This question has been raised by Natalie and I found it to be a very interesting topic to think about. I think about homeostasis just as I think about comfort zone (even though it’s a biological thing like maintaining the temperature, the level of each hormone released, the blood pressure and so on). Here is a definition of it:
“Homeostasis is the state of steady internal conditions maintained by living organisms.” – Wikipedia
Basically, these means balance and as you know, everything that tilts too much in one direction tends to get leveled somehow. When we push ourselves forward, we’re actually tilting in one direction and if we tilt too much, we’ll break. This is why changing something about our lives it’s so God damn hard. Once we’re used to something, it’s part of our balance. With this in mind, what can we do to evolve? How can we get better at something when both our body and our mind want to keep us in the same state?
You know how hard it is to move from one house to another? It’s hard because of two reasons. One of them is because we’re getting out of what we are already used to (you can call this the homeostatic balance – body issue or comfort zone – psychic issue) and we get in a new place which is not part of that balance just yet, but in time we get used to that and sometimes we cannot even remember how it was before. This answers the question if we can beat homeostasis. Yes, we can and we usually do it because we have no choice. What about the times we want to make a change even though we don’t have to?
Well, creating a new habit is the perfect example of beating homeostasis. Addictions are also good examples of how homeostasis is beaten. If we’re too sensible and big changes create too much anxiety for us to bear, we can make small changes daily. It will be harder at first, but in time it will became part of our balance. With big changes, we need to have the energy to keep the same level daily; otherwise we’ll be drawn back to that balance.
My conclusion is that we can beat homeostasis with small daily changes until it will feel natural. It is said that creating a new habit can take up to 254 days (the tougher the habit, the longer it takes to become part of our balance) so it takes time… lots of time, but it can be done.
What are your insights about this? Can homeostasis be beaten?