I would also recommend The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. He talks about the notion of a keystone habit, such as smoking, which can be the center of a slew of other bad/compulsive habits. If we deal with one, that often leads to our being better able to address and redirect others.

I would also posit here, Niklas, that there is something very important to understand about habit energy. Here’s what I mean: I can find myself washing my hands (an OCD) or suffering from eating disorders (an OCD). I could go on. The point is that we aren’t engaging in that habit for itself. Washing hands isn’t about having dirty fingernails. Eating disorders aren’t about being hungry. They are about dissipating anxiety. Habit energy is what we do to distract ourselves from pain. That’s one of the reasons they’re so hard to break. We treat them as simple habits-not as psychological disorders which have deep roots in our psychic pain.

To not address the root of the behaviors, we simply shift our habit energies to a new, and all too often even more destructive habit. I did that for decades until I understood what was going on. I still have the habit energy, but I have learned to both better manage it and to redirect to things that serve me: like writing, like exercise, like adventure travel. Not only am I fully aware of the habit energy, I use it to my advantage. At the same time I am doing the work to get to the source.

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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