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How do we come to have bad habits?

Updated: Jul 19, 2023

How do we come to have bad habits such as smoking
How do we come to have bad habits such as smoking

When we feel discomfort, we typically want to feel better. Rather than sit with an emotion, our unconscious brain will start to send signals to our bodies that we need to do something to make ourselves feel better. Those signals will be based on past experience, what has made us feel good in the past when we have had these uncomfortable feelings.

That signal might be to scroll on our phone, play a video game, eat chocolate or handful of chips, Have a wine, a cigarette, or something more potent. These responses help to numb the uncomfortable feeling, and for a short time we feel good. The problem is, we haven’t performed any actions that will proactively address the issue that is making us feel uncomfortable. So, while we may have short term relief from discomfort, it will pass, and then we are left feeling no better.

Before we know it, a pattern is being created, because our mind is looking to be relieved. The longer the problem state exists, the more tempted we will be to continue with self-soothing ourselves with the numbing forming habit.

Some people get to the point where they have a serious enough habit that they recognise a desire to want to change the habit. Whilst this can be challenging if you have been repeating the habit in response to a negative feeling for a while, it is absolutely possible to change the habit.

The techniques utilised by Minds of Distinction are specifically designed to address unhelpful thought patterns, and let’s face it, a habit is just that, a thought pattern that has developed in response to a feeling that the mind has had.

To address problem habits, we use several techniques to really challenge the validity of the habit to assist in genuinely soothing the problem space.

If you would like to create lasting change to a habit that you have picked up along the way that you no longer want, touch base with us today at


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