Understand These Three Rules of the Mind to Change Any Habit


by Lynn Cox

Conventional wisdom has posited that our minds are extraordinarily complicated and the process of understanding and managing it amounts to a Herculean task. In the recent decade, there has been more and more research into neuroscience, the power of positive psychology, the mind body connection, and much more that is illuminating the fact that there are many ways to ‘hack’ the system of the mind, to make our lives better!

Here are three ‘Rules of the Mind’ that you need to be aware of so you can be empowered to change habits and transform aspects of your life.

  1. The Mind Does What It Thinks You Want It To Do

Our number one drive as a species is survival, and how do we survive? By staying safe! Safe typically means not taking risks (even measured ones), colouring within the lines that we’ve always known, and avoiding rejection at all costs. The mind thinks you want it to keep you safe.

For example, if you really want to up your game in business, and become a phenomenal presenter, but you’re not used to this; your mind will ‘keep you safe’ by convincing you that taking this step amounts to danger. Don’t worry, there’s a way around this so you can explore, try new things, and develop yourself!

  1. The Mind Loves the Familiar and is Repelled by the Unfamiliar

Along with point 1, the mind is quite comfortable having the same old, same old. How many times have you heard stories about couples who are unhappy together because their habits have become boring; or think about a two-year-old who always wants to wear the same outfit, have the same toy, and eat the same thing for breakfast.

Way, way back when we were hunters and gatherers, the familiar kept us safe and alive. We knew what was poisonous and what wasn’t, and so, we would stick to the safe and familiar. This love of the familiar is deeply wired into us, but it can hold us back when we want to make changes in our life. Don’t worry, you can retrain your mind to love the unfamiliar!

  1. The Mind Responds to Two Things: Words and Pictures

The way our mind processes information is with words and pictures. The good news is the words create the pictures! Just try this exercise; sit in a room with a pen and paper and for five minutes, just write down all that chatter going on in your mind. You’ll notice that thoughts (words and pictures are repetitive).

You can actively choose what words you want to put in there and create compelling pictures to excite your mind and start to change. Do you want to take on healthier habits and shed weight for example? You can repeat words to yourself in many ways. Make a recording with the change you want to see and listen to it. Stop your habitual thoughts and plant the new words in there. Put them on your screensaver, write them on your mirror.

Our minds are quite simple and once you understand the mechanics, you are empowered to become the master of your mind, and your life!