Best Way To Stop Bad Habits: Get Rid Of Them All At Once

Everybody has some habits they’d like to change, and now a small study says it’s best to get rid of all of them at once. University of California Santa Barbara researchers gave 30 participants physical and cognitive tests, then half changed their behaviors significantly by doing exercises in the morning, and attending an hour-long session in meditation and stress reduction. A few times a week they also increased the intensity of their workout and learned about sleep and nutrition, and were encouraged to partake in random acts of kindness. The other half of participants just went about their lives as usual, with no changes. Then all participants were given the cognitive and physical tests again. Those in the control group performed the same way they did previously, but those who experienced intense behavior changes were more focused and reported improved happiness and memory. Study author Michael Mrazek says, “Our findings suggest that making multiple lifestyle changes at once can lead to both larger and more numerous benefits than typically observed when focusing on just one thing at a time.” This may be because each lifestyle change supports all the others, and thus they reinforce each other. Still, the study was too small to draw any definitive conclusions on how best to break unhealthy habits, and other experts have expressed skepticism about the findings. (Time)