Nowadays, the human being has become something of a habitual concept. We are doing the same things over and over again that our bodies know how to do it by themselves, even better than our minds. We’re on autopilot.
We should then be curious about what is a habit and how it impacts us on a daily basis. This will help us see better, have a wider perception of our actions and possibly even change the ones that are not working on our behalf.
A habit is a redundant set of automatic, unconscious thoughts, behaviors and emotions, acquired through repetition. A habit is when we’ve done something so many times, that our body knows now how to do it by itself, without us having any kind of control over the process.
Records of the past
Today, the mind is a record of our past. When we recall a memory, we trigger an emotion. How you think and feel creates your state of being. Unfortunately, not many of us are aware of this way of functioning. A person’s entire state of being when they start their day is most frequently in the past. So, taking into consideration what is written above, that means that the familiar past will now have all the chances to become a predictable future.
So, if we believe that our thoughts have something to do with our destiny and we are not able to think bigger than how we feel, the feelings have become a mean of thinking and by the definition of emotion, we’re thinking in the past. And, for the most part, we’re going to keep creating the same life for ourselves.
We are going through a series of routine behaviors, we push the same emotional buttons and that becomes a program by itself. It’s like losing our free will to it, having no control over our thoughts and emotions. Nobody is doing this to us. So, when it comes time to change, the redundancy of that cycle becomes a subconscious program.
Research says that 95% of who we are by 35 is a memorized set of behaviors, emotional reactions, unconscious habits, hardwired attitudes, beliefs and perceptions that function by themselves. So, one can say positive things with the other 5% of their mind, but the body is on a whole different level and frequency. That being said, how do we begin to make some changes?
First, we have to go beyond the analytical thinking, because that separates us from the calm part of the mind, which is there to help us see clearly, that is if we know how to control it.
And here, mindfulness and meditation have a big say, because people can be taught how to slow down their minds and when they do that in the right way they enter the operating system when they can begin to make some changes.
Most people wait for trauma, disease, depression, some kind of drama to change. They are taking the hard way. Most of us do that pretty much all the time. So, knowing this, why wait? It’s better to learn to change in a state of happiness and inspiration rather than by living a traumatic event, isn’t it?
The stronger the emotional reaction we have to experience, the more we pay attention to the cause. Long-term memories are created from highly emotional experiences. It turns out that people spend 70% of their time in survival mode, in a constant state of stress. They are always anticipating the worst case scenario based on past experience.
People think and feel in the same way without having any control over it. That creates the mood and the mood creates the temperament, which creates the personality. When we experience an event that has an emotional impact on us, we keep remembering it, because the body wants us to be prepared in case it happens again.
How emotions work
So, out of the immense potentialities, we are selecting the worst possible outcome and we are beginning to embrace it with fear. When we do that enough times, the body can have a panic attack, for example, and we cannot prevent this thing from happening, because it is done at a subconscious level.
And, when we ask a person why are they the way they are, the cause will always be something that happened to them in the past, that might have happened 10 or 20 years ago. That means that they haven’t been able to change since that event. The emotions from that experience stored in the body, give it a rush of energy.
People have become addicted to the feel of those emotions. Every time they recall the event, they produce the same chemical substances in the body as the experience itself did. The relevance of that is that the body, which doesn’t know the difference between the remembering of the experience and the experience itself will react as if it was happening at that moment. Practically, the body is living in the same experience over and over again. So, when those emotions influence certain thoughts, they create the same emotion and so on.
Are we able to make the smart choice?
Therefore, the hardest part about change is not making the same choices over and over again. Life is waiting for us to bloom. Life doesn’t mind to be kept waiting, but do we mind?
The moment we decide to make a different choice is going to seem a little uncomfortable first, a little unfamiliar. It’s going to be unknown. We won’t feel the same way, the body is going to get confused. The body will want to go back, it will start to influence the mind to say many things to get us to the same familiar choice it knows.
If we respond to that, it will lead to the same choice, to the same behaviors, that will create the same experiences and the same emotions. The body is stronger than the mind because it is conditioned that way.
Being in the unknown is a scary thing, it’s uncertain. That means that the best way to predict what’s going to happen is to create it. The hardest part of this is to teach our body to get ready for an emotion that he doesn’t know and cannot control.
If we are not defined by a vision of the future we know already, we begin to notice slowly, we begin to affect and create our own reality, instead of the other way around. The environment controls what we think these days. To change is to be greater than the environment. When we can disconnect from our reality, everything changes.
The frontal lobe is 40% of our brain and most people, when they have a thought, they just think that is the truth. It’s just a thought. We think an average of 60-70.000 thoughts per day and 90% of that are the same thoughts as the day before. In that way, it’s obvious that our lives are not going to change very much.
The act of becoming conscious of this process called meta-cognition means that the more conscious we become of those unconscious emotions, the less likely we are to live the day unconsciously. No thought can slip our awareness unobserved. In that way, we are leaving our old self behind.
It’s similar to a garden. When we start a garden, we have to get rid of the weeds first, the rocks, the soil has to be tamed, there has to be room to plant.
Therefore, we have to unlearn before we learn. We have to break the habit of the old self. That is the process. And we have a choice. Make use of that choice and just do it!
** Article inspired by Dr. Joe Dispenza’s books, Breaking the Habit of Being Yourself and Evolve your Brain.