Creature of habit

Man is largely a creature of habit, and many of his activities are more or less automatic reflexes from the stimuli of his environment.

G. Stanley
(Source: http://www.brainyquote.co m/quotes/quotes/g/gstanleyh393266.html)

Mr. Stanley should know what he is talking about. After all he was a psychologist. I have been skimming past some of my old posts. In effect although years have gone by, I still struggle with the same bad habits. The worst is basically being a couch potato and passively consuming shows, movies, etc. Many years ago it was sitting in front of the television. Then it was cable TV. Meanwhile it is Netflix. You know the worst thing is I watch Netflix on my mobile. It doesn’t matter that even the early televisions had a bigger screen. I just need the sound of dialogue in the background, regardless of what I am (trying to) do.

Probably like many others I binge watch on Netflix. I always find a reason to start the Netflix app on my mobile or tablet. For instance, just after my son was born, I binge watched Doctor Who. I told myself I am too tired to watch something more brainy and my attention should be on the baby any ways. “Exterminate! Exterminate!” “Delete! Delete!” I wish I could do that to some of my memories of this time. (Not necessarily that of Doctor Who. I have come to like the series. J)

But looking back; I regret not having used my maternity leave wisely and productively. I definitely could have written at the very least a handful of blog posts. But being a creature of habit, I am caught in same the behavioural patterns. A habit is like a sticky spider web and I am the insect caught in it. The more I fight to get out of it, the more I get stuck to the sticky threads. The irony of the situation is that I spun the sticky web myself.

Is there no way out of this? How can I get rid of this habit that is preventing me from spending time on activities that would make my life feel richer und fulfilled? Well there seems to be a way. I came across an article on the web that mentioned one could create a new habit in 21 days. Wow! How great is that? Why didn’t I hear of this earlier? Do something for 21 days and presto it becomes a habit that you do automatically. Alas it is not quite that simple. It seems that Dr. Maxwell Maltz is being quoted out of context. He was a plastic surgeon and realised that it took his patients about 21 days to get used to their new image. Therefore he came up with an exercise to change ones self-image in 21 days. All it takes is a 30 Minute „meditation“ session, where you imagine yourself acting in certain situations the way you would like to act not how you usually would act. (Source: http://griefandmourning.com/self-image) So in my case I would probably imagine myself in my free time, instead of searching on Netflix for something to watch, writing posts for my blog. At some point these images would be stored in my mind like a memory. As a result, being a creature of habit my mind would be tricked into doing something other than watching Netflix. At least that is the theory.

I will try out this exercise and let you know, if it helped me break out of old behavioural patterns.