Habit formation and the extinction burst

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TexArk
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Habit formation and the extinction burst

Post by TexArk » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:17 pm

I think this is an excellent article that helps explain what goes on when we change habits and form new ones. Stay with it until the end...a short course on classical and operant conditioning with the main point for us dealing with extinction of unwanted behavior.

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/07/ ... ion-burst/

Have you ever had a temper tantrum or extinction burst while following NoS?

Nicest of the Damned
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Re: Habit formation and the extinction burst

Post by Nicest of the Damned » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:15 pm

TexArk wrote:I think this is an excellent article that helps explain what goes on when we change habits and form new ones. Stay with it until the end...a short course on classical and operant conditioning with the main point for us dealing with extinction of unwanted behavior.

http://youarenotsosmart.com/2010/07/07/ ... ion-burst/

Have you ever had a temper tantrum or extinction burst while following NoS?
I did, on a few occasions. It didn't lead to a binge, but it did lead to resentment. I've always been more likely to sulk than to throw a tantrum when I couldn't get what I wanted, so I guess it's not too surprising that my extinction burst would take that form.

Thank you for posting this! It would have really helped me at the time to know that an extinction burst was what was going on.

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NoelFigart
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Post by NoelFigart » Tue Apr 05, 2011 6:58 pm

Thank you for posting this. I really needed to read that.

It has kind of solved a serious problem in forming good habits that I have: not doing the calm parent thing in the face of the extinction burst. I never MADE that connection before and I'm very grateful that you posted something that outlines it. Oddly enough, giving the phenomenon a rational name will be helpful for me.
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My blog http://noelfigart.com/blog/ I talk about being a freelance writer, working out and cooking mostly. The language is not always drawing room fashion. Just sayin'.

Becoming
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Post by Becoming » Tue Apr 05, 2011 8:31 pm

NoelFigart wrote: Oddly enough, giving the phenomenon a rational name will be helpful for me.
Me too. For me knowledge=power, and that article just gave me some. Thanks!

LoriLifts
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Post by LoriLifts » Tue Apr 05, 2011 10:28 pm

Thank you so much for this article. It explains why I can't stick to a 21 day challenge. I'm going to re-read it on a daily basis.

Lori
Habits are at first cobwebs, then cables.

TexArk
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Post by TexArk » Tue Apr 05, 2011 11:04 pm

I agree, Noel..Putting a name to the behavior helps.

Now I plan to use the term "extinction burst" when I talk to myself about my behavior. As in, "Ok, dear, you are just experiencing an extinction burst. It happens to the best of us."

I have taught educational psychology to college students and should have been very familiar with this concept, but I never applied it to me and my habits.

ruxpin55
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Post by ruxpin55 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:48 am

I really appreciated you posting this article. I agree with the others that having a name on it helps. it helps me feel less alone when I fail (miserably). I kept imagining a snapped rubber band, but couldn't think of words to describe what it feels like. It give a good perspective on how people act, and why they act certain ways when they don't get their way... (and, how I see myself in the article too--)

very good stuff.
thanks again!
Jamie
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God is most glorified in me, when I am most satisfied in Him.
"Why do you spend your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.
(Isaiah 55:2)

sheepish
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Post by sheepish » Wed Apr 06, 2011 8:58 am

I found this useful too.

I think I struggle to come up with alternative rewards, though, I very much still gravitate towards food/alcohol as reward for a hard day.. What do other people reward themselves with?

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amake616
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Post by amake616 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 12:53 pm

sheepish wrote:I found this useful too.

