This week, Casper Magazine founder Milla Maria spoke with Dr. Paul Hermann, osteopath, exercise scientist, and founder of Stay Tuned Sports Medicine, about what habits are, how they’re created, and how they can be altered or broken. We’ve all got habits, whether we deem them good ones or bad ones, so read on or listen to Paul and Maria to learn a little more about them!
Explaining that habits, by their very nature, are unconscious, Dr. Hermann envisions the formation and maintenance of a habit as a groove in a record player, which is difficult to get out of once you’re there. Habits become deeply ingrained into our unconscious processes: the entire point of a habit is that you’re automating activities in order to free up your brain for more important conscious decision-making, but the fact that it’s automatic means that it’s difficult to diverge from the pre-set path. Dr. Hermann and Maria also delve a little into the utility of habits in humanity’s prehistory – a fascinating insight into how our thought processes have evolved!
The fact that humans are described as ‘creatures of habit’ rings entirely true but, as Dr. Hermann explains, no habit is inherently good or bad. We assign our own values to habits and can therefore decide for ourselves what habits we want to keep or change. The conversation turns to the formation of habits – the key to understanding how to change them – and examines cues, responses, and rewards as the core of every single habit you have. From changing the cue or the response to ‘Making Obvious’ or ‘Making Invisible’, there are a tonne of strategies you can try for changing or creating a habit – and as Maria points out, not all of them work for every person. The strategy is ‘as individual as the person using it’, so make sure you have a listen to see which is best for you.
Ultimately, Dr. Hermann’s explanation of the mechanisms of a habit are not only enlightening, but encouraging: he tells us to ‘be kind to ourselves’, because even when our successes are small, they can aggregate into a major win. His advice is stellar, and this is just part one of the conversation: next up is how to use habits to shape who you want to be, so make sure to listen to the first episode before we release the second!
For more information about understanding habits, view the mobile friendly PDF. Powered by Stay Tuned Sports Medicine and Casper Magazine.
ABOUT DR PAUL HERMANN
Osteopath & Exercise Scientist.
Dr Paul Hermann is the founder and director of Stay Tuned Sports Medicine. He believes it is our responsibility, and privilege to help everyone we interact with, to feel as good as possible.
His motto: 'Everybody Deserves to Feel Good'.
While studying Osteopathy, Paul completed his Master's research investigating the 'Effectiveness of Swiss Ball Training on Lower Back Stability', before authoring the popular book 'Effective Swiss Ball Training'. Paul's thirst for knowledge, and passion for finding more ways for people to "feel good", lead him to complete a Masters in Exercise Science additionally.
As a therapist, he has applied this principle to his clinical work with patients. As a lecturer, teaching Exercise Science and Rehabilitation at RMIT and Victoria University, and international presenter he has been able to pass on this principle to many thousands of students and other allied health practitioners and Doctors.
Paul continues to share his passion through his work in the Stay Tuned clinics, mentoring many practitioners, writing Health and Fitness related articles and travelling internationally to lecture and look after a variety of professional athletes and teams.
Paul brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the health industry and to Casper Wellness - there aren’t many injury's this guy hasn't seen!
Find Paul at @paul.osteo.staytuned & @staytunedsportsmedicine