It is important to understand what a habit is before you are able to change. A habit is a conditioned behavior that is learned over time that a person has little voluntary control over. Habits may first be formed as reactions to events, such as traumatic experiences, and then continue when similar cues or stimuli occur. A habit is influenced not only by environment or stimuli that bring the behavior about but also through reward or punishment for that behavior. For example, an action that is positively reinforced with rewards as soon as it is performed is likely to become a habit. Once a habit is firmly formed, it can be reinforced by cues different from those that originally created it and will eventually not need to be rewarded as regularly. The habit may even become its own reward.
To distinguish a habit from an addiction all depends on willpower. Do you have control over the behavior? Then it is a habit. Willpower can stop the negative behavior. Addiction is repetition of a behavior that a person is unable or unwilling to control or stop (even if it has harmful consequences, such as smoking). People also can be psychologically addicted to behaviors, such as being addicted to drugs, gambling, or other behaviors, and they may start to suffer withdrawal symptoms or depression if they attempt to stop.
In this book you will learn how to:
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