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战胜习惯,改变战胜习惯,改变生活 战胜习惯,改变生活 战胜习惯,改变生活

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一粒金砂(中级)

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发表于 2012-4-16 09:21:45 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
http://xue.youdao.com/article.z?id=1206988335628482236&keyfrom=FirstPage(英文版)
http://xue.youdao.com/article.z?id=1206988335628482236&keyfrom=FirstPage(中文版)

How to Change Your Life

  

Most of us would like to change something about ourselves or our lives. We eat too much. We smoke. We don't exercise. We're stuck in the wrong job. We spend too much and save too little. We look for love in the wrong places.

Some of us have a few things we'd like to change. Some people want to transform their entire lives.

But can we? And if so, how?

Charles Duhigg may have found the key.

Duhigg, a reporter at the New York Times, spent three years interviewing researchers, marketing mavens and neuroscientists to understand better how our brains work, and how we can use that knowledge in our daily lives.

He's published the results in a new book, The Power of Habit.

The bottom line: We're running on autopilot most of the time, and we don't really know it. We are controlled to a remarkable degree by our habits, not just by our conscious choices.

"A habit is a choice that we deliberately make at some point, and then stop thinking about, but continue doing, often every day, " he writes.

Even people in crisis can use this knowledge to turn their lives around.

We can't unlearn bad habits. The way to defeat them is to learn new, better ones.

The book begins with the case of "Lisa Allen, " a young woman who did precisely that. She began as an overweight, heavy-drinking smoker with debts and no job. Her husband had just left her. A few years she was fit, clean, gainfully employed and in charge of her life. She ran marathons, bought a house, got engaged, and began a master's program.

What's This? ..And her turnaround began when she took the decision to change one "keystone" habit, and quit smoking. That change led to other changes, and so on.

Habits are a neurological reality, Duhigg reports. Neurologists studying scans of Lisa Allen's brain found that "one set of neurological patterns her old habits had been overridden by new patterns. They could still see the neural activity of her old behaviors, but those impulses were crowded out by new urges. As Lisa' habits changed, so had her brain."

But how do you change a bad habit?

According to Duhigg, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology believe all habits break down into three steps: The cue, the habit (which he calls 'the routine') and the reward.

The cue is what triggers the habit in the first place walking past the pastry shop, having a coffee, and so on. The reward is the craving the habit is really designed to satisfy.

The trick to changing is to identify those three elements, and then to divert them into something more productive.

He illustrates with an example from his own life. Duhigg says he was putting on weight. How did he change?

1.Find the bad habit.

Duhigg noticed he had put on weight. Why? What had changed? He realized he had started taking a break from work each afternoon, walking to the New York Times cafeteria, and eating a big chocolate chip cookie.

2. Find the reward.

What is the real reward, or payoff, you are seeking? In other words, in Duhigg's case, what was the payoff that got him started on this habit in the first place? What craving was he trying to satisfy?

What's This?

Input Error:

..You might think that was obvious. Surely you eat a cookie to eat a cookie, right?

Well, not really. Was it a need for food? To relieve the mid-afternoon boredom? An excuse to stretch his legs? A chance to chat to co-workers in the cafeteria?

The amazing thing is Duhigg didn't really know and research suggests that's true for most of us.

"We're often not conscious of the cravings that drive our behaviors, " he reports. "Most cravings [are] obvious in retrospect, but incredibly hard to see when we are under their sway." Turns out there's a big difference between the habit and the real reward, or the real craving, that drives it.

How do you find the reward? Duhigg recommends a simple three-step technique: Experiment, write, wait.

First, experiment: Try out different alternative habits to see if you feel the same reward.

Was his cookie habit just an excuse to stretch his legs? Duhigg tried going for a walk instead.

Was it a craving for food? He tried having an apple at his desk instead.

Second, after each experiment, try isolating by writing down the first three things that come to mind "emotions, random thoughts, reflections on how you're feeling, or just the first three words that pop into your head."

...Why? Habit researchers found that the act of writing down is incredibly powerful. (This is also true of cognitive behavioral therapists). "It forces a momentary awareness of what you are thinking or feeling, " writes Duhigg, and will help you later recall those emotions later.

Third, after doing that, he waited for fifteen minutes. He set an alarm. When it went off, he asked himself: Do you still feel the urge for that cookie?

That fifteen minutes is key, says Duhigg. If, fifteen minutes after, say, eating an apple, or going for a walk, you still feel the urge to go to the cafeteria, then you haven't found the real reward.

After a lot of experimentation, and reviewing your notes, you should be able to identify the real reward your habit is designed around.

3. Find the cue.

Typically, something sets us off. You light a cigarette when you have a cup of coffee. You reach for the ice-cream after dinner. And so on. To break the bad habit we need to find the cue.

Scientists have found that these typically fall into five categories: Location, time, emotional state, other people, or an immediately preceding action.

...What was Duhigg's cue? To find out, he waited until the craving struck and then noted down five things: Where am I? What time is it? What's my emotional state? Who else is around? And what action immediately preceded the urge?

After a few days he was able to isolate his cue: Time.

At around 3:30 pm every afternoon, he felt the need for a distraction from work, the kind, he notes, that came from gossiping with a friend.

Not everyone is in Lisa Allen's old shoes. But I'll bet everyone has some habits they could do without.


战胜习惯,改变生活

  

    我们大多数人都想对自己或自己的生活做一些改变。(比如)吃的太多、喜欢抽烟、不做运动。我们做着自己不喜欢的的工作。我们花销太大、储蓄太少。我们总是爱着不该爱的人。

    有些人想对生活做些许改变,而有些人想要翻天覆地的变化。

    但我们能做到吗?如果能的话,该怎么做呢?

