Hayley, one of the Back2Balance Chiro Assistants, is very interested in the working of the brain. Why do we do things we implicitly know are not good for us? Hayley explores bad habits, including our posture, and how to change them for the better.
We all have bad habits, from sitting on our phones constantly, eating too much junk food, to smoking and drinking more than we should.
We all share bad habits but I think one of the most common is bad posture. I know I’m guilty of this one, and so I wanted to find out why we get into the habit of doing things, and why it is so hard to get out of them.
Habits are formed by a trigger that has an action attached by constant repetition. So when the trigger happens you act upon it unconsciously.
For example, when you wake up (trigger) you automatically crave a coffee or a tea (action) without really thinking about it, as you have done this ever since you can remember. It’s part of your morning ritual.
So how did it become a habit?
To start a habit we have to consciously do it, so using the previous example, we would have to think about making a tea or coffee after we woke up, possibly because we still feel tired, have a long day ahead of us, and feel we need a boost. We gradually start to do this every morning for the same reason. Our brain then sends us positive feedback, and tells us to keep doing this action as it makes us feel great and ready for the day. This then becomes a habit.
We also have negative feedback. An example of this can be when we try being healthy but we don’t like the taste of the healthy food; our brain will send us a negative feedback so we stop this habit straight away.
So how can we link this to our posture I hear you cry? Well I think that when we try and get into a comfortable position to watch the tv, read a book, look at our phones, finish work at the computer or just simply to eat dinner, we get into the habit of sitting in a bad position because initially we find it most comfortable. We then ignore our backache or neck ache because our brain has sent us positive feedback saying to sit in a certain position because it is habit and is part of our routine.
So next time when you are sitting or standing in a position that is sore but you continue to do it because you think you are comfy, send positive feedback back to your brain, tell yourself that having good posture will be better in the long run as you will have a better and healthier lifestyle, which in time could become a positive habit. In time you will have a better posture without actually thinking about it!
Hayley has offered insight into our habits,, and solutions for change. Do share your experiences with us. You can do this via the link below.