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Self-help to change habits

It can be difficult to change habits. With the self-help programs eClinic offers in collaboration with Easychange, you can get the help you need to change habits. And it is often only small changes that are needed.

How many times have you thought that you should exercise more, eat a little healthier or stop smoking? Often it is not a lack of knowledge that is the problem, you just do not get to change your habits.

Maybe you go out too hard in the beginning and it becomes difficult to establish the new habits. Maybe you have not found the right motivation.

In the portal developed by eClinic and Easychange, you will find the Lifestyle Check, a program that analyzes your lifestyle in 7 important areas: Stress, sleep, eating habits, physical activity, alcohol, mood and smoking.

Although demanding, it is important to get rid of bad habits in these areas. Bad habits in these areas can both affect how you feel today, but also give you diseases in the future.

New, good habits you build on over time can increase your quality of life and give you better self-esteem. Good habits are good for both your physical and mental health.

Do you buy access to one or more of self-help programs you have access to them for one year and you can use them several times.

Why is it difficult to change habits?

There are several reasons why it is difficult to change habits. Knowing a little about why this is so can help you on the path to new and better habits.

How the brain works

An important reason why it can be difficult to change habits is that our brains have evolved to make short-term priorities.

We know that eating too much over time can make us lose weight. But the food tastes good. And we are in the now.

It is also the case that the "reward" we receive in the present is perceived as safe and emotionally satisfying. The reward we could achieve in the long run (for example, keeping the weight stable) is uncertain and an imaginary outcome. It is difficult for our brain to turn a future thought scenario, logic and rational thought processes into something that is emotionally satisfying in the present moment.

The pizza is right in front of us on the table and is guaranteed to provide a good taste experience here and now. A potential heart attack as a consequence of an unhealthy diet feels far away, at the same time as it only represents potential pain. You thus get a negative association to this consequence.

Do you need to change habits?

Do you want a healthier everyday life with less stress and a better mood?

The self-help programs eClinic offers in collaboration with Easychange help you change bad habits and provide lasting results.

The power of habit

Habits also have a lot of power over our everyday lives.

Although we like to think that we control our time ourselves, very much of our days are governed by habits. We do not act and behave as freely as you might think. Much of our behavior is predetermined, conditioned, and over time much of it becomes automated.

Habits we implement automatically require no or little conscious attention. Therefore, we will also continue to implement them unless we deliberately break the habits. With the self-help programs we offer, you can get the knowledge you need to tackle your habits.

Different triggers that are associated with different habits will continue to evoke specific actions, regardless of how the action fits into everyday life.

We continue to buy expensive popcorn when we go to the movies because that's what we're always done. If you always pick up a cup of coffee while reading the newspaper in the morning, reading the newspaper in the morning will continue to trigger a desire for a cup of coffee for a long time to come, even if you try to quit.

We base many of our perceptions of ourselves on our habits. For example, you may perceive yourself as "the person who drinks coffee and reads the newspaper every morning."

Changing habits can therefore often be experienced as a change in our identity, which is much harder to change.

Limited behavior

Our behavior is also limited to what we can. We can only perform actions we know how to perform or have the tools to perform.

If you have never juggled in your entire life, you need to practice to make it happen. So it is with habits as well.

Practice requires effort, and that means the threshold to start something new is higher. It is more difficult to start exercising if you have never had a routine for it, than it is to start training again after a period of illness.

Our beliefs determine our actions

Our beliefs about the world around us also determine much about our actions.

It is more likely that you will continue to shout to your son that he must clean his room if you have a belief that it is important to keep the room tidy, that children should listen to their parents, and to shout if it is best the tool you have at your disposal to convey this.

In this context, our habits often say something about what we are convinced we deserve. Bad habits can often be linked to a belief that we do not deserve the positive results of good habits.

At the same time, habits can be an expression of fear. We often stick to habits because we think the alternative is worse. Maybe we do not eat healthier because we fear that we will not think the healthy alternatives taste as good. Or we may be afraid of being looked down upon in social contexts if we choose healthier alternatives.

Take care of your mental health

Our psychologists are here for you!

When it becomes challenging to deal with difficult thoughts and feelings on your own, it can be helpful to talk to a psychologist for advice and guidance.

How to change habits

Changing habits is demanding, and some guidance may often be needed. It is not about having poor willpower, but that there are many psychological mechanisms behind our habits. We have just taken a closer look at this.

