Change is Hard…

May 18, 2023

Change is hard. If it were easy, we would rarely hear complaints about your friend’s new diet, or your coworker’s 4-hour sleep the other night. When addressing shortcomings in our health, including sleep, we must keep in mind the need for behavioural change. Gaps in one’s lifestyle must therefore be mended if we are to take health improvement seriously. In regard to sleep, a good night’s rest for some rarely comes without a significant degree of work toward that goal. Outlined below are some reasons that change is so difficult for us, and some methods one can adopt to embrace the more complex changes needed to improve our lifestyles.

It is natural for the human body to resist change and many disciplines of psychology report a universal resistance by people to change. From pushing back against strategies suggested by one’s therapist to the stubborn nature of the connections in our nervous system, change is known to be a difficult undertaking for nearly everybody. The approaches people resist do exist for a reason, however. The strategies we must employ to change the most set-in of our behaviours should be tackled with enthusiasm and patience because in most cases, they do work! It is only natural for a human to wish to remain where is most comfortable. When feeling hesitant to embrace change, one must remember that what is perhaps comfortable is oftentimes not what is most beneficial for you or your health. This is something everybody must remind themselves of in their journey toward progress.

One of the many reasons for the difficulty that change brings is the fact that our bodies work more mechanically than some realize. According to the schools of operant and classical conditioning, many of our outward behaviours are learned and reinforced through repetition and the rewards associated with them. Obviously, while not categorically rewarding in the long run, unhealthy behaviours present the illusion of reward to your body thus reinforcing the drive to continue with said behaviour. These behaviours can of course be extinguished by avoiding the repetition of the learned behaviour and its associated stimuli. Extinction of learned behaviours, however, can be seen as more of an inhibition of a conditioned behaviour rather than elimination entirely.

Research suggests that while one may have conquered their reliance on certain behaviour, perhaps an addiction to scrolling on their phone for an hour before bed, the underlying mechanism that felt rewarded by this behaviour remains somewhat present and dormant in the brain. Many lapses in behavioural change and progress can be attributed to this operational shortcoming of our psychology.

The mechanisms of behavioural reinforcement and extinction work under the pretense of context-specificity. Behaviours that replace or simply exist at the same time as the unhealthy behaviour will be conditioned along with the attempted extinction. If we are to continue with our phone example, one may find that they replace their reliance on scrolling before bed with a book or a white noise machine. While these are certainly beneficial replacements, according to the tenants of conditioning the individual will find their craving for their phone just as strong once the replacement book is taken away.

Research by Mark Bouton suggests broadening the methods and environments one surrounds themselves with when extinguishing a behaviour. If you undertake a variety of healthy alternatives to your unwanted behaviours, you will find yourself succeeding in change in a more concrete and reliable way rather than relying on a single source of behavioural replacement.

Zenbev Drink Mix can be the tool you need to embrace change in your sleep schedule. Zenbev provides you with a naturally-sourced formula that boosts your capacity for deeper and longer sleep. When attempting to remedy the habits that have affected your sleep schedule, consider Zenbev as the next guide on your journey to better sleep, a powerful tool in the toolbox. Repairing sleep is an active process that requires a multitude of steps. Give your body all the help it can get by employing the aid of Zenbev to become a good habit that reinforces healthy change.

For reasons mostly unknown to us, our bodies will push back when faced with the uncharted territory of change. Our brains will not always know what’s best for us and we often trick them into believing our unhealthy behaviours are even healthy! What’s most important in changing our behaviour, whether it’s to fix our sleep schedule or to improve our overall health, is to recognize what isn’t working and remain persistent in eliminating these shortcomings. It is crucial to remember, what may feel right to your brain may not always be right for your body. Treat your body the way it deserves to be treated by eliminating the behaviours you suspect to be harmful and you will find yourself rewarded plentifully in the long run.