Habituation

I remember when I was learning to drive. My hands were sweating as I gripped the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 position. It didn’t help with my father telling me to look out for every single object out there; the other cars, traffic lights, stop signs, centre line, my speedo, pedestrians, animals, rear view mirrors and can’t forget the side mirrors.

I found learning to drive an intense, frustrating and overwhelming experience trying to do all the above and more. I didn’t even have the mental capacity to talk back to my father while I was driving. And after the first driving lessons; as we pulled up in the driveway, I would slam the door which showed my frustration.

But then something interesting happened. As the weeks went by, driving became easier and easier. It started to become fun and second nature. And magically, I could chat to my father and even listen to music on the radio.

There a word for this.
Habituation.
We get used to doing things, where they become a habit and sometimes we don’t realize that we are doing it at all.

So there is a good reason why we habituate things. If we didn’t habituate; we would notice every little detail, all the time from our routines, rhythms and habits. Imagine every time you drove, if you didn’t habituate; it would be a repeat of your first experience again and again. Imagine this with all your routine, rhythms and habits; life would be exhausting and overwhelming.

And there are times, habituation isn’t that great. Habituation can stop us from noticing the problems, dangers and bad in our routines, rhythms and habits. This is why drivers and people can easily pick up bad habits; simply because we stop noticing. And when we are not aware of the problems, dangers and bad in our routines, rhythms and habits; this will effects us and the people around us.

I’ve been on my honeymoon for the last 2 weeks and have another ten days ahead. In this honeymoon period, life has slowed right down and has come to a pause. I have started to notice all my routines, rhythms and habits I have; good ones and bad ones.

Now I’m in a process of asking myself:
Which ones do I keep?
What ones do I want to change, challenge, adapt or drop out completely?
And what new routines, rhythms and habits do I need to create?

I’m hoping as I am contemplating these things; this will make me into a better person. And when I head back into hustle and bustle of reality, hopefully I will come back with better routines, rhythms and habits.

W

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