The Biology of Developing New Habits

I’ve been researching a lot these days about the topic of change. If you’ve ever tried to implement a change in your diet, exercise routine, or life in general, then you know how challenging it can be to develop lasting habits.

You see, when learning a new habit or skill, there is a lot happening inside your body on a cellular level. To put it in simple terms, your cells ‘crave’ the hormones that you last fed them.

So if you’re constantly stressed out, that’s partially because you’re flooding your cells with cortisol. Those cells replicate the last information you’re sending them, and guess what? You’re always stressed out.

As an example, when your first start to exercise, new emotions come in the form of dopamine and endorphins. Your cells are bombarded with these good hormones, and only (and only!) if you keep going to the gym consistently can your cells start to crave those ‘happy’ hormones. This is why after a few times of working out, you start to feel like it gets easier.

The key to lasting change is enduring the transition period when the cells are transforming. This comes in the form of a cell vibration, or what you may experience as the feeling of being uncomfortable and resistant. This is also the period when you are most likely to quit.

So next time you try to implement a positive habit into your life, just relax into the change. Anticipate change on a cellular level, and know that in those tough moments of when you’re ready to quit, you are actually reprogramming your cells to behave differently. This is also why breakthroughs happen when we’re just about ready to give up.

So there you have it. The secret to developing new habits is to understand that you’re changing your body on a cellular level, and whenever that happens, you will get uncomfortable, you will want to quit, and you will start telling yourself that ‘this isn’t for you’.

I hope that having this awareness and understanding of the process will make you push through the pain and convince your mind to keep going next time you feel like giving up.

So let’s get those cells vibrating!

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