Archive for September, 2009

Turning Bad Habits into Good Ones

Saturday, September 5th, 2009

Turning Bad Habits into Good Ones
Do you find yourself doing things and then wishing you hadn’t or wondering why you did them because you don’t feel good afterwards? I’m thinking here of over-eating, over-drinking, over-spending or anything in fact that you do to excess?
“How did they start in the first place and why are they so hard to get rid of?” is a question I hear almost daily in my hypnotherapy practices in Berkshire in Reading and Wokingham.
The answer is usually found in the past. Let’s take drinking too much as an example. This is a problem many people are facing more and more at the moment and if you ask them they will often say they do it because it helps them feel more relaxed and is a form of escapism from the stresses and worries of their lives.
At some point in the past they will probably have taken a drink after a particularly stressful day and found that they enjoyed the effect, so immediately a link was set up in their brain associating the relaxed feeling with the drink. Next time they feel a bit of pressure, they have another drink and very quickly a habit has formed.
These habits then become lodged in the subconscious and are usually left unchecked until the habit starts to create problems – perhaps the drinking is becoming excessive, health is suffering or relationships are being threatened. This is the point at which people tend to seek help in hypnotherapy.
The good news is that habits are simply learned behaviour. You weren’t born with this behaviour pattern, so you with help you can un-learn it and replace it with a healthier and better habit. The first step is to recognise where you are struggling in your life. Self-awareness is the key to success. Notice when you want to have the drink, what’s going on, where are you, who are you with? Be honest because pretending things are better than they really are will not help you break the pattern.
Next, using your imagination and self-knowledge think of other, healthier ways in which you could feel de-stressed and relaxed and which you know you would want to do. Then visualise yourself behaving in this new way and pay attention to how you feel. Have a clear image in your head of how you look, how you’re acting and play this ‘video’ every day in your imagination. This will help instruct your subconscious to act differently next time you’re stressed and as this ‘habit’ becomes stronger, the old, unhealthy one will start to fade.

To help it fade faster and to make the new habit even strongerĀ a session of hypnotherapy will set you up for success.

Sharon Juden is a Hypnotherapist in Berkshire as well as a Career and Life Coach.