Still going strong - Or not?
How many of us made New Year Resolutions? How many are still keeping to them?
The first week of January people throw their cigarettes away, gyms are full – have you tried to get on the machines at peak times in January? Slimming classes are full to bursting like many of our pairs of jeans.
Our intentions are good. We mean to make improvements in our life.
This year is going to be the year, just like last year and the year before.
So many people beat themselves up and label themselves a failure if they can’t stick to their resolutions. Friends or family, or maybe colleagues from work, might mock them, or roll their eyes as if to say ‘What? Again?’
Why is it so difficult? We know that indulging in fish and chips and cakes too often will keep us over weight; we know smoking is bad for us and costs a small fortune.
Someone with a twenty a day smoking habit will spend on average just over £3,000 a year on cigarettes.
We know that family time is as important – or more important – than work time, and that walking is better for us than sitting in front of the TV.
So why do revert back to our old habits, particularly if it has been a difficult week?
The problem is that each of us comes equipped with a powerful mind that sometimes works against us. The mind is divided into the sub-conscious and the conscious parts, and there are times when they conflict.
The conscious mind is responsible for logical thought. It learns, processes information, it analyses and criticises; it’s where your common sense and your will power comes from. The problem with will power is you constantly have to think of the thing you are trying to avoid.
So if somebody said to you 'do not think of a bright green apple', the first thing most people think of is… yes, a bright green apple. That’s the way that the brain works. In order not to think of something you have to think of it first. So someone who is determined to stop smoking may sit there saying to themselves ‘I do not want a cigarette,’ but all the time cigarettes are what they are thinking about. If you have ever tried to reduce the amount of cigarettes that you smoke, do you find you are thinking about having one even more than usual? Checking your watch to see how long until the next one is allowed? That is most people’s experience.
People on a diet often report that they are thinking about food all of the time. It’s not easy.
Then you have your sub-conscious mind, which is the most powerful part of you.
Your sub-conscious is responsible for emotional health and creativity. It’s where your habits are formed. It has infinite memory, from the moment you are born. Learned behaviours are in your sub-conscious. Perhaps you were always taught to clear your plate, and as a child when you fell over did anyone give you a sweet to make you feel better? I remember my dentist used to give me a lolly for being good. What do you think that teaches us? A sweet treat makes you feel better.
Your sub-conscious mind controls all your bodily functions too – so things like your heart beating, your lungs pumping, and your cell renewal are all controlled by your sub-conscious mind. Its mission in life is to keep you safe – and because you’re here, and you’re alive, it thinks it’s doing a really good job.
So consciously you know that an extra bar of chocolate a day, or a glass or few of wine each night, will spoil your weight-loss for the week, but as far as your sub-conscious is concerned you always have a bar of chocolate or a few drinks when the kids have gone to bed, or you’re having a bad day.
You don’t have poor will power, you just have a very strong sub-conscious mind – and that is where you need to make the change.
That is how hypnotherapy can help, by eliminating self-sabotage and getting you in the right frame of mind – in fact getting your mind to work for you, not against you.
About the author
Julie Spitler, from Saltburn Hypnotherapy, is Registered with the CNHC.
After starting her hypnotherapy career in Covent Garden, London, she returned to her native North East and now has a thriving practice in the seaside town of Saltburn.
She also contributes to the WellBeing Centre in Saltburn and works with Invictus Health Studio.
Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.
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