How to break habits that last a lifetime

Have you ever found yourself wondering, "Why can’t I stop doing that?" Whether it's reaching for a cigarette in social situations or mindlessly biting your nails when stressed, these automatic behaviours often stem from the depths of our unconscious mind.

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People often try to change their behaviour through willpower alone, only to find themselves right back where they started again, unable to understand why they couldn’t make it stick.

For some, it can even feel as if a force takes over their body, sabotaging the change, reaching for the cigarette, or finding themselves standing at the fridge halfway into the chocolate. They struggle and try again, over and over, and eventually, it impacts their self-esteem. They feel like they’re failing themselves.

When clients first come to see me, they often tell me that they have tried to change a behaviour so many times, that they are starting to believe that they are stuck this way for life. It’s saddening to see the impact this has had on their confidence, and how much they have come to blame themselves for not overcoming the behaviour sooner.

I reassure them, “The reason you haven’t changed is not because of personal weakness. It is because on some level, this behaviour is helping you to cope, or it may have helped you to cope in the past.” With the power of hypnosis, you can finally address that need, and pave the way for positive change.


Understanding automatic behaviours and habits

Automatic behaviours, also known as habits or routines, are actions that we perform without thinking about what we are doing. These behaviours are deeply ingrained in our subconscious mind, often serving as coping mechanisms or responses to certain triggers or situations.

Hypnosis offers a unique therapeutic approach by providing a direct line of communication with the subconscious mind. By identifying and addressing the root causes of automatic behaviours, I help my clients to finally break free from old patterns and replace them with positive, empowering alternatives.

Let’s look at some examples...

Smoking at parties

Sarah, a 32-year-old marketing professional, always found herself reaching for a cigarette in social gatherings. She had given up smoking completely in all other contexts of her life, and she never really felt cravings for cigarettes. But whenever she went to parties, it wouldn’t be long before she found herself asking for a lighter, unable to go without a cigarette for the evening.

Through hypnosis, it became evident that her automatic smoking habit was a manifestation of her underlying desire to socialise with new people. Being a highly social person, she loved meeting people and getting to know them. Asking for a lighter or cigarette was the icebreaker she was unconsciously using to feel confident introducing herself.

By delving into past experiences and reprogramming her thought patterns, hypnotherapy helped Sarah to create new icebreakers she could use, and she developed the confidence to introduce herself without involving cigarettes.

Nail biting 

Mark, a 28-year-old software developer, had struggled with nail-biting for years, especially during high-stress periods. Hypnosis revealed that his automatic behaviour was rooted in experiences that had happened long ago, which created a subconscious association between a fear of failure and nail biting. By addressing the deep-seated fear of failure, and introducing positive suggestions during our hypnosis sessions, Mark successfully overcame his habit and found healthier ways to move forward with his life.

*Names, ages and job titles changed for anonymity.

Make a change that lasts a lifetime

If you find yourself caught in the cycle of automatic behaviours and are ready to embark on a journey of positive transformation, then it’s time to discover the power of hypnotherapy.

Hypnotherapy offers a unique therapeutic approach by providing a direct line of communication with the subconscious mind. By identifying and addressing the root causes of automatic behaviours, you can break free from old patterns and replace them with positive, empowering alternatives.

Take the first step toward change and reclaim control over your habits. Schedule your free 30-minute consultation today and unlock the path to a better you.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Hypnotherapy Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4QH
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Written by Abby Corfield, BSc, UKCP | Accredited Hypnotherapist and Psychotherapist
Surbiton, Surrey, KT6 4QH

I specialise in anxiety-related concerns, including self-esteem, confidence, public speaking, imposter syndrome, and perfectionism. If you're feeling stuck or overwhelmed, I can help you find a way forward that works for you. I am a professional, accredited, and insured hypnotherapist. I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation.

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