Posts tagged: Habits

Why learning new habits is better than perfecting old ones


I was pretty proud of myself after learning how to make chicken scallopini.

I had boldly decided that I wanted to learn how to do more in the kitchen than reheat frozen waffles and so when I came across a recipe that seemed like a challenge I decided to go for it. (It certainly helped that the recipe happened to involve delicious things like pasta, white wine, and lightly breaded chicken.)

I wrote out the instructions on a notecard and followed them closely, relishing the recipe’s technical steps like wrapping a chicken breast in parchment paper, flattening it with a wine bottle, and then dredging it in flour. As I watched the white wine sauce reduce in a hot pan, my mouth started watering with anticipation. The dish was an unequivocal hit, even earning praise from my neighbor who refuses to eat anything that isn’t deep fried.

I was so encouraged by my
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Why are we afraid of change? Examining the allure of habit


This is part three in our series exploring our fear of change.

“Lizards don’t learn very much,” writes neuroscientist Marc Lewis in his book, “The Biology of Desire.” “Their repertoire of skills is innate.”

By contrast, mammals have brains that “are designed for learning — they are designed to change — in sync with their environments.” We humans have evolved to adapt to cold weather, to fashion new tools, to adventure to new lands.

So why is change so hard for us, when we are, apparently, so used to it?
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I want to stop checking social media, but I can’t


Stop checking social media

It’s 11 p.m., and I can’t stop scrolling through Facebook on my iPhone.

My bedroom is dark. I know better than this. I should be reading, or meditating, or stretching — something relaxing and screen-free before bed.

Instead, I’m scrolling. My thumbs are sore from typing. I want to stop, but I can’t.

Eventually, I snap out of the trance. It takes a lot of willpower, but I force myself to put down my phone. I start to tune in to how tired I am, and as my head touches the pillow, I wonder at the power of a little device to get between me and the rest that I so sorely need.

I’m not alone. And it’s no accident: social media is engineered to be addictive. Some therapists are even offering treatment for social media addiction — and as journalist Sarah Kessler found, our issues with social media are often a
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