Habitats shape habits

Sisyphus brain

Don’t fight your instincts. Change your personal environment.

Instead of fighting our instincts, we must change out behavior, especially our habits, by changing our habitats.

Behaviors more important than hospitals as the way to health. The most powerful behaviors are habits. But habits are hard to change. Human instincts will not change. It is futile to fight our own biology.

To change habits, we must change our habitats. Habitat is a word that includes many things. Ultimately, habitat is the combination of environment, location, lifestyle and circumstances that tends to drive how we live. Traditionally, habitat included region and season, and humans adapted marvelously to a huge variety of habitats.

In the modern world, our habitats have been distorted. For example, foodstuffs tempt us almost constantly. We are surrounded by brightly packaged sugar snacks, exotic fruits in all seasons, and foods stuffed with unnatural chemicals instead of real nutrients. Similarly, daily life in many US communities requires driving and discourages walking. At an even more basic level, electricity lights the night and confuses our sleep. Sometimes it seems as if humans live in an ill-conceived and artificial zoo.

To recover and maintain health in the modern world, we must carefully shape our habitats to support better habits. Find places to buy healthy food. Leave the car at home sometimes and walk more. Don’t stare into a bright computer screen or television before bedtime.

Human instincts will not change. It is futile to fight our own biology. Instead we must change our behavior — how we live our lives. Behaviors more important than hospitals as the way to health. The most powerful behaviors are habits.

To change habits, we must change our habitats. Habitat is a word that includes many things. Ultimately, habitat is the combination of environment, location, lifestyle and circumstances that tends to drive how we live. Traditionally, habitat included region and season, and humans adapted marvelously to a huge variety of habitats.

But in the modern world, our habitats have been distorted. For example, foodstuffs tempt us almost constantly. We are surrounded by brightly packaged sugar snacks, exotic fruits in all season, and foods stuffed with unnatural chemicals instead of real nutrients. Similarly, daily life in many US communities requires driving and discourages walking. At an even more basic level, electricity lights the night and confuses our sleep. Sometimes it seems as if humans live in an ill-conceived and artificial zoo.

To recover and maintain health in the modern world, we must carefully shape our habitats to support better habits. Find places to buy healthy food. Leave the car at home sometimes and walk more. Don’t stare into a bright computer screen right before bedtime.

DrTheresa.com, Theresa Nesbitt and her publications provide general information on health and wellness. This general information is not a substitute for health advice and medical care from physicians who know you. Please talk to them before making significant changes in your lifestyle. Complete Terms of Use and Disclaimers