Why are habits so hard to break? © Getty Images

Why are habits so hard to break?

Changing habits can be a difficult task, especially when you find out why we have them.

Asked by: Louise Coe, Bicester


Habits are behaviours that we perform automatically, especially in response to a prompt, such as a particular place or time of day. They’re so tricky to break because they usually happen without any thought, a bit like a reflex. One solution is to identify the trigger that cues your habit, and either avoid it somehow (for example, don’t leave the biscuit tin out on display), or plan in advance an alternative action, known as an ‘if-then plan’, such as “If I see a croissant in the cafe, then I will buy an apple instead.” Easier said than done!


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