How to break bad habits – the psychology of habits.

Bad habits How to break – the psychology of habits.

There are many theories on how long it takes to develop a habit. I have come across different numbers: 21 days, 30 days, 66 days, 90 days, and more. It is also said that it is possible to create only one habit at a time.  And it is not worth trying to make several at a time. I agree with all these offers and could put all the other missing figures in front of, behind, and in the meantime.

The development of habits depends on so many factors that it is impossible to establish a universal.  Always an appropriate number of days. It depends on the pattern, person, situation, environment, knowledge, skills, experience, etc. So your new habit may develop in 21 or 90 days or not at all.

The development of habits depends on many factors, and if they are not taken into account, the pattern may not be created.

It’s easy to think of habits that fall into the black and white categories – doing a good workout, biting your nails badly. But habits are also in our ability to control them: some are mild as if you were taking your shoes off every night; others are moderate, such as eating dinner in front of the TV or drinking too much when going to a party; and then those that are strong and addictive – like smoking

practically good. They keep us from re-inventing the wheel of our daily lives, making an infinite number of decisions throughout the day, which in turn gives us more room to think about other things. The downside of these routine patterns’ comes when these patterns fall into more of a bad column than a good one.

But habits are also patterns’ of behavior, and it is the breaking of patterns’ that is the key to breaking the habits themselves. There is usually a clear trigger to start the pattern. Sometimes triggers are emotional – wanting a drink or a cigarette or biting stressed nails. Sometimes the trigger is based on the situation and the environment: you see the TV and the couch as soon as you hit the front door, and now your brain connects the dots, and eating dinner on the couch in front of the TV is not far behind. More often than not, it is a combination of both – a mixture of social anxiety and a party environment that will lead to your stronger drinking.

But these patterns’ are usually wrapped in larger ones as well: routines come to guide our lives. Here’s a place where as soon as you knock on your door after work, your shoe runoff, you grab a beer, sit in front of the TV with dinner without thinking anymore, just as your morning break automatically takes you and your friend Kate to go outside and chat when you both have a mid-morning cigarette.

General, such routine behavior is evolutionary wise and So if you have habits that you want to break, then you can start:

Identify the specific behavior you want to change or develop.


At this point, I would like to tell one story. For example, her name is Kate. She is about 40 years old was not used to tidying up her bed unless her mother or friends came to visit. He thought for a day and a couple and gave himself a try for a week; about the fourth day after tidying up his bed, he picked up socks from the bedroom that were left floating on the floor and took the rest of the dirty laundry to the washing machine, then took the dirty dishes from the sink and put them in the dishwasher and another arranged what had been standing for a long time and was not even touched. Later, he made himself a coffee and sat down in the living room, thinking it was not so difficult and impossible, and he felt like a decent adult for a long time.

He experienced a domino effect. Scientific interpretation is one of the good emotions that leads to the following acts of feeling good, which leads to the fact that if before it was necessary to make great mental and physical efforts to do something, then it happened absolutely of his own free will and desire without any extra effort.

Some examples of even more difficult cases. One of my close friends decided to quit smoking and tried different options. He smoked from an early age, started at the age of 13. Today, he has reached the age of 40. The stasis is long, he tried to quit smoking cold turkey, but it didn’t work out. I think his stasis is too long to do that. Then he started exploring different possibilities tried different possible still unsuccessfully. And finally came to a solution that suited him. He found a solution in an article that originally did not talk about quitting smoking, but something else.

The system is the following because he is a long-term addict, then it seemed that it should suit him. The system is as follows, he divided the day into an hourly system, and the first stage was he could make smoke every 60 minutes. It meant that in the morning when he woke up, he made smoke, then only the next smoke he could only do after 60 minutes so as not to always count time, then he set the phone to alert for every full hour. Every next month he added 5 minutes / every 30 days /. The first time he reached 2 hours and then he fell back. And now he has reached again in 1 hour and 30 minutes. And it seems that he realized that he was not quite ready the first time.
Such a system can be suitable for a wide variety of dependencies.


Another story I definitely wanted to share One man says his name is Jim was/is an alcoholic. His alcohol story started when he realized that he was too shy to approach girls in his early youth, but when he had drunk a few beers and became brave and even threw in a joke, many girls noticed him. His drinking habits became more common, and even that did not help him in the end, that his wife and children threatened to leave him.

He decided to give up and try. He had an ampule put on him, which would no longer allow him to consume alcohol. The first weeks were tough, but the need for alcohol remained. He had to give up his habits and also have to replace his old friends with something. He started eating and cooking, which was his big passion, he took a few more pounds, spend time with the children more, and spent more time with his wife, and the family was happy again. But his inner desires are to drink alcohol and sit with friends and discuss world things as in the old days. Although he didn’t talk about it at home, his wife and children thought everything was fine, although all sorts of thoughts were circling inside him.