I think I struggle to come up with alternative rewards, though, I very much still gravitate towards food/alcohol as reward for a hard day.. What do other people reward themselves with?
Earrings, a book, new makeup (some of these are obviously only relevant to mostly one gender and the more adventurous members of the other gender), a magazine subscription (added benefit of reminding you of something positive every time you get it), shoes, new bra that's pretty. Come to think of it...shopping in general is a grand reward.

ruxpin55
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Post by ruxpin55 » Wed Apr 06, 2011 3:29 pm

I'll second the whole shopping thing--- it can be buying anything, really. It can be books, clothing, kitchen gadgets, or food. Oh, but a big one for me? Starbucks... I guess I just like dropping $4+ on a drink... (I'm obviously not talking about a black coffee here!)
Jamie
--------------------
God is most glorified in me, when I am most satisfied in Him.
"Why do you spend your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, And delight yourself in abundance.
(Isaiah 55:2)

Nicest of the Damned
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Post by Nicest of the Damned » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:20 pm

Despite the name, an extinction burst can persist for a while, at least according to Wikipedia. Mine wasn't just one episode of resentment over having to stop at one meal, it was more extended than that.

For me, non-food rewards often take the form of re-reading a favorite book, re-watching a favorite DVD, or playing a favorite computer game. Sometimes I'll get a new book, DVD, or game, but more often, I want to be comforted by something familiar.

Thalia
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Post by Thalia » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:30 pm

Rewards: Planning a really nice meal, which is also a good reminder that No S does NOT mean you don't eat anything that tastes good, unlike some diets. New music, new book, or just making an effort to listen to the music I've already got. Call a friend. Force friend to go event of some kind. Trip to the library (works for me, but I'm a reader ...). Bath with a book and a glass of wine.

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Post by Nicest of the Damned » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:41 pm

Thalia wrote:Rewards: Planning a really nice meal, which is also a good reminder that No S does NOT mean you don't eat anything that tastes good, unlike some diets.
It could even be a reminder that rewarding yourself with food or alcohol doesn't have to mean unlimited or even large amounts of food or alcohol. A small amount can be a reward, too. More isn't always better.

An example would be to plan a meal using an ingredient you like but usually don't use, because of its expense. It might be something like steak or lobster. Or maybe buy a bottle of wine that is a little nicer and more expensive than what you normally drink.

Try giving yourself the reward a little later than usual. Anticipating a reward is pleasurable, too. And it makes it seem like more of a big deal when you finally do get it. A lot of people on No S find that we eat sweets less often, but enjoy them more when we do. Having them only on S days, and therefore having to anticipate them for a while, makes them seem more special.

Thalia
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Post by Thalia » Wed Apr 06, 2011 4:59 pm

Very good points! Artichokes are a great reward, beause they're so ridiculously expensive for a vegetable. Or just making a fussy and gorgeous elegant meal.

kccc
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Post by kccc » Wed Apr 06, 2011 5:40 pm

Great article - thanks for sharing.

Makes that "tummy toddler" metaphor that Noel uses seem even more apt!

funfuture
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Post by funfuture » Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:49 am

Great timing for me! A really useful article. I've heard it expressed differently in relation to giving up smoking - when I gave up umpteen million years ago, I was warned that 4 months in I'd get a burst of huge cravings again and then that would be the end of it. I don't know if it was the power of suggestion, but they were right. Having been forewarned though, I resisted and managed to continue to give up cold turkey. Haven't been nearly as successful with dieting - but at least now I know what those sudden cravings are that you get when everything seems to have been going so well. Thanks for posting. :)

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BrightAngel
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Post by BrightAngel » Fri Apr 08, 2011 3:59 pm

Love the article. Image
BrightAngel - (Dr. Collins)
See: DietHobby. com

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reinhard
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Post by reinhard » Tue Apr 12, 2011 1:14 pm

This is fascinating. Love the vivid terminology, too. Thanks for the link!

I need a little more time to fully digest it. Bumping the thread up till then...

SpiritSong
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Post by SpiritSong » Tue Apr 12, 2011 11:48 pm

This thread may have saved my attempt to join the 21 Day Club. I will be able to join with successes through the 14th, but tonight I wanted a snack. Really really wanted a snack. And I thought, "Who cares about the stupid 21 Day Club? How is one snack gonna hurt?" :x

Then I remembered. Ah, this is an extinction burst. Inner child, you almost got me! But no. The bulletin board has won. :P

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