The only thing harder than starting new habits is breaking old ones. If you’re nervous about learning Spanish because your study skills haven’t always been great, listen up! You can break bad study habits with mindfulness.
If you’re new to mindfulness, don’t worry! You don’t need to have an extensive history in meditation to practice mindfulness. There are simple strategies you can start using to enhance your study time and finally break bad study habits for good.
The science of bad habits
Dr. Judson Brewer explains science behind bad habits and why they can be so hard to break. We aren’t just talking about academic patterns we’ve gotten into; this science applies to habits from smoking to social media obsessions. He states that our brains are constantly hit with stimuli that make us want more and more. This can make it really difficult to quit these bad habits- they’re designed to make us keep going back.
For some, self-control and stopping cold turkey is enough to quit something addictive or shape better habits. However, this strategy definitely doesn’t work for everyone. If you find yourself having a hard time breaking bad study habits, check out our tips to stop them once and for all so you can practice Spanish with mindfulness.
Write down your bad study habits
That’s right- in order to face your bad habits, you need to know what they are. If you sit down to start studying and then 2 minutes later you’re on social media, write that down. In addition, Dr. Brewer recommends writing down what you get from that time on social media. Record what you think and feel. His findings show that most people, when they see it all written down, don’t actually enjoy the results from their bad habit.
Find a better solution by encouraging curiosity
Once you’ve addressed the bad habit and see what you realistically get out of participating in it, it’s time to find something new. As you’ve probably experienced, it’s hard to replace something that doesn’t quite satisfy your craving or desire in the same way. That’s why Dr. Brewer recommends using what sparks your curiosity.
In other words, if you’re trying to break the addiction of scrolling social media when you’re trying to study, flashcards aren’t enticing. Rote memorization drills won’t give your brain the same satisfaction as your previous habits. Therefore, to increase mindfulness while practicing Spanish, do something that sparks your creativity and curiosity.