Fortunately, we humans also have inherent resources we can activate and retrieve when needed. Self-help is using these resources. With self-help, you can take responsibility for your own life, seize your own opportunities and steer life in the direction you want.

Self-help is about becoming an active participant in your own life.

This does not mean that you will never need help with anything, but it is you who knows your problems best. Although others can help you along the way, it is you who must do the work.

It is also useful to read about psychoeducation and normalization of mental health problems to gain a better understanding that the problems you experience are human.

Getting some sort of explanation for problems we see as scary and painful can make the problems more manageable. Knowing that it is human to have it hard and painful can make us feel less alone with our problems.

It can also help us not to judge ourselves so harshly, and to rather support and show care for ourselves.

How to change your habits

To change your habits, in theory you only need to do two things:

  1. You have to start.
  2. You have to keep going.

When you look at it this way, it obviously seems very simple. But we know it's harder than that. It takes more of us to start than to continue, but we must also not underestimate how much is required of us to continue.

It's easy to believe that once you get started, things will go by themselves. However, changing habits requires effort over time.

In order to make a change, you must decide that this is something you want to implement, and commit to this decision. You need to find out why you want this change, what is your inner motivation. If not, it will be difficult to continue.

Questions you can ask yourself are:

  • Do I like to do this?
  • Am I willing to spend the resources required on this change?
  • Does the change have value for me?
  • Do I want to prioritize this over other things I also want to do?

For example, there is no point in starting to eat kale in large quantities just because it is healthy, if you do not like kale. Then it is better to find other healthy foods you actually like, in order to maintain the habit of eating healthy.

The programs from Easychange are based on 40 years of research on changing habits and lifestyles. And they are designed to make it as easy as possible for you to implement.

In eClinic we can offer programs for self-help in 7 different areas

  • Got started: This is the course for you who want to become more active and get in better physical shape.
  • A little healthier: With the help of modern psychology, you can in this program get help to make changes for a healthier diet.
  • Sleep better: The program helps you get to know your own sleep habits and gives specific advice on how you can get enough sleep of higher quality.
  • Better mood: Do you find that you spend a lot of time worrying and pondering? This course will help you find more joy in everyday life and deal with difficult thoughts.
  • Balance: If you are worried about your own alcohol intake, you can take a test and find out. You get help to become more aware of consumption, change habits and deal with stress.
  • Smoking cessation: Have you tried to quit smoking in the past with poor results? This program will help you further, even if you should go on a bang. The program has a documented effect and has been used by more than 2 million smokers in 50 countries.
  • Stress less: Do you feel stressed? This program teaches you more about where stress comes from, how to avoid it, and how to deal with it if you get stressed anyway.

Audio member of eClinic you get free access to the Stress Less program. See all programs.

The research behind Easychange

As mentioned, unfortunately, our brain is designed to oppose us when we try to change habits. It's a shame, because it will try to stop us even if the change will be good for us. Fortunately, there are psychological techniques that can trick our brains into accepting change.

In the last 40 years, much research has been done on how psychology can help people get better in everyday life. Mindfulness and positive psychology are examples of this.

In addition to this, the researchers have uncovered over 50 different processes that can take place in the brain when trying to make a change.

In Easychange, these processes are called predictors because they can predict the outcome of the change attempt.

Some of these predictors are:

  • Hyperbolic discounting: You are willing to give a larger but long-term reward in favor of a smaller but short-term reward.
  • Snowballing: You give up because you made a small mistake.
  • Self-handicapping: You find excuses for why you do not want to do it until you have tried.
  • Ego depletion: You are unable to maintain your willpower over time, which can cause you to give up.

Do you need to change habits?

Do you want a healthier everyday life with less stress and a better mood?

The self-help programs eClinic offers in collaboration with Easychange help you change bad habits and provide lasting results.

Easychange has found the key to changing habits

The work Easychange has put in has been about understanding these processes, and finding solutions.

The research has also found over 500 different techniques, therapies and methods that can contribute to a positive outcome of these processes. This is called intervals.

All predictors and interveners are stored in a database and are used to put together the various self-help programs for change. The programs are adapted to the different areas of change to give the best results.

Contact us

Get in touch to learn more about our services and how they can be adapted to fit into different insurance and occupational health services.

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