The paradise had lasted for about three months. On one particularly disgusting day when he was going home from work, just according to old habits, he stepped into a bar where he was used to drinking. His old friends were already there and wondered where he had been and were immediately ready to offer him his favorite drink of whiskey. He kindly accepted but did not dare to drink, only seriously his lips made his face as if it were excellent, but did not actually drink. Since these old friends were already full to the ground, then the pretense did not cause him any problems. He sat and listened to what they were talking about.

He realized that he had lost absolutely nothing, that he had stopped drinking. When he realized that no one really cared what he had done in the meantime, and when one of his old friends started telling the same story five times in an hour, he got up and went straight out of the bar to the flower shop and went home to his family. He put on his sneakers for a long time and went for a run when he reached the forest. He shouted from his throat so that his voice became hoarse and he ran back home. To this day, when he has reached 50, he has not started drinking again. And since his passion is food, he opened a restaurant and is quite successful.

Identify the specific behavior you want to change or develop.

Do you want to start training or at least start eating healthier? At first, very high expectations cannot be emphasized here, and tiny steps should be taken. It helps if you put your sneakers on your feet at least every night in training. The feeling that you have sneakers on your leg gives you the readiness to do something more. It would be recommended to behave like this here for at least a week and then take the first exercise. Similarly, as with a healthy diet, try something you like and try to do more of it; remember that habits start from 30 seconds every day.

Identify your triggers

There are a lot of them here, and everyone has their own way. Not all of them have to be bad. Some people have a fridge for it; some have a TV set, some have a couch, some have a pack of crisps left on the kitchen table.

But some people have a difficult time doing this. If this is true for you, that you have a difficult time knowing what emotional triggers you, you can work backward — notice, for example, when you are craving a drink or biting your nails, and slow down and use your awareness of these behaviors as signals to ask yourself: What is going on emotionally?

Deal with your triggers.

You should take it seriously if you want to change your habits. Move junk food and alcohol away from home. And if you still can’t find out how it all started, then do reverse gear, and also see what emotions dominate you or dominated you at that moment.


Develop a plan.

If you have a habit of drinking harder stuff when going out in the evening, try to limit yourself to two drinks, drink water for the rest of the evening, or switch to thinner drinks instead. The next morning you will thank me.

Suppose you have a habit of watching TV in the evening and eating while sitting on the living room sofa. It would help against this when you get home in the evening to start dinner first, prepare the food from the beginning, and feed at the table.NB, at the same time, also put a ready night snack. The TV could be done not to watch until the time is, for example, 8 in the evening. And try to read something or engage in some hobby instead.

Use prompts

These are reminders to help you break the pattern. By creating positive triggers and alerts to keep you on track: Putting your running shoes at the side of your bed. Hence, you see them first thing in the morning. Or putting an alert on your phone to leave for the gym, or checking in with yourself and gauging your stress level on the way home before it gets too high and out of your control.

Be persistent and patient.

That’s the name of the game.  Realizing that it will take time for the new brain connections to kick in. For the old brain-firings to calm down, for new patterns’ to replace the old. Please don’t beat yourself up for slip-ups or use them as rationales for quitting. Take it one day at a time.

Seeking professional help is not a shame.

If it is not immediately possible to go to a professional financially, then the internet and books will help us. Surely there is someone who has experienced something similar to you and found a solution.

Some book recommendations

Charles Duhigg////The Power of Habit

BJ Fogg///Tiny Habits

Gretchen Rubin///Happier at Home: Kiss More, Jump More, Abandon a Project, Read Samuel Johnson.  And My Other Experiments in the Practice of Everyday Life. Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits. To Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life.

Nir Eyal// How to Build Habit-Forming Products





What is forest immersion and why should go to the forest.

What is forest immersion, and why should you go to the forest.

Forest immersion or shinrin-yoku is a Shinto practice from the Japanese folk religion that refers to a peaceful walk in the woods to improve general well-being, health, and satisfaction, use all five senses. It is a form of natural therapy.

Everybody may be considered part of Japan’s original culture, but I still think it exists in every culture because we all originated in the African Savannah.

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“Approximately 99% of one’s existence has been inhabited by hunters and gatherers in a forest-rich environment. Therefore, going to the forest is returning to one’s home, a bow to distant ancestors. Perhaps somewhere in that time comes our subconscious urge to keep large trees close.

Ecosystems that have developed naturally and over a long period (mostly old and powerful trees in the forest zone) also seem to heal people – they have a visible therapeutic effect on the body and mind. How else to explain the strange connection that patients who see large trees in the window heal faster than others. Our bodies remember something we may have already forgotten.

” The surrounding air is similar to water in some ways. It moves in streams and can come in waves; we see it in cloud patterns floating in the sky. Here, too, their ecosystems live: the wind carries glowing spider meadows, insects and birds, pollen and flying seeds, soil particles, and fungal particles. Sound travels and spreads as layers of information. In this and other ways, the atmosphere is quite ocean-like. The surrounding air is an ocean in which we have always fought.

