Mind The Gap!
One of the main reasons that people find it difficult to let go of unwanted habits is because they fail to recognise that giving something up can leave an ‘empty hole’. For instance, people who smoke are used to shopping for cigarettes, they take ‘cigarette breaks’ and spend time actively smoking. Giving up smoking means that this time becomes redundant and unless it is filled with something positive it can lead to feelings of loss, boredom and resentment. Time previously spent smoking can become time to miss smoking and feel displaced.
When your hypnotherapist understands this phenomenon they will be able to help you discover ways to overcome any ‘loss’ you may feel and direct your attention to something far more positive. In order to be successful it is important to replace a ‘bad’ habit with a better one. Instead of concentrating on ‘not doing’ something it is far better to place attention on doing something new.
Some people who want to lose weight and usually spend their evenings sitting in front of the TV eating snacks may find it useful to take up a hobby that involves using their hands. It is difficult to eat at the same time as knitting, crocheting or creating art work! Although colouring pictures may sound a child-like activity some adults (men and women) find it is calming and therapeutic, and there are books of Mandalas (intricate circular patterns) specifically designed for this purpose.
Rather than focusing on a behaviour that you don’t want to do any more, it is far more positive and helpful to redirect your attention onto something you do want to do. In hypnosis, alternative suggestions are more readily accepted and new patterns of behaviour will seem much more desirable than the old.
A habit is merely something that is frequently repeated until it becomes a conditioned response and so it makes sense to re-programme an unwanted habit into a new one. Giving up a habit bad that is bad for health and replacing it with one that increases fitness and wellbeing achieves several positive outcomes and makes the process much easier.
So, before you decide to give up a habit, spare some time to think about what you would like to replace it with and share this with your hypnotherapist. It may be an important key to your success.
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About Lesley Lyle
Lesley Lyle is a university trained Clinical Hypnotherapist and Applied Positive Psychologist. She runs well-being clinics in Harley St, and New Forest. She is also a stress management trainer and happiness specialist.