Employing Neuroscience of Behavioral Change for Health Purposes

Christina Tziouvara

A common correlation of neuroscience of behavioral change is with prevention of consequences, related to problematic behavioral patterns. Apparently, negative repetitive behaviors may be a factor of compromise for health.

Neuroscience of Behavioral Change: A Brief Introduction

In essence, by neuroscience of behavior change we refer to a procedure of internal “programming” that is aiming to alter behavioral patterns. Therefore, it is a self-regulation process of repetitive behaviors, where change is deemed necessary.

Admittedly, change of unhealthy behavior can be conducive to the prevention of illnesses, both physical and neuropsychiatric. Many illnesses are linked with problematic behavioral patterns. Hence, altering a behavior into a healthier one, can decrease the possibilities of illness’ occurring, given that this illness emerges from a certain harmful repetitive behavior.

The Stages of Change

Both adopting and changing a habit are processes that take a lot of effort. As establishing or altering brain system formation, that correspond to a certain behavior, can be a slow procedure. An additional barrier, is the fact that results occurring from short-term effort are appreciated more.

However, the transtheoretical model has broken down the flow of change into the following stages:

  • Precontemplation: This stage corresponds to the period of time that one resists or has no motivation to alter a behavior pattern. Furthermore, preconception includes instances where there is lack of pertinent information or discouragement due to prior attempts.
  • Contemplation: In this phase, one acknowledges the need for change and intends to take action in the following months. It is a period of vacillation, between the pros and cons of the habit; and, in many occasions a period of inaction.
  • Preparation: In the phase of preparation, one has already devised a plan; and, has already made a number of necessary actions to reinforce the effort. Action: The action stage is the period where a person progresses into acting upon the problematic behavior and towards the set goal.
  • Maintenance: This is phase of stabilization, in which a person is making effort not to regress from one’s course.
  • Termination: This is the final step, where the new behavior is established and has become a spontaneous response.

Enduring the course of behavior change is crucial. So, here are a few tips to reinforce the process:

  • Set goals that are attainable.
  • The stages of change constitute a standard process, where all phases occur without exception. However, the duration of each phase depends on the person.
  • Information, pertinent to the problematic behavior, can boost the motives for change. In the beginning, it is best to focus on the advantages of the behavioral change.

Take advantage of the live workshop bundle, hosted by iED Academy. Learn more about personal and professional development, through the workshop series provided by MasterMyLife.

Apparently, neuroscience of behavioral change procedure may seem daunting and time-consuming. However, it is important knowledge on how to establish new habits with long-term benefits on one’s health.