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Have a Light Read : You are your habits!

【明報專訊】We are all creatures of habit — good habits, and bad habits. Why is it so difficult to break a bad habit, or change existing habits? Professor Wendy Wood has researched the science of habits for decades, and has discovered just how powerful habits can be — making them nearly impossible to break by willpower alone.

As Professor Wood explains, we spend a lot of our time each following ingrained habits — nearly half of our daily activities are repetitions of previous habits, without even thinking about why we keep repeating these actions — it is just habit.

Using a combination of experiments, case studies and the resulting discoveries in the field of neuroscience, Professor Wood shows that our brains are wired to follow the well-trodden (使用頻繁的) neural pathways that habits create. Changing habits requires the literal breaking of these pathways, to create new ones, and new ways of thinking. It is not easy for the brain to change, which is why trying to break a habit and re-forming a neural pathway are very difficult. And it certainly does require something more than just willpower, which is why so many attempts at changing a habit are doomed to fail.

So what can be done? The answer, Professor Wood believes, lies with the subconscious mind, rather than the conscious mind. Digging deep into how the subconscious mind works, Professor Wood shows how habits are formed, how they keep running within our subconsciousness, and how this behaviour can be accessed, modified, and completely re-formed. Perhaps this book will change how you think your brain works.

By Kelly and Walsh

■Author's profile

Wendy Wood is a psychologist and a professor at University of Southern California. Her research interests lie in habits, behaviour and gender.

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