“Every battle is won or lost before it’s ever fought. ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the results of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained, you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle..'” -Sun Tzu. The Art of War
Psychologists say we have one brain but two minds. I’ll help you understand both – their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies so you will be able to win every willpower battle. When armed with practical strategies, we are all capable of change. Most programs tell you what to do. They fail to address the hardest aspect of behavior change, not repeating past behavior. Our program provides practical techniques for interrupting bad habits and replacing them with good ones.
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Our brain relies on routines stored in our primitive brain to conserve mental energy, but it needs to decide which Routine to perform and when to perform it. The initial spike in brain activity is the rat determining which Routine to perform. Once the rat decides, it’s decision centers quiet, their basal ganglia take over, navigating the maze quicker than when it was slowed down by conscious thought. At the end of the exercise, when the rat sees the reward, the brain jolts itself awake. It makes sure that the pattern unfolded as anticipated. Habits are a four-step process. First, there is a Cue that stimulates a Craving and triggers a Routine. Then there is a conditioned Routine, stored in our basal ganglia, that we execute to satisfy our Craving. Finally, there is a Reward that reinforces the habit by causing our brain to judge the routine worth remembering and repeating. This explains the pattern of brain activity the researchers observed, and it helps explain why habits are so valuable and potentially dangerous. Ann Graybiel, one of the scientists who oversaw many of the basal ganglia experiments, said, “Habits never really disappear. They’re encoded into the structures of our brain, and that’s a huge advantage for us because it would be awful if we had to relearn how to drive after every vacation. The problem is that your brain can’t tell the difference between bad and good habits, and so if you have a bad one, it’s always lurking there, waiting for the right cues and rewards.[i] “If a learned pattern remains in the brain after the behavior is extinguished, maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to change a habit. It is as though somehow, the brain retains a memory of the habit context, and this pattern can be triggered if the right habit cues come back,” Graybiel said. “This situation is familiar to anyone who is trying to lose weight or to control a well-engrained habit. Just the sight of a piece of chocolate cake can reset all those good intentions.”[ii] Continue reading Why Habits are so Powerful and Potentially Dangerous
For us to be able to develop good habits, we must first understand the psychology of behavior change. Psychologists say we have one brain but two minds. You will learn about both – their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies so you will be able to win every battle. You will learn how to overcome intense cravings and develop healthy eating habits. We are all capable of … Continue reading ONE BRAIN – BUT TWO MINDS