to attribute our most debilitating qualities to just being “who we are.” It lets us off the hook, it helps procrastinate change. Yet, when we remain unconscious of the fact that we can change our natural inclinations to the point that we can actually change…

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Here’s Why Believing People Can Change Is So Important in Life

Here’s Why Believing People Can Change Is So Important in Life

How a growth mindset affects stress levels and health. Adolescents who believe people can change cope better with the challenges of attending high school, a new study finds. In contrast, those who believed that people’s personalities are fixed and unchangeable fared worse, suffering higher levels of stress and poorer physical health. The study’s authors were inspired by the idea that the high school years are a defining period in life: “Iconic films such as The Breakfast Club or Back to…

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