Whether they’re aware of it or not, everyone has certain habits. Some habits are good, such as exercise, brushing your teeth, or waking up early. These are habits that we can train ourselves to develop. Some of us even wish that we could develop these habits easily.
However, there are habits that we would like very much to let go, especially if they are harmful. These habits include smoking or excessive drinking or eating. Nail biting, tooth grinding or stammering are also examples of these bad habits.
When we do nothing to overcome these bad habits, they not only affect our health, but also our relationships with others. Everyone knows about the ill effects of smoking and alcoholism, and what happens when we eat too much. Even habits like nail biting can be harmful, because a person with this habit might be ashamed of his broken nails when interacting with others.
The good news is that if we can learn to develop good habits, we can unlearn bad habits with the help of hypnotherapy. We will first look at how habits are formed, and then how hypnotherapy can help.
How Habits are Formed
Habits are formed when a certain behaviour is repeated often enough for it to become automatic.
When behaviour is repeated over and over again, it becomes recorded on the person’s neural system. Once the behaviour becomes a habit, the brain will need to work less every time behaviour is performed because the behaviour has come automatic; performed without much thinking. More details about this process can be found at Medical Daily.
The psychological process of how habits are formed has been described by New York Times reporter, Charles Duhigg as a three-step process. This process applies to both good and bad habits:
- The habit is triggered.
- The habit is performed.
- The habit is rewarded.
The third step is what makes a person enjoy the habit, and want to repeat it. It is the reward that makes it more likely that the person will perform the habit again if the trigger is present.
For example, in the case of smoking, the trigger could be a stressful situation. When a person is stressed, he automatically lights up a cigarette. The person thinks that smoking calms him down and has a soothing effect. That effect is the person’s reward for smoking, which makes him want to do it again the next time a trigger comes along.
A bad habit could also get to the point where the reward doesn’t have the same effect anymore, but the person does it anyway. This is often the case with a habit like drinking too much. Even if a person knows that too much alcohol will make him feel awful, habit can make him reach for another drink just the same.
Understanding how habits are formed also helps us understand how bad habits can be overcome. If good habits can be developed through repetition, then bad habits can be overcome by developing better habits to take their place.
For example, a chain-smoker who would like to quit smoking could train himself to reach for gum instead of a cigarette. A person with a drinking habit could try non-alcoholic alternatives like mocktails. Someone who eats too much junk food could start by replacing chips with nuts or dried fruit.
However, there are cases wherein even training ourselves to replace our bad habits with better ones has little or no effect. Everyone can relate to how hard it is to get rid of a bad habit. Some chain-smokers who try their best to chew gum instead, might find themselves lighting up again, even after a long time.
This is where hypnotherapy can help.
Hypnotherapy has been shown to be effective in helping people drop their bad habits. During a hypnotherapy session, a consulting hypnotist determines what triggers a person’s bad habit. The person will then learn a new, good habit to replace the bad one. He can also be trained to guard against falling back into his bad habit.
When learning good habits to replace bad ones, a person must really want to change.
If you have decided that you really want to overcome your bad habit, get in touch with us at
Mindlife Hypnotherapy today.
Our professional consulting hypnotists have extensive experience in helping people with habit control.
Schedule a free initial consultation now, or call us at +65 9785 6255. You can also email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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- Hypnotists Certification Course – National Guild of Hypnotists (NGH) Certification
- 7th Path Self-Hypnosis Course
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