Our senses become saturated with the unique features of a flowing, spa-like atmosphere in a forested landscape during deforestation. It is advisable to move slowly in the forest so that our senses can focus on all how the living forest surrounds and touches us. Paying attention to your feelings, silencing your inner thoughts will bring you to the present moment, where you can better receive everything that the forest has to offer you, allowing it to settle. You provide space for the forest itself; it will support the health and well-being of your body.

Immersion is not the same as hiking. The goal of immersion is not to go anywhere but to be here. The pace is slow. You focus on your connection and relationship with the forest.

Immersion may not be a frequent undertaking, but we will realize its full benefits if made regularly. It is often impossible to go to the forest every week, but we learn to maintain the excellent forest immersion feeling for a little longer over time. Over time, we will discover simple ways to renew and deepen our connection with the superhuman natural world.

What exactly is this immersion, and how does it affect our health?

Our species developed between trees and in savannas, where the forest meets grassland. From time immemorial, our bodies have learned to benefit from the inhalation of fresh oxygen and other compounds exhaled from trees, which is good for our mood, heart, mental capacity, immune system, and more.

“The age of a modern person today is estimated at 300,000 years. Homo sapiens appeared in the world at that time – with roughly the same appearance and spiritual capacity as we know it today. Africa’s forest edges, Savannah-like landscapes, and sparse stands shaped modern man. Thus, it can do said that wooded meadows played a crucial role in shaping the human psyche and spirit – they had a stimulating effect on the nervous system of our distant ancestors in evolution. Hunters and gatherers have inhabited approximately 99% of its existence in forested areas. Therefore, going to the forest is a return to one’s home.

Perhaps somewhere in that time comes our subconscious urge to keep large trees close. The proximity of plant life forms is soothing and therapeutic. 1980 s, Japan sought ideas for reintroducing urban and distant people to the forest. To this end, the occasional dozen immersion centers (shinrin-yoku in Japanese) were established in Japan to combine Shinto practice from the Japanese people with modern research-based health behavior.

Combine ancient culture

The attempt to combine ancient culture with the worldview of modern man fell into fertile ground, and today dozens of books on Japanese immersion have been published, in addition to hundreds of scientific articles. One specific added value of such an undertaking was the strong international interest in forest and health research.

Studies show that walking in the woods has an excellent effect on people’s mental health, and depression and anxiety can be relieved in the woods. Forest walking strengthens the human immune system and has a good impact on the cardiovascular system.

These changes occur on a physiological level and generally do not depend on the benefits that one believes in walking in the forest. Also, for some reason, people prefer old forests and mature communities. That has also emerged in the survey of forest views. People appreciate old and mighty trees, and the pristine natural forests seem to be therapeutic, for reasons unknown to us. ”

“1980s case of forest immersion, the forest is our cooperation partner. One of the cornerstones of the philosophy of immersion, to which immersions are returning again and again, lies in the saying, “The forest protects in your back.” There are many benefits to this.

So what can you do in the woods?

Besides, when you arrive, close your eyes and listen to your surroundings for a while, become one with nature, practice it for about 10 -15 minutes. Don’t rush on right away, and please forget about headphones when you go to the forest.

Forest bathing can be done both alone and in a croup. I prefer to go to the forest alone. Woods, you can sit and listen to the sounds of nature or lie down or walk.

Forest, you can shout with a full throat so that you become deaf yourself./ Sometimes it is necessary to do it /

In the forest, you can hear birdsong and also the crowing of a crow.

You can hunt bloodlessly in the forest/Photography/

You want to go with a group in the woods, then one of the acceptable forms of spending time in the modern game invented / disk golf / I have seen among the younger contingent is popular.

My personal favorite is that we still have a forest in Eastern Europe, and you can deal with harvesting.

All kinds of edible berry picking blueberries and blackberries. I’m pretty sure if you’ve either tried forest blueberries once in a lifetime, then you no longer buy culture blueberries in the store.

Lastly, I left my favorite activity of mushroom picking. There are a lot of edible mushrooms growing in Estonia. I’m not going to single out because the flavors are different, but I would instead share my favorite mushroom marinade recipe. What I have been using for years and which is my favorite and has received much praise.

Initially, this recipe is in Russian,

1 liter of water

Three bay leaves

Four carnations

1cinnamon peel

Six garlic cloves

Two tablespoons salt

Two tablespoons sugar

Ten peppers

1Scramble with fresh thyme

One teaspoon coriander seeds

Three tablespoons vinegar

Preparation Add all the spices to the pot and bring to a boil for 3-5 minutes and finally add the vinegar and marinade is ready. If you are making this marinade with the mushrooms, it would be good to know if these mushrooms need to do boiled before cooking. If these mushrooms are, for example, champions, then they do not need to be boiled separately, quarrel as required, but do not make them too small. Remove all spices from the marinade. And add the mushrooms to the marinade, cook for another 10-15 minutes, and immediately put on the jar and lid more turn upside here. In a week, it is possible to try, but at best a month.

Best regards Lea