Using Slow Thinking Strategies to Reverse Bad Habits 

As you start to embrace slow thinking and practise it as part of your daily routine, something interesting will happen.

It doesn’t take long before you notice that you’re becoming more patient in all areas of your life. You may also find that you start to pay more attention and become better at really listening to others.

And it doesn’t stop there. I’ve found slow thinking a great tool in helping me get rid of bad habits and practise better impulse control. 

That last part is important, because it is often the reason why we have such a hard time kicking that bad habit. It doesn’t matter what you struggle with. It could be spending way too much time scrolling through Facebook, mindlessly eating junk food while you watch TV, or sneaking out to smoke a cigarette.

We all have behaviours and habits we would like to change. Using slow thinking strategies can become one tool to help us do that.

Here’s why. 

When you practise slow thinking, you start to take control of your behaviour. You no longer simply react, which is what habits are. They are a way of doing things without having to think about it.

To change a habit, we must make an effort to change and sustain it until a new, better habit is formed. That’s where slow thinking will help.

To begin with, you’ll be in the “habit” of thinking, making it easier to notice a bad behaviour or habit. This gives you the chance to correct it as quickly as possible. This could mean that you catch yourself before you pop that first crisp in your mouth, or recognise the nicotine craving early enough to deploy some distraction techniques. 

Next, slow thinking is good practice for intentional action. It works a little bit like a muscle. The more you use it to act instead of react, the easier it becomes. This in turn will come in handy when you start to practise a different habit or behaviour.

It will become easier to stick to the new walking routine you’re getting into during your lunch break, and it will become easier to “x” out of Facebook or turn off the TV. 

Last but not least, use what you’ve been learning about becoming better at slow thinking throughout this blog post series to help you change your habits.

Stop and think before you act. Consider the pros and cons. Weigh your options and consider the potential outcome of each before you act.

This is just as important when you face that doughnut as it when you’re getting ready to start a new work project. Put those slow thinking strategies to good use and change all areas of your life for the better.

Photo by Manan Chhabra on Unsplash

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