The Cycle Of Changed Behaviour
Contrary to popular belief, change does not come easily to everyone as it requires a whole lot of effort and struggle. From scientists to philosophers, all great thinkers have believed that change is, in fact, inevitable. However, in this pursuit, one must strive continually with sheer determination. From cultivating a new habit or leaving behind old harmful patterns, you have to devote yourself fully to experience change.
Change involves the period of trial and error. During this time, it is necessary to go through adversity as you practice and implement a changed behaviour. As a result, you will be able to expand your knowledge and explore your hidden potential. It will also teach you the significance of formulating goals and will help you work towards achieving them. It will enhance your creativity as well as critical skills. For example, if you always acquire academic assistance from an essay writing service, you will learn to depend on your abilities and to improve your writing skills with continuous practice.
Hence, to bring change into your life or break the cycle of a bad habit, you must internally as well as externally prepare yourself for the transformation. Grasp the knowledge available in your surroundings and benefit from the resources that guarantee a lasting change. Understand the barriers you’re confronted with and identify the triggers that cause relapse and repetition of the vicious cycle.
In the domain of clinical and motivational psychology, intensive work has been done to understand the nature of change. Renowned researchers like James Prochaska and Carlo DeClemente have designed a Transtheoretical Model which demonstrates the fundamental information needed to understand how and why people undergo a changed behaviour. Following are the stages presented in this model which can help you gain some formal insight into the subject.
Stage 1: Precontemplation
Stage 2: Contemplation
Stage 3: Preparation
Stage 4: Action
Stage 5: Maintenance
Stage 6: Relapse
This is the first stage of the model, which is interestingly not about changing behaviour at all. On the contrary, it is about the time when the individual is in denial about the existing problem and its severity. They are essentially neglecting the serious consequences of the problem in their life as well as others. The only way out of this denial is introspection.
Therefore, the key is to evaluate past and present behaviour and objectively investigate the negative effects on the future. Self-analysis, combined with reflective thinking, can distinctly indicate the risks of problematic behaviour. Thus, begin the process by asking yourself this question: “Have I ever struggled with this behaviour in the past?”
The second stage of change can create disturbance or conflict in the mind of the individual as it generates the need for necessary introspection. However, the cost of change is still bigger and can soon elevate the tension. Due to the ambivalence, some people may fix the problem in weeks whereas, for others, it may last for years. The positive aspect is that it initiates an internal monologue that eventually inspires a sense of motivation to change.
The strategies that can help during this stage is the identification of all the barriers that are stopping you. Moreover, formulating a list of the pros and cons of change can help find the motivation to work towards attaining it.
This is the stage where the individual has to prepare themselves mentally to apply those techniques practically. Moreover, they need to establish goals and sincerely work towards achieving them. This would require experimentation and exploration. So, they need to gather as much information as possible. Writing a mission statement, creating a vision board or making a personal promise can help in effective planning. For example, if you think have mental health issues that you can’t cope with on your own, consider taking professional help or reading self-help books. These practical actions will bring you one step closer to change.
The fourth stage requires you to take direct actions. Hence, if you were considering dropping a few kilos before the beginning of the new season, stop looking for advice or watching YouTube videos of different exercise regimes. Instead, start working on it yourself. Join a gym, go for a walk with your dog, or improve your diet.
Furthermore, don’t let these actions go unnoticed. Reward yourself with things you like to do as these incentives will boost your motivation to work harder. Motivation can do wonders to a person’s physical and mental health. Therefore, it is suggested that the individual must acquire social support to gain a sense of encouragement. The help laid down by the people who love and care for you is enough to push you towards your desired goals.
This is the most crucial stage in the process of change. Once you’ve established and successfully incorporated a changed behaviour in your routine, you have to maintain it. Otherwise, you may unintentionally resort to your previous habits. Therefore, despite the temptation, you have to keep your eyes on the prize and continue changing for good. In this endeavour, you must practice self-control and develop effective coping strategies to deal with distractions and temptations.
Human beings are naturally flawed. Hence, a relapse is bound to take place. In this process, you might face frustration, anxiety, and intense emotional chaos. However, the only way to redeem yourself after much exhaustion is to work your way up. Everyone makes mistakes, but strong people get back up and redefine themselves. They break barriers and turn down obstacles, proving that nothing is truly impossible, after all.