Book Summary of Making and Breaking Habits (2003, Breaking Habits, Jeremy Dean)
Book Summary of Making and Breaking Habits (2003, Breaking Habits, Jeremy Dean)

Making Habits, Breaking Habits, Jeremy Dean, 2003 offers an honest look at habits and how we can master them. With the knowledge that the book uses, it reveals how to create good habits and prevent bad ones so that we can experience positive change in our daily lives.

This book is for

  • People who are interested in human behavior and psychology
  • Anyone who wants to improve their lives and make lasting changes

About the author

Jeremy Dean is a psychologist and the founder of PsyBlog, a website dedicated to the scientific study of how the mind works. PsyBlog is mentioned a lot in the media such as The Guaradian, The New York Times.

Start controlling both your good and bad habits

Your life is ruled by habits. They can be part of your morning routine, or form a part of your conversations. Such habits can be built and developed, for example, when you start to want to cook more for yourself, or read more.

However, not all habits are good. Many people know that they should quit smoking, but they don't think deeply about giving up invisible habits like negative thinking habits. These habits can be very dangerous.

The chapters start very simply by explaining what a habit is, then explain how you can control your habits and make your life better.

In the following chapters, you will discover:

  • Why does your family always sit in a certain order during meals?
  • How to create happy habits?
  • What is as simple as trying to quit smoking for self control

Habits are repeated behavior with small, unconscious intentions

What happens when someone throws a ball at you? By all means, you catch it before you realize what's coming. It is a habit – an action that is repeated often and unconsciously.

The first aspect of habit is automaticity, that is, there is no perception of action, such as the crackle of a light bulb when entering a room.

Habits are everywhere, and when they are bad habits, they can be very bad

What habits play an important role in your life? Maybe dieting and smoking

But real life is full of other habits.

Social habits, such as where to sit at the family dinner table, or make “mm hmm” and “a-ha” sounds during presentations; Eating habits help us learn many decisions regarding the food that we eat every day and the list of habits goes on!

Have you ever forced yourself to check your email 100 times only to find something uninteresting in your inbox? You then experience what behavioral psychologists call  a partial loss effect , you keep repeating a similar action before simply because you did it.

Even when we receive a reward of something interesting in an email, we continue to automatically refresh our inbox, as if we're used to disappointment.

But there are other habits you don't see: the habit of thinking. If they are inherently negative, they can be linked to mental illness such as depression.

Whether our thoughts are positive or negative depends on our judgment of what happens, and sometimes we judge in unhealthy ways. Imagine you lost your job. If you have a habit of calling yourself helpless, you will have trouble with the negative emotions caused by unemployment.

Another type of habit is  contemplation, when you think about something over and over again. Some people think looking back can help us learn from our failures, but don't confuse looking back with agonizing over old hurts.

Habits of happiness can be created

What you don't know about habits is that even though they originate in the unconscious, you can still exercise them. This is really good news, especially if you want to create a new healthy habit.

To do this, follow these three steps:

Determine your motivation. You need an overarching goal to help you overcome obstacles. To determine your end goal, you can use the WOOP formula – wish (Wish), outcome (Outcome), obstacle (Obstacle), and plan to execute (Plan-exercise).

Start writing down your expectations, along with the best outcomes, and the obstacles you may face. You say your wish is to run every day. The result you get will be a nice figure, so you can complete 10km and the difficulty can be inclement weather or physical inadequacy.

Next, you need to make a plan by finding the right intention and taking action

"if X, then Y". For example, “If I go into a building, I will take the stairs.”

Positive statements like "I'm going to take the stairs" are much more effective than "I don't take the elevator," self-denial reinforces the attraction of something, in this case a ladder. machine.

Next, remember to repeat your actions.

Breaking habits is hard, but you can do it

The message of this book is:

Habits play an important role in our lives. With awareness in each of the small habits that exist, plus a little practice of basic psychological techniques, we can rid ourselves of unhealthy habits and create habits that are more suitable for us. me.

Action advice:

Control your diet

  • We tend to eat food that's close at hand, so put some fruit on the table instead of cake.
  • Use smaller plates during meals. Big plates encourage you to eat more than you really need
  • Try to eat with your non-dominant hand. This slows you down and automatically remembers that you're full, so you don't eat as much food.