Why 45 Days?

Many people ask me “why 45 days?”

It all started with a study mentioned by a yoga teacher. She told us to fold our arms and notice which arm is on top. Now, put the other arm on top. It’s surprisingly hard! If you do it every day  for 45 days, it will become your new normal. Until then, it feels weird because old neural pathways are so good at channeling the brain’s electricity.

I liked that because there’s no right and wrong. You don’t have label one way as good and the other as bad. We honor the power of old neural pathways and still celebrate our power to build new ones. Repetition is all it takes!

I used 45 days in Habits of a Happy Brain. But when people asked me for the study, I couldn’t find it. So in Tame Your Anxiety, I did not specify a number of days. I just focused on the importance of repeating a new choice.

But people told me that they loved the 45 days. They said that it was very helpful to have a target to shoot for. I agree. In addition, I don’t think it’s worth quibbling over the number of days because, after spending my life in academia, I know how the sausage is made.