Research findings in the Psychology Department at the University of California suggest that our habits grow stronger under stress, whether they be good or bad.
The considered view is that when we are under stress ,this could be from a life event bereavement or perhaps a personal illness, for example,our longer term decision making ability is much reduced and we tend to go for short term comforts. We may fall back on bad habits ,say, of eating.The guilty pleasure of fast food may perhaps become our focus, once again; or we may default to an habitual behaviour of eating more healthily. When we are under stress we have less self- control, and we look for the ‘easy fix’ where longer term planning is not involved. If that is a good habit to fall back on, it will be reinforced.
Wendy Wood the research professor at the University of California says, ‘ getting enough exercise,eating right,getting enough sleep, not smoking, all of this should become an automatic part of your day.’ Enough said.
If you develop good habits now, you can rely on them to see you thorough the tough times – it is never too late for any of us.They will be part of an automatic response. You will benefit strongly in health terms, for instance, by eating sensibly,having good sleep patterns, and so on.
You can continue reading: stress can lead to good habits too, here.