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Triggers for Automated Habits

I've had a few friends who've gone through quitting smoking. The hard part, they say, is that certain things trigger wanting to smoke. Stressful situation? Time to smoke. Driving a car? Time to smoke. Drinking at a bar? Time to smoke. The reason that bad habits are so hard to quit is that we have these many triggers that start us down that path almost automatically. A compulsive eater might get into a stressful situation and have a hamburger halfway into their face before they even consciously think about whether or not they should be eating.

The silver lining of this nuance of human nature is that we can also harness triggers to create positive habits. Just as bad habits are so hard to break because of our triggers, good habits can be made resilient using the same mechanism. And just as bad habits are built slowly and incrementally, so are good habits.

I meditate for five minutes every day. As soon as I wake up, I grab my phone and press the start button on a five minute meditation timer. Waking up is my trigger. At first I had to remind myself to do the meditation every morning, but now I do it almost automatically. It would feel strange not to meditate. Just as a veteran smoker is likely to have a harder time quitting than a new smoker, the longer I keep my meditation habit, the easier it becomes to maintain.

There are two main types of triggers: contextual triggers and constant triggers. Waking up is a constant trigger, since I do it every single day and want to meditate every day. A contextual trigger is something that happens at an inconsistent frequency. For me, feeling tired during the day is a contextual trigger. Whenever that happens, I drink a glass of water, because I've found that sometimes I'm just dehydrated and not actually tired.

Mixed day... Boiling over, being worried and being positive and constructive.

On David Krug

I'm starting to understand that I really, really, really need a break. I just wrote down my problems for a post to get them off my mind somehow but I realized I couldnt post them. Just like most times when there are things that is really worrying me there are some kind of risk that writing about it publicly can make the problems even bigger. It's annoying because it is at times when I worry I want to share it the most. Shared by when I'm really glad about something, thats nice to share too. Today I have been popping back and forth between in one minute totally boiling over from pressure and Another minute using self calming, motivation and determination enhancing tools to get back on track and be construcctive and thankful for the sort of freedom and health that and opportunities that I still have in my life. There is probably no personal problem that I have today that may not be fixed in the future. Hopefully that is. But sometimes there is just so much "bad feng shui" from everywhere, so many things popping up in my face provoking me that I feel like if I'm under attack even if I know that is not really the case, Its more that this kind of life staying with others in low standard areas and houses with many people around me a lot of the time and many kids using my things at the same time that I need to work involves letting my guard down in so many ways and putting so much stress on myself that It is bound to take its toll on me, so I have made my bed and I have to sleep in it until I do it differently so to say. I wish I could just go to some cabin in nature with reliable internet, electricity, safety, water and bananas and just sit there like an eremit and work, be in nature heal, sleep, work, be in nature, heal, sleep, work, be in nature, heal, sleep until the web work is done and body and mind is healed, I was hoping it could be like that where I was last week but electricity died, water died, mold in the bedroom was raising health worries, showers didnt work and all dams and rivers are full of crocodiles and hippos so i couldnt clean myself there either. Maybe next time shower will work though. Also rules in national parks/nature are not allowing me to step out in nature, just to either sit and drewI in the car and wish I was outside or take the risk of going out and get in trouble with rangers. Well, I cant go to real nature and a house where i can really focus on work but what I can do is go and make a smoothie. It's probably high time to get some carbs in my body and brain. I think the electricity is still working here so I don't even need to bring the blender to the neighbour now. Sweet. I'm also glad that I planted 50 something jackfruit seeds all around the daycare center today after eating a huge jackfruit breakfast. Some I planted right in the ground and some in a Little outdoor nursery I hid to be watered naturally and then planted elsewhere. I also put some in cups that will stay in my room to be watered. Only one of the seeds was allready sprouting when I planted it so I'm afraid not even one of the 50 seeds or just 1 will actually turn into a seedling. The other times I planted jackfruit seeds I never stayed around or Went back to that country to see if it worked. Hopefully this time I will at least know if it worked or not. A Little progression.

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