Why is Behavior Change So Challenging? There’s Science Behind It

While we don’t always think about it, daily routines often consist of repeating similar patterns each day. If you're required to suddenly break up that monotony, could you? This includes life’s guilty pleasures, such as eating a donut, spending too much on shoes or drinking a glass (or three) of wine. Could you give them up?

Many of us have tried and failed to give up some of our habits. Here are some common behaviors that people try to change and why it's so hard to stop.


Because food is often readily available, it can turn into a dangerous coping mechanism. Indulging in a favorite meal releases feel-good hormones in the brain. This makes it hard to give up things like salty snacks, cola and chocolate. 

Ways to tackle overeating:


You've saved and planned. You have a $100 bill in your pocket, strictly to go out and buy a nice outfit or two. But when you get to the checkout, the total soars way past your budgeted amount. So you add the rest to your credit card. If you can make up the difference, that's one thing, but if it's contributing to your spending addiction, it can be problematic. One challenge we face with overspending is that once a habit forms, the brain stops participating in decision-making. 

There are a number of systems to help with overspending but some of the most successful include:

  • Using cash-only in an envelope system.
  • Freezing credit cards in literal blocks of ice.
  • Using a careful tracking system for all financial matters.
  • Implementing a cooling-off period before any purchases.


Ever put off a big project until the day it was due? The art of procrastination is a common habit for many of us. And once we procrastinate one thing, we have the tendency to let other things join the procrasti-pile until we're so totally overwhelmed by the things we're NOT doing that we can't touch the things we SHOULD be doing.

Put an end to procrastination by implementing a few helpful techniques:

  • Tackle tasks head-on as they come up. 
  • Make someone hold you accountable. 
  • Minimize distractions, such as social media and busy spaces. 
  • Come up with a healthy reward.
  • Keep a list of things that need done and choose three every day.

Procrastination is a pesky behavior that can make life really difficult. When we do it, we feel overwhelmed, confused, and we may find ourselves making mistakes and errors from trying to juggle too much at once. Retraining our brains to tackle things right away can make us more proactive and help diffuse the tension that procrastination causes.

Changing behavioral patterns is a huge deal. The human brain and body are deeply connected to conform to specific actions and desires. Keep in mind that although difficult habits and behaviors can be hard to overcome, it is possible. Seek medical help where appropriate and don't blame yourself when things are difficult. Shame and guilt won't help. But seeking support will, and loving yourself as you are, can't hurt either.

Copyright 2021, Wellness.com

3/11/2021 6:40:54 PM
Wellness Editor
Written by Wellness Editor
Wellness Exists to Empower Health Conscious Consumers. Wellness.com helps people live healthier, happier and more successful lives by connecting them with the best health, wellness and lifestyle information and resources on the web.
View Full Profile Website: http://www.wellness.com/

Be the first to leave a comment.
Wellness.com does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment nor do we verify or endorse any specific business or professional listed on the site. Wellness.com does not verify the accuracy or efficacy of user generated content, reviews, ratings or any published content on the site. Use of this website constitutes acceptance of the Terms of Use.
©2024 Wellness®.com is a registered trademark of Wellness.com, Inc. Powered by Earnware