Everyone has habits. Some are harmless, like always watching a certain television show or going to the beach each Saturday in the summer. Other habits are actually beneficial for us, for example, depositing a set amount of money into a retirement account every payday, or taking a daily walk.
Habits begin with a “habit loop”, according to npr.org. This is a three-step process that starts with a trigger that tells your brain to go on automatic and enable a behavior to be performed. Second is the routine, the actual performing of the behavior followed by the reward stage which reinforces the trigger for activities that the brain enjoys.
Unfortunately, some of our habits are harmful. Often these are the hardest habits to break despite our best intentions. They can be the source of disharmony in our lives and be the underlying cause of serious health problems we will encounter over our lifetimes.
Let’s take a look at 5 bad habits and some of the gadgets available that may be able to help you break them.
Everyone has heard the health warnings that are associated with smoking cigarettes. Yet many millions of people continue to smoke. Quite a few of them have tried unsuccessfully to break this bad habit, to no avail. They continue to consume cigarettes despite knowing that they should not.
Smoking is a very hard habit to break. Many methods have been tried over the years. There have been nicotine therapies available for some time, and more recently vaping has become popular as a way to stop smoking cigarettes. Specially designed vaporizer pens and mods that can produce nicotine-laced vapor can help ease you away from the health risks of cigarettes.
Vaping technology has progressed and small and powerful units like the Suorin Air Ultra Portable Pod System that easily fit in your pocket for convenience are available. There are a wide variety of flavors to enjoy while you vape. This kind of gadget is well worth a shot if you are still trying to break your smoking habit.
Here is another bad habit that has detrimental health effects for the unfortunate victim. The propensity to overeat can lead to a number of health problems including diabetes, obesity, and heart problems. Finding the root of the problem can be tricky.
One place to start is with portion size, which has steadily grown in some societies such as the United States. Portions that are sized adequately to cover the nutritional needs of the individual are often neglected in favor of super-sized soft drinks and huge desserts. The problem with oversized portions is not confined to fast food outlets and has extended to the home as well.
A simple yet ingenious gadget to help control overeating is the ETE plate, developed by Dutch designer Annet Bruil. It is simply a plate with recommended portion sizes shown in pie-shaped sections. Following the guidelines suggested by the plate will help you control your portion sizes and your overeating habit.
Driving While Intoxicated:
This is a habit that crosses the line from one that negatively affects only the individual with the habit. This is a dangerous problem for the individual and society in general. According to nhtsa.gov, a person died every 50 minutes in 2016 due to alcohol-related vehicular accidents.
Studies have shown that even moderate impairment due to alcohol consumption can have a dramatic negative effect on an individual’s ability to drive. Recent advertising campaigns warning of the dangers of “buzzed driving” attempt to hammer home this point.
If you are in the habit of driving after you have had a few drinks, there are personal breathalyzer tools and apps that can be used to alert you to the fact that you need to find a ride home. These can save you a lot of money in court costs and fines if you are apprehended while driving under the influence. More importantly, they can save lives
Bad habits that involve making repeated and similar body motions such as nail biting and hair pulling, while not dangerous, can become annoying and hard to break. The impetus may be nerves or stress, but whatever the reason behind it, the habit becomes entrenched in the person’s daily activities.
Electronic gadgets are now available that can help an individual who is attempting to break a habit of this type. They employ the same kind of motion sensing technology that has been used to count steps and monitor sleeping patterns.
The Liv Smart Bracelet is an example of this cutting-edge technology. It vibrates to interrupt the wearer when they are attempting to engage in an unwanted behavior. The bracelet must be calibrated by the wearer, as it learns what motions you want to have monitored.
Every time the user attempts the action, the bracelet vibrates and records the action for later analysis in an associated app. This can show you what time of day or the kind of situations where you are most prone to engage in the bad habit you are trying to break.
This bad habit can hold you back in your professional and personal life. Being late for a job interview or your cousin’s wedding can have lasting ramifications. You keep setting alarms on your phone, but that snooze button is just so appealing. There has to be another way to break this habit.
An ingenious solution to this problem is called Clocky. It is a clock with two wheels attached to it, and as the alarm sounds the clock moves away from you. Naturally, this forces you to get up to make it stop. No more snoozing for you, and you can start being on time for a change.
If you have a habit that you consider bad or dangerous and you have not been able to control it on your own, these devices should hold out some hope. They are examples of gadgets that can be instrumental in helping you break your bad habits.