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How can I overcome resistance from my brain to change my behavior?

Kelly Traver
Internal Medicine

Although the brain can change, it usually won't do so without putting up a bit of a fight. That's because it is set up to resist change, especially sudden change. The brain operates under the same principle as your body: homeostasis. Just as body's physiology works to keep parameters such as calcium, blood sugar, and weight stable, so the brain works hard to continue whatever behavior has become the norm. People who are ultimately successful in initiating and maintaining major behavioral change usually do it through gradual, step-by-step changes.

Another way to help your brain accept change is to work within a structure. Your brain is very rule-based, so it generally feels more comfortable when the rules are clearly defined.

Although your brain can change, it is generally set up to resist change, especially sudden change. People who are ultimately successful in initiating and maintaining major behavioral changes usually make the changes gradually, one step at a time.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.