The Habit Loop
In The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, the idea of the habit loop is described as a quintessential part of the narrative. Accordingly, every habit comprises three essential elements: the cue (or trigger), the routine, and the reward. The line for a pattern can be anything that triggers the practice and generally falls under the following categories: a location, a time of day, other people, an emotional state, or an immediately preceding action. We enter this haze of mindsets that we ignore, which translates into our routine. The routine is an action that can be mental, emotional, or physical. Patterns can be incredibly complex or very simple. Whatever we do every time after the cue makes it our routine. Rewards can range from food or drugs that cause physical sensations to emotional payoffs, such as the feelings of pride that accompany praise or self-congratulation. As a result, this helps your brain figure out if this particular loop is worth remembering for the future. My bad habit is biting my nails; I will have to change it by chewing gum whenever I feel angry or stressed out and by being mindful.
Nail biting is a bad habit that I developed unconsciously at a very young age. According to Duhigg, A cue triggers your brain to go into automatic mode and which habit to use. (25) For example, I put my fingers to my mouth and bit them without knowing or understanding such destructive behaviors. Those bites were only small pieces of skin growing out. As I get older, I have started biting my nails when I feel anxious or stressed in my daily life, such as at work or school. I immediately begin to slide into this kind of unconscious thought that has my body bring my fingers to my mouth. These routines take over myself, and therefore I bite my fingers, nails and small pieces of skin. Consequentially, this biting habit has become part of my life, and I cannot easily quit. I have tried to quit numerous times, yet unsuccessful. This is because when I am angry or stressed, this habit comes out naturally and unconsciously.
When a habit is repeated over and over again and consistently, it delivers a positive reward that the brain develops a craving for it. Duhigg wrote, Craving, it turns out, makes cues and rewards work. That craving is what powers the habit loop (33). Cravings are fuel for the habit loop, making the routine more and more automatic. They also make one irritated, angry, or emotional. They're what make the habit stick in the long term. When a habit loop isn't fueled by a craving, it requires more effort. When I am in a state of stressed, my craving to bite my nails began to emerge. They stimulated my brain by repeating this bad habit, and I tried to restrain myself but could not esc...