What is Habit?
According to some definitions of habit, it is often referred to a regular behavior that is recurrently repeated. Moreover, a habit is also considered to subconsciously happen. The person showing habitual behavior is often unaware of his actions. This is due to the reason that a person performing routine tasks will not bring himself to take on self-analysis.
According to the experts studying behavior, habituation is considered to be an exceptionally straightforward form of learning. After which, a human or an animal may refrain from acting in response to a stimulus in which they were exposed to. Sometimes habits are considered to be essential.
When a behavior starts to become habitual, it is called habit formation process. It is observed that behaviors being reiterated in a constant circumstance, an incremental increase in the link between the action and the context occur. This results to an increase in the automaticity of such behavior in that particular context. Automatic behavior exhibits unawareness, efficiency, unintentionality, or inability to be controlled.
Habits are usually formed when an individual wants to achieve a goal. However, it is not necessary that habits are formed due to the need to achieve a particular goal. However, if a person wants to learn something, the common action is to repeat a context over and over again. Take for example an athlete or a boxer in particular. When they are in the process of learning a special move, they tend to repeatedly perform an action or set of actions. The boxer will repeat the process until he mastered the move and it becomes natural to him.
Habits may either be good or bad. People know the difference between bad and good. The same goes when it comes to the subject of habit formation. A good habit is always associated to a process of learning things that are considered useful. Moreover, good habits are formed because of the personal will of an individual. When a person wants to improve something in his life, character or behavior, that person will attempt to fulfill the improvement needed. However, failing to achieve a particular goal may either hurt or benefit the person. It depends on how a person carries himself with failures.
On the other hand, if a person fails to carry himself after a failure with his goal, bad habits may start to develop. Many experts who are studying behavior define bad habit as behavior patter, which is considered negative. Some of the most common examples of bad habits are: overspending, procrastination, squirming, and nail-biting.
However, bad habits must also be distinguished from mental disease and addiction. The element of will power is an important gauge in determining if a person is simply developing bad habit or addiction or mental disease. If a person has still an awareness or control over a particular behavior, then it is considered as a habit.
Bad habits must be corrected in the earliest stage of its development. Bill Borcherdt stressed that bad habit must be eliminated immediately before it reaches full establishment. This is very important since, when a habit becomes established, it will be very difficult to change.