Anyone who has a bad habit knows how difficult they can be to break. A bad habit is any repetitive action or behaviour you consider to impair your quality of life, whether this be your physical health, financial stability or emotional well-being.
A habit may seem harmless to begin with; one cigarette whilst out having a drink, or eating a chocolate bar if you have had a stressful day at work. However, over time these habits can become firmly rooted as we perform them more and more frequently, using them to deal with the pressures of our busy lives and provide comfort when we are feeling down.
As our behaviour escalates we can find that these small habits that once gave us relief or pleasure do not deliver the same feelings, and indeed can have nasty side effects too. The occasional cigarette that once helped you relax is now an hourly activity that leaves you with a nasty cough, and the chocolate – once an occasional treat to de-stress – constantly plays on your mind as your cravings and waistline increase.
There may come a time when you think ‘this bad habit has got to go!’ but when something has become your daily routine it can seem difficult to know where to begin. Simply going cold turkey when your subconscious mind is still so attached to the habit can leave you feeling frazzled and nervous. You may find yourself falling back into your old habit to relieve the tension caused by trying to quit without any support or help.
People may turn to nicotine patches or strict calorie-controlled weight loss programmes in an attempt to treat the superficial symptoms or causes of their bad habits, without addressing the deeper reasons for their behaviour. Bad habits are difficult to break because of the way the objects of our habitual behaviour make us feel, and the psychological attachment we have developed to them, more so than a physical dependency or addiction. The fact that you associate cigarettes or chocolate with pleasure and relaxation may be a more dominant influence on your behaviour than just the physical effects of nicotine or sugar alone. We can feel the phrase ‘mind over matter’ in this sense too.
However, your mind is an incredibly powerful tool; the same power that causes these habits to develop can be used to break them. Hypnotherapy allows you to harness the power of your mind, and with hypnosis the perceptions and emotions associated with our bad habits can be transformed. Whereas once smoking and chocolate bars were comforting and relaxing, hypnosis helps to change these subconscious connections to form new perceptions and behaviours, allowing you to live a happier and healthier life.