Originally published at: https://blog.12min.com/rewire-summary/
Change Your Brain to Break Bad Habits, Overcome Addictions, Conquer Self-Destructive Behavior
Have you tried multiple times to change a bad habit but never succeeded? Do you sometimes overreach and behave in ways that are self-destructive and only hurt you?
Do not worry; it no longer has to be that way.
Read our summary of “Rewire” and find out how you can finally change your life.
Who Should Read “Rewire” and Why?All of us are in the same boat: we all have some bad habits that we would like to get rid of.
We all had instances when we acted in a way that was not beneficial to our overall happiness.
That is why we believe that everyone can benefit from reading “Rewire.”
It is a book which will help you understand yourself better, and find a way to improve.
About Richard O'ConnorRichard O'Connor is an author, a psychotherapist and has formerly been an executive director of the Northwest Center for Family Service and Mental Health in Connecticut, USA.
"Rewire Summary"At times, we do things that hurt us.
Then, we wish we could go back in time and take back whatever we did or said.
Not rarely we enter a chain of self-destructive behavior which does not enrich our lives in any way.
But, this thought and behavior patterns are common for everyone and are part of us being human.
However, knowing that you are not the only person who makes mistakes, does not mean that you should just keep living the old way.
Instead, we propose another thing: understand yourself, and then take a step forward and “Rewire” your brain.
Do not worry; we will cover this as well.
First, let us explain why we make wrong choices, even in instances when we know we will regret them later.
All of us have two selves: an automatic and a conscious self both of which affect our decisions.
The automatic self, just like its name proposes, acts without us exercising control over it – it is mindless.
The conscious self, on the other hand, uses reasoning and rationality.
Can you guess which part is responsible for the decisions you regret?
That is right: the automatic self.
This means that if you want to change your destructive habits, you have to try to act consciously most of the time or keep your automatic self in control.
Although having a more dominant conscious self is great, not many people achieve it.
However, it is, as we already said, possible (and even more effective) to train your automatic self in a way that positively affects your conduct.
Biologically speaking, it is known that our brains are continuously building new cells and links among them.
Hence, when you do something often, your brain will create more connections between those brain selves.
As you do the action again and again, and as the connections between nerves grow, it will become a habit.
There are two types of habits you can have: good habits and bad habits.
You cannot change a bad habit just by fighting it. Instead, you need to replace it with a good habit.
There are also some habits that we think are good, but are actually self-destructive.
These are called self-serving biases, which distort our worldview: we feel like we are responsible for our good traits, but the world is to blame for all the bad ones.
The bad news is that we have many habits, especially in our automatic self, and it is not easy to replace or “unlearn” them.
However, it is far from impossible.
There are two types of people in this world: those who fight their thoughts and those that don’t.
The people that do not fight with their emotions either do it because they never thought about making some kind of change, or because they have tried and failed numerous times to fix themselves.
The second kind of people should avoid making too big expectations, to avoid getting disappointed.
But is there a way to completely get rid of bad habits?
Of course, there is.
But it requires dedication and practice, and it is called mindfulness.
Mindfulness can have immense benefits on the quality of your life, since it is an objective observation of yourself, without judgment and sense of unworthiness.
Mindfulness can help you see what you do, and why you do it, and finally find a more conscious way to act.
Key Lessons from “Rewire”1. Work on Your Two Selves 2. Do not Repress Your Emotions 3. The Key to Change Lies in Mindfulness
Work on Your Two SelvesEach person has two selves that influence their behavior: an automatic one and a conscious one.
The automatic one is the one who is responsible for bad decisions, which people have no time to process.
To change their behavior people can either try to be more conscious most of the time or work on controlling their automatic self, which may prove more effective.
Do not Repress Your EmotionsRepressed emotions are causes of many destructive patterns.
Always try to express your emotions, since they will not disappear if you keep them inside yourself. Instead, they will just pile up and eventually burst and create an unwanted situation.
So accept your emotions, since they are never and can never be right or wrong, learn how to communicate them, and always do.
The Key to Change Lies in MindfulnessMindfulness is the key to change. It will not be an easy road to walk, but it is worth it.
Be mindful of what is going on in your head and heart. Do not judge, just observe, and start to objectively pick what you think and feel.
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“Rewire” Quotes[bctt tweet="There is a lot of research to suggest that we feel better overall as we are progressing toward our goals; we have a sense of purposeful involvement, we give ourselves mental pats on the back for being so good and industrious, our self-esteem is enhanced, and our general life satisfaction is raised." username="get12min"]
[bctt tweet=“Keep a journal of disappointments, failures, and self-destructive actions. It’s important to write this down because these are the kinds of things your self-serving bias will want to forget or minimize.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Avoid triggers. If you’re an alcoholic, stay out of bars. If you’re a depressed or impulsive shopper, don’t go shopping. When you have to, go in with a list, rush in, and rush out. If you watch too much television, don’t sit in your favorite chair. In fact, move it (or the TV) to another room.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“Avoid enablers. These are people who make it easy for you to perform your self-destructive behavior. People you go on a smoking break with. People who encourage you to take risks.” username=“get12min”]
[bctt tweet=“It seems like the value you attribute to something, more than its inherent value, influences your expectations, and your expectations, to a great extent, influence the life you live.” username=“get12min”]
Our Critical Review“Rewire” is a great book packed with a lot of information.
It shows you that we all have bad habits and that we all can gain some control over them.
It also explains the roots of unwanted behavior, which is important because knowing the reasons can help you find the right way to “heal.”