Can a Rubber Band Help You Break Bad Habits?


A commonly asked question is “Do rubber bands help break bad habits?” – and for good reason. Snapping a rubber band on your wrist can be considered a form of aversion conditioning. And at a glance, it might not seem that different from using Pavlok to administer an electric shock.

But before we answer the question, we need to explore why the mind behaves the way it does to better understand if using a rubber band to break bad habits is a sustainable solution. 

Here’s a hint – it’s not.

Your mind works like an iceberg

You might be familiar with the iceberg structure of the mind. Imagine an iceberg floating at sea. From afar, it doesn’t appear that big. But we can’t see the underwater extending hundreds of feet below, much larger than we could’ve anticipated from the surface.

This represents the way your brain works. You can only address what you can see — think of everything above water as your conscious thoughts. You can choose if you want to start a diet, promise yourself you’re going to start one, and be absolutely sure you’re going to stick to it.

But under the surface is the biology of your mind and the way it’s designed to function. It’s constantly wiring connections based on associations and habits and what makes it feel rewarded.

So, while your entire conscious mind is ready to start your diet, the area under the surface hasn’t caught up yet. It still thinks that chocolate cake is the key to happiness, and will mercilessly assault you with cravings until you give it what it wants.

Tapping into your unconscious mind beneath the surface

Your unconscious mind doesn’t work the same way your active mind does. You can’t use words to talk it out of its desires. It’s like a computer that’s been programmed to function a certain way – it doesn’t respond to reasoning or promises. And that can be discouraging.

However, there is a method to the madness. There’s a sensical code that your brain follows to establish, maintain, and break bad habits. This code is called classical conditioning. Think of Pavlov’s dogs. Dogs aren’t born loving the sound of a bell ringing. But dogs love food, and if you continuously ring the bell before giving a dog food, it will learn to love that sound.

Compared to our chocolate cake example above, dopamine is a neurotransmitter in your brain that makes you feel good. The sugar in chocolate cake makes your brain release dopamine. So, over time, your brain has learned that chocolate cake means happiness. And even though you’re ready for a diet, your brain isn’t on the same page.

But you can train your brain by adding an unpleasant factor to what it’s been taught to love. This is called aversion science. But aversion science using electric shock is particularly effective — it has helped the majority of smokers, drinkers, gamblers, and nail biters quit.

Pavlok or rubber band, which is more effective?

Pavlok puts this efficacy to the test with a breakthrough wearable that lets you administer an electric shock on your wrist to help you break bad habits – and it’s already helped thousands of people.

As we said at the start, there’s a reason the majority of clinical aversion studies use electric shocks – they work. With Pavlok, each shock is easy to administer, timed and has a pre-selected intensity that you can adjust with an app on your phone. Pavlok also ensures the electric shocks are safe, whereas you can actually cause damage by keeping a rubber band wrapped tightly against your veins.

An electric shock device has been described clinically as an effective way to conduct aversion science, and Pavlok makes it simple by putting this device inside a comfortable and durable wristband. Plus, you can use it discreetly in silent mode as opposed to conspicuously snapping a rubber band on your wrist in public.


In closing, electric shocks have been proven to work in breaking bad habits, and Pavlok gives you the technology to do so that’s been tested in hundreds of clinical trials. As always, we’re here to help you become a better version of yourself – with passion, but without judgment.


Pavlok harnesses the power of aversion technology with proven scientific methods and techniques that help millions of people each day conquer their habits and reclaim control of their lives.

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