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  • Tanner Dagenais

Mastering the Power of Habits: Understanding the Role of the Subconscious Mind in Habit Formation

Habits are powerful forces that shape our daily lives…


They can have a significant impact on our productivity, well-being, and overall success. Habits can either support us in achieving our goals or sabotage our efforts.


But where do habits come from you may be asking?


The subconscious mind plays a key role in the formation and maintenance of habits. This part of our mind can’t tell the difference between good and bad meaning that habits can be formed even if they are things that will make our lives worse. This is why understanding how habits are formed, is extremely important if you want to live your best life.

Creating new habits is not always easy, but it is essential for achieving our goals and improving our lives. The key to creating new habits is consistency and repetition. The more we repeat a certain behavior, the more likely it is to become a habit. This is because the subconscious mind is always taking note of our actions, and thoughts trying to determine what is the best behavior to mimic. It is important to note that about 95% of our daily thoughts and actions come from the subconscious mind, this is why habits can be so powerful and hard to break.


To create new habits, it is also important to set specific and measurable goals, track progress, and reward yourself for achieving them. One of the most effective ways to create new habits is to make them a part of your daily routine. For example, if you want to make exercise a habit, you can schedule it at the same time every day, such as first thing in the morning. This can make it easier to stick to the habit. Consistency is key, as the more familiar something is to your subconscious mind the more likely it will create a habit out of it.


Another important aspect of creating new habits is to use triggers. A trigger is something that reminds you to perform a specific action. For example, you can associate the habit of brushing your teeth with the trigger of eating breakfast. This way, every time you eat breakfast, you will be reminded to brush your teeth. This is called subconscious association as your subconscious will start to link the two together, essentially adding to your current habit.

Having an accountability partner can also make it easier to create new habits. This can be a friend, family member, or coach who will hold you accountable to your goals and provide support and encouragement. The subconscious is constantly scanning the environment trying to determine what is the safest option to play so that you can fit into society. This is why having people around you who are supporting you with your new goal, and habit can be so powerful. This is also why peer pressure can cause us to jump into a negative habit even though we consciously know it is wrong, such as drinking or smoking cigarettes.


Removing old habits can be more challenging than creating new ones. Old habits are deeply ingrained in our subconscious mind, and it takes conscious effort and self-awareness to change them. To remove old habits, it is important to identify the triggers that lead to the habit, and then replace the habit with a new and positive behavior. For example, if you want to break the habit of eating junk food you need to remove the triggers out of your sight. This would be things like tv shows, commercials, movies, and advertisements that display junk food. Also if you have any junk food in the house this can be a trigger, and every time you see it your program will activate saying it's time to eat the junk food. This is why having bowls of candy sitting out throughout your house is a bad idea.


Once you have removed the negative triggers start to replace them with what you want your new habit to be so in the instance of trying to break the habit of eating junk food, your new habit could be to start eating nutrient-dense, foods that will build up your body. You will want to start listening to/reading different forms of media such as podcasts and reading books that talk about consuming these foods. You would want to have these foods in places you can see often, you would want to go grab these foods whenever you have the urge to eat junk food.


Remember these urges that you get are part of the habit, as the subconscious mind controls all bodily systems and can and will send you urges, thoughts, and cravings so that you follow your habit. This is often what people refer to as self-sabotage. Self-sabotage is a common barrier to creating and removing habits. Remember to be kind to yourself if you find you are self-sabotaging, remind yourself of your habit, and do your best to be consciously aware of what actions you are taking, why you are getting a craving or urge, and why certain thoughts are appearing…


Ask your self will these things lead you towards your new habit or reinforce the past habit.


Visualization is another powerful tool for creating and removing habits. Visualization is the process of seeing yourself successfully forming a new habit or breaking an old one in your mind's eye. This can help to make the habit feel more real and increase your motivation to make it happen. This works because visualization has a major effect on the subconscious, this is why it is so important you be aware of what media you are consuming (tv, social media, movies, podcasts, etc..). As you are visualizing make sure to use emotion as well as visualization and emotion can be a powerful combo that can deeply affect your subconscious and help you reprogram your subconscious with your new habit.


Remember that habits take time to form and break, so be patient, persistent, and kind to yourself throughout the process. You and only you can do this work, but you can get help from others so make sure to reach out of you need assistance, as there is plenty of help out there!

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