The Power of Habit

1958 Words8 Pages
Kahn 1
Jason Kahn
Prof. Kurt Meyer
EXP 399
29 September 2014
An Alternative Brew
The human mind is full of wonder, and the inner workings of the human brain and processes can be equally complex and wondrous. The human ability to reflect, to understand and to choose is one of our greatest evolutionary achievements. The modern human age affords us with a multitude of choices. Thankfully, our brains are also energy efficient organisms and are adept in finding ways of saving space and processing power. Thus, the formation of the habit.
That autonomous routine that allows for more complex issues to take up the majority of our mental capacity. Whatever the inclination of the habits, good, bad or neutral, they are quickly
established
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After a cup of tea, I feel soothed, and I am again ready to tackle the next obstacle in my schedule. Over time the neural pathways that are engaged while drinking tea will be carved into my mind, yet this is only the path the habit takes and not the driving force behind the habitual behavior. Then who is behind the wheel on this synaptic highway?
Habits get put into hyper drive when the reward and the cue form together and create a neurological craving that then compel the routine to run. Neurologically speaking, the craving of some thing gives us the same experiential sensation that we receive from experiencing the actual reward, and yet this anticipation of pleasure creates a cognitive dissonance. We feel the pleasure of drinking the piping hot tea, however when we aren 't actually drinking it, our brains don 't like the gap, and will compel us to activate the routine in order to close that gap. We all have these cues that we string together with the reward that then work to create these insatiable cravings.
For the modern individual, the chime of incoming texts is now the cue that begins the powerful craving to check and see if we will be rewarded with some life-altering news. For others, the cue of putting on a pair of running

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