Break Your Drinking Habit with a Double Habit?




Being a nurse and science geek, I’m always looking at new ways to change our habits. Specifically, new ways to break the drinking habit.


I just listened to an episode of The Huberman Lab podcast about habits. Dr. Huberman, the host, is a Stanford neuroscientist who has a great podcast that covers all things science. The latest podcast talked about making new habits and breaking bad habits (ummm like drinking). The biggest takeaway was this: To break a bad habit you need to rewire the circuitry in your brain.

His approach for rewiring your bad habit was something I had never heard of. It involves making a double habit.



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A double habit is starting off with a bad habit and ending with a good habit at the same time.


How would this apply to drinking? If you find yourself automatically drinking you immediately acknowledge what you are doing (drinking) and then you immediately engage in a positive habit. The good habit is subjective and could be something like drinking a glass of water, walking, doing meditation or breath work.

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OK, what? It sounds like you are rewarding your bad habit. What you are really doing is creating a cognitive mismatch in your brain circuitry. It's counterintuitive but it disrupts the loop of the bad habit. You are changing the nature of the neurocircuits that are firing so you can rewrite the script for the habit.


Next time you find yourself drinking try this technique. You could even try it to break other habits. I would love to hear what you think about it and if you find it helpful.

You can listen to the full Huberman Lab episode here: https://hubermanlab.com/the-science-of-setting-and-achieving-goals/


 


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