Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Meaning of: Human Habits

Habits are routines of behavior that are repeated regularly and tend to occur subconsciously, without directly thinking consciously about them. Habitual behavior sometimes goes unnoticed in persons exhibiting them, because it is often unnecessary to engage in self-analysis when undertaking in routine tasks. Habituation is an extremely simple form of learning, in which an organism, after a period of exposure to a stimulus, stops responding to that stimulus in varied manners. Habits are sometimes compulsory.

Habit formation is the process by which a behaviour becomes habitual. As behaviours are repeated in a consistent context, there is an incremental increase in the link between the context and the action. This increases the automaticity of the behaviour in that context. Features of an automatic behaviour are all or some of: efficiency, lack of awareness, unintentionality, uncontrollability.
Habit formation is modelled as an increase in automaticity with number of repetitions up to an asymptote.

Habits and Goals
The habit–goal interface is constrained by the particular manner in which habits are learned and represented in memory. Specifically, the associative learning underlying habits is characterized by the slow, incremental accrual of information over time in procedural memory Habits can either benefit or hurt the goals a person set for themselves. Goals guide habits most fundamentally by providing the initial outcome-oriented impetus for response repetition. In this sense, habits often are a vestige of past goal pursuit.

A bad habit is a negative behaviour pattern. Common examples include: procrastination, fidgeting, overspending, nail-biting, smoking, nose picking, thumb sucking etc.

Will and intention
A key factor in distinguishing a bad habit from an addiction or mental disease is the element of willpower. If a person still seems to have control over the behaviour then it is just a habit. Good intentions are able to override the negative effect of bad habits but their effect seems to be independent and additive — the bad habits remain but are subdued rather than cancelled.

Eliminating bad habits
According to author Bill Borcherdt, the best time to correct a bad habit is immediately, before it becomes established. So, bad habits are best prevented from developing in childhood.

There are many techniques for removing bad habits once they have become established. One example is withdrawal of reinforcers - identifying and removing the factors which trigger the habit and encourage its persistence. The basal ganglia appears to remember the context that triggers a habit, meaning they can be revived if triggers reappear.

Dark Side Habits of the Human Mind
If you desire to stay positive in your life, try to avoid these bad human habits.  When you make these changes, you will feel it will make great changes in the way you see things and will help you live a happier life.

“Fear” is one of the harmful negative or depressing emotions. Fear, like all other depressingdepression 300x241 7 Dark Side Habits of the Human Mind emotions, poisons the body. This is not said in a figurative sense. It is an actual scientific fact; it has been demonstrated chemically. Were it not for the fact that the lungs, skin, kidneys and the bowels are constantly removing poisons from the body, an acute attack of fear would prove fatal.

Worrying is perhaps the most common and the worst of our mental sins. Worry is like a cancer: It eats in and in. It is destructive of both body and mind. It is due largely to lack of self-control and is a symptom of cowardice. Much worry is also indicative of great selfishness, which most of those afflicted will deny. Those who worry much are always in poor health, which grows progressively worse. The form of indigestion accompanied by great acidity and gas formation is a prolific source of worry, as well as of other mental and physical troubles. The acidity irritates the nervous system and the irritation in time causes mental depression.

For one thing, we are all guilty. We live not knowing as much as we need to know about the problems that we have, and so we make mistakes, all of us. It is Nature itself that is imperfect, and we are all the heirs of this imperfection. Knowing that you are totally created makes it possible to rise above personal injuries and move beyond guiltiness and regret. In the words of Lao-Tse, “When I let go of who I am, I become who I might be.”


Depression affects more than just an individual’s mood and general overall sense of well being. Depression surfaces in a number of other ways, including the form of eating disorders. To be a whole person again, you can move away from ignoring or repudiating your bad feelings and move into a position of being receptive to change. From this position you are compassionate - you recognize that you are more than your bad feelings. Implicit in this attitude lie the words, “I am with you. I do not turn away from you. I acknowledge you. I recognize your bad feelings. My compassion recognizes that you are more than you think you are. Who you are and who you have been have been produced by the processes of Nature/life. I do not repudiate or desert any of you. I do not turn my back on you. I do not try to will you out of existence. I acknowledge your existence, each part of your body and each part of your mind. A person is going to feel the full range of human feelings, including fear, shame, hostility, and guiltiness.

Anger is a normal human emotion. However, when it’s unresolved or unchecked, it can angry 232x300 7 Dark Side Habits of the Human Mindlead to devastating consequences for the person holding onto the anger and those around him or her. The major reason that anger is so difficult to manage for most people is that it has become a habitual response to certain people, places and situations. Most habits tend to operate below our awareness—meaning we react without considering our choices

If you are down on yourself, practicing a lot of self-blame, please remember that it is very difficult to get by in this complicated world as it is without any disorders. Blaming yourself for all kinds of stuff such as whether other people are happy, whether other people work hard, whether your relationship fails to thrive, whether a social event is going well - is so much work! People who blame themselves for too much mistake influence for control. A mother may be able to influence her child when it comes to academic study but she can’t completely control the child’s motivation (or lack of). You may be able to influence whether your partner or friend has a good time but you certainly can’t be totally responsible.

