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How to make or break a habit

11 November 2021

Like to make healthier choices? In our everyday lives, we’re all creatures of habit. And while some habits can be beneficial, like a morning routine or eating your greens, some can be not-so-good for you (like not getting enough sleep, or smoking).

But the good news is, no matter how long you’ve been doing something, if you’d like to make a change – you can. Here are some things to know, according to science.

How are habits formed?

When trying to change any habit, it helps to first understand how it came into being in your life. Like, when did it start? What caused you to do it?

According to multiple scientific sources, one of the key theories about how habits are formed is the habit loop, or the “3 Rs”: reminder-routine-reward.

Now that you have some idea of how a habit forms, what can you do to help curb it?

Steps to changing a habit

Like to break a habit? According to psychology and neuroscience expert Elliot Berkman, “It’s hard to stop a behaviour. We are action-oriented creatures.” Rather than trying to quit something, try starting something else.

Keeping the ‘3 Rs’ in mind, here are some science-backed steps to help you make (or break) a habit:

Like to talk?

Dropping some old habits can not only be good for your health, but also for your wallet. For example, if you smoke, you may have loadings added to your insurance policy (which means you’re likely to pay double the premiums than a non-smoker with no other loadings). But if you decided to quit smoking (for good) for at least 12 months, you can ask the insurer to move you to non-smoking premiums, and save money over the long term.

As insurance advisers, we are here to help you with key relevant information so you can take the appropriate decisions for your financial and overall wellbeing. So, if you have any insurance questions for us, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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Disclaimer: Please note that the content provided in this article is intended as an overview and as general information only. While care is taken to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information provided is subject to continuous change and may not reflect current development or address your situation. Before making any decisions based on the information provided in this article, please use your discretion and seek independent guidance.

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