Why is reading considered a good habit?

The human being, the creature of habit - every new beginning is a change

Everyone has habits. Some do not attract attention, some are attractive and others are annoying. Changing them is a big issue, it starts with little things like getting used to a certain word that you use too often and reaching out to life-changing measures like quitting smoking or finally sticking to the fitness plan on a regular basis. Neither is easy, because humans are creatures of habit.

Habits automate everyday life decisions. We are relieved of having to make a new decision for every little everyday action. We no longer have to think about lounging briefly before getting up, whether we are brushing our teeth before or after breakfast, or in which direction we look first when we cross a street.

On the other hand, this can also lead to a grid through laziness, because we no longer question these automated decisions. This automatically restricts your freedom of action.

That habit should be viewed as something good can also be seen from the fact that it is anchored in language. Everyone knows the saying: "never change a running system". Everything would stagnate if there were no change. Where would humanity be if nothing had ever changed?

"Good" vs. "bad" habits

People also get used to constant things like their own apartment, the length of their own hair, or the morning routine. Deviating from such habits is usually difficult or uncomfortable.

After many years of making major changes to the haircut, it is a difficult decision for the person and then for the environment to get used to. Many other factors play a role in a big change like moving house, but change itself is the worrying issue.

Even today, 19 years after the introduction of the euro, some people still convert noticeably high prices into German marks. Habits can be so deeply anchored.

When living together, the smallest habits are particularly noticeable. Both with oneself and with others. Who does not know the discussion about the direction in which the toilet roll should unroll? The power of habit keeps us stuck with what we know and this can downright dominate us.

You can save energy and time with habits, as long as they do not interfere with the habits of others, because this can lead to conflicts and you may have to break away from your habits and adopt new ones.

One of the topics that is always present is the practice of sport. Despite the rising trend in social media, there are still people who are unfamiliar with the phrase “I can't live without sport”. And if you’re honest, it’s probably most of the people who do theirs before the fancy yoga video overcome inner weaker self need to get that ass off the couch.

But resolutions are still popular. The vernacular even dedicated a day to them. Starting the New Year with a new you is a need for many people. On January 1st, gyms and weight loss programs can hardly save themselves from new candidates. The motivation skyrockets and the concluded contract gives the impression that half the work has already been done.

But how often are such resolutions kept? It is soon realized that you actually have to go out to see the change you have made.

Is it really only because of the unrealistic and exaggerated plans that we do not keep our resolutions? The fact is that the more realistic and smaller the goals, the more likely it is to be able to meet them. Achieving a goal feels good. It motivates you to keep going.

In order to be able to achieve these goals at all, action must be taken: Advice and articles on the subject always say the same thing: not just doing it, but starting is the only solution. As if it were that easy. Changing habits is a tedious process and consistency is the be all and end all.

A friend who motivates you to go jogging helps a lot. To avoid sweets while shopping avoids the decision to grab the snacks on the couch in the evening. And in order not to miss the usual smoking break in the afternoon too much, you can plan a new ritual during this time, like reading a chapter in a book, or walking around the block with a colleague.

A new beginning is easier to accept when it is perceived positively. So if I had my hair cut short as a child and was teased, it is now much harder for me to cut my hair off again. In addition, simply because over the years I have got used to the increasingly longer mane. If you suddenly discover a passion for painting, it is easier to incorporate such a hobby into your daily routine, as it is a pleasure.

The need for rituals is human; they bring order to everyday chaos. It often happens that we ridicule ourselves or find them strange about the habits or rituals of others. They are alien to us, which underlines again how much we cling to our own rituals and habits.

But they belong to the human being, everyone has them, everyone needs them, they are something that defines us.

photos: Holly Geiss

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