Indifference is an absence of compulsion to or toward one thing or another.
To be indifferent is to realize that I have no interest — not now, not yet or maybe ever — in something I have become aware of and spent some time prioritizing. To not know is to realize how futile self-importance is. Ignorance however represents a procrastinization of thought. Ignorance is the substitution of belief for knowledge. Where continuing ignorance would curtain with darkness, realization provides the ubiquity of sun light. The bliss of ignorance is ironic — I’m giving away my bliss to the rapturous

See also:

Fixation is the state in which an individual becomes obsessed with an attachment to another person, being or object (in human psychology).
Sigmund Freud theorized that some humans may develop psychological fixation due to:
  1. A lack of proper gratification during one of the psychosexual stages of development, or
  2. Receiving a strong impression from one of these stages, in which case the person's personality would reflect that stage throughout adult life.
Whether a particularly obsessive attachment is a fixation or a defensible expression of love is at times debatable. Fixation to intangibles (i.e., ideas, ideologies, etc.) can also occur. The obsessive factor is also found in symptoms pertaining to obsessive compulsive disorder.

An addiction is an obsession, compulsion, or excessive psychological dependence, such as: drug addiction (e.g. alcoholism, nicotine addiction), problem gambling, ergomania, compulsive overeating, shopping addiction, computer addiction, video game addiction, pornography addiction, television addiction, etc.

In medicine, an addiction is a chronic neurobiological disorder that has genetic, psychosocial, and environmental dimensions and is characterized by one of the following: the continued use of a substance despite its detrimental effects, impaired control over the use of a drug (compulsive behavior), and preoccupation with a drug's use for non-therapeutic purposes (i.e. craving the drug). Addiction is often accompanied by the presence of deviant behaviors (for instance stealing money and forging prescriptions) that are used to obtain a drug.

Tolerance to a drug and physical dependence are not defining characteristics of addiction, although they typically accompany addiction to certain drugs. Tolerance is a pharmacologic phenomenon where the dose of a medication needs to be continually increased in order to maintain its desired effects. For instance, individuals with severe chronic pain taking opiate medications (like morphine) will need to continually increase the dose in order to maintain the drug's analgesic (pain-relieving) effects. Physical dependence is also a pharmacologic property and means that if a certain drug is abruptly discontinued, an individual will experience certain characteristic withdrawal signs and symptoms. Many drugs used for therapeutic purposes produce withdrawal symptoms when abruptly stopped, for instance oral steroids, certain antidepressants, benzodiazepines, and opiates.

However, common usage of the term addiction has spread to include psychological dependence. In this context, the term is used in drug addiction and substance abuse problems, but also refers to behaviors that are not generally recognized by the medical community as problems of addiction, such as compulsive overeating.

The term addiction is also sometimes applied to compulsions that are not substance-related, such as problem gambling and computer addiction. In these kinds of common usages, the term addiction is used to describe a recurring compulsion by an individual to engage in some specific activity, despite harmful consequences, as deemed by the user himself to his individual health, mental state, or social life.

Vice is a practice or a habit considered immoral, depraved, and/or degrading in the associated society. In more minor usage, vice can refer to a fault, a defect, an infirmity or merely a bad habit. Synonyms for vice include fault, depravity, sin, iniquity, wickedness and corruption. The modern English term that best captures its original meaning is the word vicious, which means "full of vice". In this sense, the word vice comes from the Latin word vitium, meaning "failing or defect". Vice is the opposite of virtue.

Vice is also a generic legal term for criminal offenses involving prostitution, lewdness, lasciviousness and obscenity. Illegal forms of gambling are also often included as a vice in law enforcement departments that deal with gambling as a crime.

Dante's seven deadly vices

The poet Dante Alighieri listed the following seven deadly vices:
  1. Pride or vanity — an excessive love of the self (holding the self outside of its proper position regarding God or fellows; Dante's definition was "love of self perverted to hatred and contempt for one's neighbor"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, pride is referred to as superbia.
  2. Avarice (covetousness, greed) — a desire to possess more than one has need or use for (or according to Dante, "excessive love of money and power"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, avarice is referred to as avaritia.
  3. Lust — excessive sexual desire. Dante's criterion was that "lust detracts from true love". In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, lust is referred to as luxuria.
  4. Wrath or anger — feelings of hatred, revenge or denial, as well as punitive desires outside of justice (Dante's description was "love of justice perverted to revenge and spite"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, wrath is referred to as ira.
  5. Gluttony — overindulgence in food, drink or intoxicants, or misplaced desire of food as a pleasure for its sensuality ("excessive love of pleasure" was Dante's rendering). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, gluttony is referred to as gula.
  6. Envy or jealousy - resentment of others for their possessions (Dante: "love of one's own good perverted to a desire to deprive other men of theirs"). In the Latin lists of the Seven Deadly Sins, envy is referred to as invidia.
  7. Sloth or laziness; idleness and wastefulness of time and/or other allotted resources. Laziness is condemned because it results in others having to work harder; also, useful work will not be done. Sloth is referred to in Latin as accidie or acedia.

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