Here at Zenyum, we’re all about good habits. We believe they are the foundation of not just your oral health but mental health, well-being, success and productivity as well.
You might think that changing your bad habits into good ones is an uphill task, but with a little trick called the Habit Loop (we’ll talk about this in a bit) you’ll get it done in no time.
What is a habit?
A habit is defined as a regular tendency or practice, especially one that is hard to give up. Habits are important as they allow us to get through everyday life and perform certain tasks without spending a lot of mental effort.
And good habits like having a morning routine can make something so arduous like getting out of bed on a Monday seem so simple.
The Habit Loop
The Habit Loop is a neurobiological pattern that was first discovered by researchers from MIT and later built on by journalist Charles Duhigg. A Habit Loop consists of 3 steps: a cue, a routine and a reward.
The cue can be a trigger that signals the brain to start preparing to perform a specific activity. The routine is the actual activity which can be both physical and mental and the reward is a way to compensate yourself for completing the activity.
Sort of like giving yourself a pat on the back.
Good and bad habits
Duhigg has stated that analysing the 3 steps of the Habit Loop can help us to understand whether a habit can be considered good or bad. Afterall, you get the same sense of mental satisfaction after completing a household chore and indulging in your favorite fast food meal.
Hence, you can tell a good and bad habit apart by looking at the routine of the habit.
Once you have identified the routine of the habit, you can then determine if your habit is a good one or a bad one. For example, the routine could be watching your favourite Netflix series. As a result, you begin to procrastinate and put off all your workout. Therefore, this action can be viewed as negative due to the undesired outcomes.
The second step to differentiating between good and bad habits is to examine the cue, or the trigger which causes you to pick up your phone and start streaming. It could be to relieve stress or even to accompany your friends who are hopping onto a Netflix party.
Even though it is not obvious to us, the brain receives a clear signal:
It’s time to watch Netflix.
The last step is to identify the reward, or the effects of binge watching Netflix. This helps you to understand why you continually choose to do so even though you have uncompleted work or chores. It could be a myriad of reasons like the lack of motivation or simply a feeling of boredom.
From bad habits to good habits
Now that we know how to identify bad habits, how do we transform them into good habits?
To do so, it will take some trial and error to find a reward that has a similar effect. If the reward from watching Netflix is to alleviate boredom, try another activity that has a similar effect like reading a book or socialising with friends.
It gives off the same mental satisfaction, but the negative act has been replaced with a more positive one.
It can take time to find a routine that has a similar reward to kick out your bad habits, but patience is the key to start new good habits.
Good habits in Zenyum
Good habits are especially important in oral care as some procedures like getting braces can require a very specific but troublesome routine. Therefore, good habits are important in ensuring compliance for outstanding results.
Zenyum’s invisible braces require you to remember when to put on your aligners. This ensures you’re wearing your invisible braces for the required treatment duration to ensure your teeth shift according to plan.
Fortunately, Zenyum’s app makes all of this easier!
The Zenyum app allows you to track your treatment progress as you go, reminds you to switch your aligners and offers round the clock support.
This makes maintaining your good oral habits so much easier.
The Zenyum invisible braces build on the concept of having good habits by having cues that are more distinct and reinforcing the good routines like wearing your aligners with healthier and more tangible rewards like an upgraded smile! Read more here to learn about our invisible braces.
Before you know it some of these good habits will become second nature to you – meaning you perform them on autopilot without even needing the cue!
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