    查尔斯.都黑格(Charles Duhigg)可能找到了其中的诀窍。

    都黑格是纽约时报的一名记者。他花了三年时间对科研人员、营销专家和神经科学家进行了采访,他的目的是为了更好地了解大脑如何工作,以及如何将这些知识用于我们的日常生活。

    他最近出版了一本书,《习惯的力量》。

    他的结果是:我们在大部分时间都是自动的做着一些事情,而且自己并没有察觉。我们的行动很大程度上都受制于我们的习惯,而不是我们的意志。

    “习惯是我们在某一个时间有意识的做出的选择,而在之后几乎每一天都不再思考,只是照着习惯做,”他在书中写道。

    即使人们遇到重大危机,也可以利用这一知识做出改变。

    人们是忘不掉坏习惯的。要想改变它们,只有通过养成新的更好的习惯。

    这本书在开头提到一个典型的案例——丽莎.艾伦。丽莎是一个年轻的女子,她体制超重,酗酒吸烟,而且没有工作债务缠身,她的丈夫也抛弃了她。但几年之后,她身体健康、戒了烟酒,有了不错的工作,并且生活也走上正轨。她还参加马拉松长跑,买了房订了婚,还读了一个硕士。

    到底发生了什么?……当她决定改变一个“关键”的坏习惯并且开始戒烟时,她的生活就开始向好的方向转变,而这种转变又导致其他好的变化,最终让她的发生了如此大的改变。

    都黑格写道:在神经学中,习惯是一种存在。神经学家在分析丽莎.艾伦的大脑扫描结果时发现,“旧习惯的神经模式已经被新模式所覆盖,虽然还可以观察到旧习惯的神经活动,但是这些神经活动已经让位给新习惯的神经冲动。随着丽莎的习惯改变,她的大脑也出现了相应的变化。”

    但是如何改变一个坏习惯呢?

    根据都黑格的采访,麻省理工学院的研究者认为习惯可以分解为三个步骤:提示,习惯本身(研究者称之为“惯例”)和奖励。

    “提示”是指最先触发习惯的事物,比如路过点心店,喝一杯咖啡等等。而“奖励”是指习惯真正要满足的身体需求。

    想要改变一个习惯,诀窍就是找出这三个因素,然后转移到更有建设性的事物上面。

    他举了一个他自己的例子:他在不停发胖,到底怎么回事?

    首先,找出坏习惯。

    都黑格注意到他在发胖,为什么呢?他的生活发生了什么改变?他想起每个下午他都会在休息的时候,步行到纽约时报餐厅,吃一大片巧克力曲奇饼干。

    其次,找出习惯的奖励。

    什么是你真正想要的奖励或回报?换句话说,对都黑格而言,是什么让他开始养成这个习惯的?他想满足什么需求?

    是什么呢?

    ……你可能会认为那是显而易见的。你就是想吃饼干了,所以你吃了一片饼干,不是么?

    嗯,这个解释不一定是对的。是因为饿了么?打发下午的无聊?想要溜达溜达?还是想找个在餐厅跟同事聊天的机会?

    令人惊奇的是,都黑格并不知道他真正想要什么。而且研究表明,其实大多数人都不知道他们的习惯真正想要什么。

    “我们通常都意识不到驱使我们行动背后的需求,”他写道。“当我们回想起来,大多数需求都是显而易见的;但当我们受习惯支配的时候,却很难意识到。”所以,习惯本身和它背后的真正需求有着很大的区别。

    如何找出真正的需求?都黑格给出了一个简单的三步法:试验、记录和等待。

    第一步是试验:试试别的习惯,能否让你感到同样的满足。

    吃饼干可能只是他想要走一走?所以可以用去散步代替。

    或者是饿了?他可以在办公室吃个一个苹果。

    第二步是记录,在每一个试验之后记下你脑海中出现的前三个事情——“情绪上的变化,你的想法,你的感觉,或着只是出现在你脑海中的前三个单词。”

    ……为什么要这么做?研究习惯的科学家发现,记录这一行为具有强大的力量(这也是一种真正的认知行为治疗方法)。“记录可以迫使人们意识到当时的想法或感觉,”都黑格在书中写道,而且记录会帮助你以后回忆起当时的情绪。

    第三步是等待,记录之后等待十五分钟,设一个闹钟。到时间后,再问自己:你还想要饼干么?

    都黑格说,这十五分钟是关键。如果你吃了苹果或着散完步,过了十五分钟还是很想去自助餐厅吃东西,那么你还没有找到这个习惯真正的奖励。

    通过不停的实验,复习你的笔记,应该能够识别习惯背后真正的需求。

    第三,找到习惯的提示。

    通常某些事情会引发我们的习惯行为。比如,在喝咖啡的时候抽一支烟,吃完晚饭后吃点冰淇淋。所以想要打破坏习惯,我们要找到会引发它们的“提示”。

    科学家发现,通常有五种提示:地点、时间、情绪状态、别的人或者之前的行为。

    ……所以,都黑格的提示是什么呢?为了找出这一习惯的提示,他等到想要吃饼干时记下五件事:我在哪里?几点了?情绪怎么样?周围有谁?刚才在做什么?

    这样过了几天后,他就找到了他的提示:时间。

    每天下午大约3 : 30左右,他都想要把停下手上的工作,找个朋友闲聊一会儿。

    丽莎艾伦的情况不是人人都有。但我打赌,每个人都有一些想要改掉的坏习惯。



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