Wednesday 24 January 2018

Happiness upgrade: Wear a rubber band

You might be trying to kick the Kit-Kat habit
You might be trying to kick the Kit-Kat habit

Are you trying to give up smoking? Drinking? Or Kit-Kat bars? Or maybe you want to give up worrying or negative thoughts? Well try snapping out of it - literally.

It sounds strange, but psychologists say a great way to break a habit is to try wearing a rubber band on your wrist.

Whenever you catch yourself engaging in your bad habit or thought, you snap the rubber band hard enough for it to hurt. Like Pavlov's dog, Yale scientists argue that you should begin to associate the bad habit with a negative emotion - the little sting following each snap - which in turn makes you more likely to stop and become happier.

I've been trying it for a week: snapping my rubber band every time I have a negative thought - the problem is that I'm too busy snapping to answer emails, pick up the phone and go to work. Before long I'll be an unemployed person with no friends. Then I really will have something to be negative about…

*  Marianne Power is the author of

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