4 Steps To Better Habits | Atomic Habits Book Summary — Chapter 3 (James Clear)

Atomic Habits Book Summary Analysis (James Clear)

Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

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This chapter will go through why your brain builds habits, whether routine and habits restrict or free you and the neurological feedback habit loop.

Why does your brain build habits?

Your habits are a series of automated solutions that solve the problems you face regularly with as little effort and energy. Habits are reliable solutions to recurring problems in our environment, our body and brain will manufacture habits to prolong survival and produce a target behaviour.

You look at impoverished communities, you look at low social-economic areas, people who come from poverty, people who come from war-torn countries — they have developed a series of habits to maximize survival. We see this in adults who have gone through childhood trauma.

The body creates a series of automated solutions out of the trauma out and the stress of the environment to keep the organism functioning and surviving. When that stressor is gone and that insult is no longer present, the habit can continue to manifest itself. This is described by some as ‘neurotic holding patterns’ where people will present abnormal habits such as rapid blinking, hyperactivity, verbal speech impediments or constantly saying sorry.

The person who constantly says ‘sorry’ is typically the person who has grown up feeling like they’re always ‘in the way’. This type of person grows up learning their presence and thoughts aren’t valued. In order to survive, they placate their environment by subverting themselves to authority. This is one common behavioural expression for those who have grown up in abusive homes. In order to survive and avoid conflict, they get as small and nonthreatening as possible.

The body and brain will create solutions to problems and threats in our environment…

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Alexander Emmanual Sandalis

Self-reflective writings & book summaries on philosophy, psychology and human behaviour. Video’s + podcast → youtube.com/emmanualalexander