We all have habits. Some are healthy, like flossing, and some are less so, like smoking. But when you think of all that you do, the real question is, what do you do that is NOT a habit? How you hold a pen, how you reach for a glass, how you brush your teeth or stand or walk... these are all habits.
Anything we do without giving it much thought is a habit, and in and of themselves, habits are neither good nor bad. They are simply the result of past success. We tried something once and got the result we were seeking, so we repeated it, and it must have kept working because we kept repeating it until our nervous system made it automatic.
You've probably heard the phrase, "Neurons that fire together, wire together." This refers to our nervous system's patterns of connection. Neurological links get strengthened with every use, which means the more we repeat something, the more likely we are to repeat it again.
Thing is, we can outgrow a habit's usefulness, yet we continue doing it because it has become easy, automatic and mindless. Often we don't even realize our habits, because they become so deeply ingrained they seem like a part of who we are. Good thing our nervous system is also primed for learning.
And what is learning, really?
Learning is the process of making new connections between things that weren't previously connected. Neurologically, it's creating new links between neurons; literally forging new paths and making new patterns. If the new connections have better, more efficient results than our old connections, then we are likely to repeat them, and eventually we create a new habit.
Neurological connections also operate under the use-it-or-lose-it principle. Although they may never completely disappear, by not using the old connections, they eventually become weak and fade away.
It's important to note that we can't give up an old habit until we find something that serves us better to replace it with.
So how do you know if what you're doing is the easiest, most efficient and best way to do it?
That's where the Feldenkrais Method® can help. The lessons shine a light on your hidden habits and allow you to explore new options, which trigger your nervous system into learning mode so it can rewire itself in the best, most efficient way possible.
Check out a lesson and see for yourself.