Habits and how to break them
At this time of year, we all have that extra encouragement of giving up a habit in order to make our lives better in some way. Whether it is stopping smoking, nail biting, bad eating habits or even giving up alcohol. The truth of the matter is all behaviour is created for a reason, whether it is a learned coping strategy; for example watching a parent deal with stress by having a glass of wine, may lead us to deal with stress in the same way as it has become the ‘normal’ way in which to do so. Habits do not just have to be learned, they can be created to comfort the mind, almost in the same way that a baby will put something in its mouth to comfort itself, we can create a habit of doing the same with food, biting nails etc. in order to comfort from boredom, anger, sadness, loneliness or even to punish ourselves to name a few examples.
Through hypnotherapy we are able to look at the reasons why the behaviour was created in the first place, work through the emotions attached and create a new and more important behaviour in its place.
There are things we can all be doing in order to understand where some of those annoying habits come from, by trying these simple steps we can understand the emotions behind them that have been masked through time;
- Identify your worst part of the day where the habit is at its most powerful.
- Look at the routine before and after the habit, is it the same each time?
- Change those automatic thoughts by moving your routine 15 minutes, sit in a different seat, drink out of a different glasses, change the order. We need the mind to be aware of the actions as they will be new.
- Explore those feelings that start to come out by changing even the slightest of routines, use a journal in order to write them down. Is it a need or a want?
- We can’t change everything at once, but by giving that behaviour something more positive to focus on, it has a new and more important job. Give it something like motivation to exercise or learn a new hobby that you have always wanted to do, while you work through the underlying causes.
- Try not to get too caught up on the tiny details, sometimes we may just never know why, but that doesn’t mean we cant change that behaviour if we want it badly enough.
- No excuses, there is no such thing as ‘no willpower’ as you must have had willpower to do this habit for all this time. It wouldn’t be something that you were born doing, it was created and repeated. That took willpower.
- Stay positive, in any new behaviours we are going to sometimes fail. Keep going you will get there eventually.
Hypnotherapy is a completely natural way to achieve goals and change those unwanted habits into a more positive one just by using what you already have, your powerful subconscious mind. By using different tools and techniques a hypnotherapist can help you to discover just what it is you are getting from this habit, in order to understand it, work through and create new behaviours.
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About Laura Duffy
I am a psychotherapeutic counsellor and hypnotherapist. I volunteer for various organisations as well as run my own busy practice. I thoroughly love the work that I do and I am based in Dunstable with easy travel links and parking. I pride myself on creating an environment where you can be yourself without judgement.