Many of us are always searching for ways to improve our lives or make them easier. We are always looking for the best methods to save time, be happier, get in shape, and make more money. This is one of the reasons why self-help books and new products guaranteed to make life easier are so popular. Everyone wants to improve their life or make it easier in some way or another. One self-improvement method that has been gaining popularity recently is the concept of habit stacking.
What is Habit Stacking?
Author James Clear who wrote the New York Times Bestseller Atomic Habits is responsible for bringing the concept of habit stacking into popularity recently. The basic idea of habit stacking is to pair a habit that you already have with a habit you want to incorporate into your life. For example, let’s say you have a habit of drinking coffee every morning and you want to build a new habit of doing more physical activity. You can pair these two habits together by drinking your coffee while you take a walk around the block. This helps you continue a habit you already have and build a new habit that you would like to have.
Clear says the concept of habit stacking is related to the theory of synaptic pruning. Synapses are the connections between brain cells known as neurons. It is thought that as humans get older our brain prunes away the synapses between neurons we don’t use often and strengthens the synapses we use more often. For example, if you do a lot of reading but not much math in your daily life, the synapses connecting the brain cells used for reading will be stronger than the synapses connecting the brain cells used for math.
How Habit Stacking can be Used to Improve Health
Habit stacking can be applied in several ways to improve your health. Take a look at how you want to improve your health and what habits you already have. Here are some examples of how you can pair everyday habits with new healthy habits by habit stacking:
- You want to consistently take a multivitamin every day. Keep your multivitamin next to your toothbrush. Immediately after brushing your teeth in the morning, take the multivitamin.
- You want to become more flexible and have better mobility by stretching. While you watch your favorite TV show, do some stretching to improve flexibility.
- You want to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Make sure to include a vegetable in your dinner every night.
Building new habits and improving ourselves can be hard. Try habit stacking to incorporate new healthy habits into your life. The basic idea behind habit stacking is to pair an established habit with a new habit you want to have. Although these habits may seem small and insignificant, they will have a cumulative effect to improve life and health.
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