Habits play a much larger role in our everyday lives than we realize. A lot of the things we do every day are governed by habits are just done automatically. A habit can be as simple as checking your watch repeatedly or for someone of my generation, checking your cellphone repeatedly for calls or messages. The fact that a these habits because automatic can make them really hard to break but there are other factors that can play a role in what makes a habit hard to break. Our brains are designed to try to keep us from pain and creating a habit is a way to find something familiar that is painless.
Habits can be hard to break because of the length of time you have had the habit. The longer you have had a habit, the more it is ingrained in your daily ritual and that can make it harder to break. A habit you have had since childhood will be much harder to break compared to something a habit that you have only had for a few months. A habit that you have had for a long time can also form a routine that can make it harder to break that habit. A habit that becomes part of your routine can be hard to break because that would require a change in your routine and changing something that is automatic can be hard to do.
Habits that we have formed over a long period of time can also make us feel secure and comfortable. Things like having a drink after work every Friday can make someone feel like everything is right with the world. I once worked at an office where we had a happy hour every Friday and it was our way of celebrating our work week and building office morale. It became such a habit that we would not even need to announce it anymore, everyone just showed up at the bar every Friday after work. People who worked at the office and then left would sometimes often show up even though they no longer worked at the office. When the office hit a rough patch and we could no longer afford to pay for the happy hour, people would still head to the bar after work...
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