Monday, August 7, 2023

Book Report: The Power Of Habit

In the book “The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, we learn about how habits are developed/built, what causes them, and their impact on us and our daily lives. Habitual behavior affect us humans on many different levels including personal, social, and professional. Duhigg begins the book by describing and explaining why and how habits are developed. Duhigg explains the psychology as well as sociology behind habits and their development within a variety of different circumstances and settings. Duhigg offers the reader the chance to take control of their unconscious mind, as he explains what is known as the "habit loop". The habit loop is a method used to identify a habit and how it is formed. The habit loop is broken into three stages. First part of every habit is The Cue. The cue  is what triggers the habitual behavior. Second part of the habit loop is The Routine. The routine is simply the habit or behavior that is being performed. Lastly, we have  The Reward. The reward is essentially what feelings the person who has done the behavior gets from it. This might be a quick release of dopamine or stress relief. The book is much more of a self help book than I imagined. I found myself taking a lot of notes and tips/tricks from Duhigg's writing. Duhigg's main purpose of this book is quite obvious: He wants to help the reader break their bad habit loop. 

My favorite part of this book was actually chapter one. This book immediately grabbed my attention with this chapter. A large part of this chapter was explaining the breakdown of what a habit is. Duhigg also presented his framework for what he calls the "Habit loop". The habit loop, as I previously described, is a method invented to help a person identify the exact cause and trigger of a habits through three basics steps. One part I found very interesting is when Duhigg says that habits never leave us. Once a habit it ingrained in us, Duhigg's claims they always wait under the surface for the right trigger or "cue" to release or perform them. I found this quite thought provoking. This reminded me of when we learned about impulse and compulsion in this class. It was unsettling for a moment to read about our bodies in such a nearly dark manner. To be told that some habits, especially the "bad" ones can be ingrained forever was unnerving. It almost made me view our habits as some type of returning rash or condition that we have to keep under control. It than reminded me of my own personal struggles with Trichotillomania. I had once gone two months actively fighting against the compulsion, trying habit reversal methods to make myself feel repulsed by the hair pulling condition. Yet, when I thought I had unlearned this habit, it crept back during an unpresented stressor. Than, without much notice, the habit quickly and almost unnoticeably slipped back into my everyday routine. Although this was unsettling, the book itself offered so much positive information on how to combat these issues. Although it seemed unpleasant at first, being told that this habits will always be there below the surface actually helped me feel even stronger this time as I attempt to beat trichotillomania. It allowed me to accept the reality of my circumstances and just how powerful these habits can be. However, now that I have accepted and acknowledged my habits and their severity, I can now understand them better and have a stronger probability of beating them. I would recommend this book to everyone, as it has useful information that is applicable to nearly anyone's circumstances. Duhigg did an amazing job with this book, and I will be returning to it for more information regarding habits. 


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