I’m giving up one of my habits for Lent. (it’s personal nosey HaHa) Lent is all about fasting and preparing for Easter. Christians use Lent as a time to reflect and focus on their personal relationship with God. I take Lent seriously every year. Lent takes dedication and every year I choose to shine light on my not so great habits. One of my best friends always says “It takes 21 days to break a habit.” I always think “She’s wrong.” every time she says it. I’m not a know-it-all but I know that I give up habits for way longer than that but still go right back to it. Are we being honest or are we being honest? HaHa. It’s hard! So I decided to look up what’s wrong with my brain and see if there is truly a magical number of days to break habits and fix our problems.
Our brain registers all pleasures in the same way. Money, sex (burn those calories! wink wink) drugs, or food..it doesn’t matter because they’re all equal! According to Harvard Health in the brain, pleasure has a distinct signature: the release of the neurotransmitter dopamine in the nucleus accumbens, a cluster of nerve cells lying underneath the cerebral cortex. Dopamine release in the nucleus accumbens is so consistently tied with pleasure that neuroscientists refer to the region as the brain’s pleasure center. It all makes sense. Pleasure feels good and starts a party in your brain. The big question is how do we have control of the party? How do we become the DJ?
We can say “just say no” like the 1980s slogan or we can be real with ourselves. It is like Think About It! when I talked about being mindful. Switch it up! Change the things that you do and the people that you associate with if you want to work on changing your bad habits. You can’t hang out with Betty who loves buffets if you are trying to be summertime fine. You might have to skip card night with the fellas and go to the gym to avoid the cigars and beer. Do what you have to do ladies and gents. We have to get over the “right now” feeling to break habits. Right now you may feel like you are about to go crazy if you don’t feed your addiction but it’s only temporary. The goal is to have control and to understand that life is not all about pleasure.
21 days, 26 days or 32 days..it doesn’t matter. You have to establish who’s boss to break a habit. You have to be mentally strong. There’s no trick way to break a habit just like there’s not trick way to lose weight. You have to forget the quick fix and work for it. You can do it! If you need motivation to get negative associates out of your way read Flush You! Toodles!