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One Cool Method to Break Bad Habits

How to Stop Bad Habits Through Hypnosis?

  • Do you have a bad habit that you want to break but don’t know how?
  • Do you drink more than you want?
  • Do you need to quit smoking?
  • Are you unable to focus on a particular task for long? 
  • Do you bite your nails and want to stop?

Don’t worry. Many of us face these issues, and some are more serious than other. They are called “habits” because it’s something that is programmed into your brain and everyday life so it comes up without any conscious awareness. My son used to pull out his hair when he was about 4 years old. I was really worried about it and took him to a Pediatrician. She said she did it as a child too and it just became a self-comforting habit. She said it would be worrisome if he was a teenager. He had a mohawk strip across his head that had no hair and showed his scalp. We buzz cut his hair for a year and broke the habit.

That was an easy solution, but what becomes difficult is when we want to change a habit and can’t or the habit is not healthy and really needs to change. So then what becomes wrong, is not trying to break the habit and change yourself for the better.  We sometimes ignore it and sweep it under the rug and learn to believe that it’s not possible to break the habit.

We tend to try different solutions that frequently don’t work (if we could only get a buzzcut to solve it!!)  But it is possible….For example, if you continue to smoke, and believe that you cannot change this habit, guess what? You just stay with that habit and the stress of it even makes it worse. So many people keep trying every trick under the sun to make it happen. There’s one such trick that has proven to be effective in helping people get rid of bad habits.

Believe in the Power of Hypnotherapy

If you feel that you cannot leverage enough willpower or utilize logical thinking skills aptly to break bad habits, hypnotherapy can help you use your skills more efficiently. That’s because although processes that drive logic and willpower exist in the conscious mind, lasting behavioral changes occur from the subconscious.

It is where emotions, beliefs, values, habits, imagination, and intuition reside. By making desired changes in the subconscious, hypnotherapy helps you overcome behavioral issues and transform them.

Hypnosis isn’t a new technique. It has been around since the mid-nineteenth century. At the time, it was used as a trick and source of entertainment. Today, it has evolved into a full-fledged therapeutic self-help tool. Hypnotherapy is widely used to break unhealthy habits such as addiction, treat panic attacks, and address phobias.

What Does Science Say About Hypnotherapy?

Studies have found it a fantastic technique to encourage favorable behavioral changes. It can even help alleviate surgical or cancer pain, fatigue, nausea, and other side effects of treatments. 

Although very few evidence-based researches are available on hypnosis’s effectiveness in ridding bad habits, there is still enough data to show it works. Moreover, many success stories indicate hypnosis is a great self-help tool.

According to Integrative Behavioral Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City’s director Guy Montgomery, “it’s something that’s often worth trying to find, is it a little bit effective for me, or is it a lot effective, or not at all,”

But, let’s get the myth debunked first before delving further into the world of hypnosis. It’s a common perception that hypnosis makes people fall into a deep sleep. Another belief is that an old pocket watch is necessary for hypnotizing. That’s incorrect. It is a guiding therapy in which the client is in a relaxed position with their eyes closed, and the therapist takes them on a journey full of relaxing imagery and ideas. 

How People Respond to Hypnotherapy

Note that everyone responds differently to hypnotherapy. Some will slip into a deep sleep-like trance, while some may not feel any difference at all. Tom Nicoli, a trainer and consulting hypnotherapist in New Hampshire and Massachusetts, and the person behind World Hypnotism Day launch, what many would feel while undergoing hypnotherapy is a light trance state. The client will zone out or drift off, and this is when the therapist gives clients suggestions so that they could change their bad habits. It could be like taking them back to past experiences to overcome certain phobias or telling them to resist the urge to smoke.  

Beth Israel Department of Integrative Medicine Continuum Center for Health and Healing in New York City’s research director, Benjamin Kligler, used self-hypnosis to quit smoking and now treats others. This shows hypnotherapy can help you deal with any underlying issue or implement behavioral changes without fearing any side effects.

How Self-Hypnosis Works?

Self-hypnosis is one of the most effective ways to enter your subconscious. You can use a range of self-hypnosis techniques such as mental imagery practices or a slow countdown to relax your body and mind and enter the theta brain wave state.

Do you know what it is?

This is the cool part; our brain constantly generates bursts of electrical activity because that’s how neurons in the brain communicate with each other. These electrical pulses are known as brain wave activity. Our brain produces five different types of waves: Gamma, Beta, Theta, Alpha, and Delta. Each of them operates at a different speed. Gamma is the fastest, and delta is the slowest brain wave.

Our brain produces five different kinds of brain waves, each of which operates at a different speed. From fastest to slowest, the four different types of brain waves include:

When your mind produces 1. theta brain waves, you feel relaxed, calmed and a dramatic increase in problem-solving abilities occurs. You also become more creative. In contrast, the 2. beta brain wave makes you wide awake and focused. 3. Alpha wave is reflective, while 4. delta is produced when we are asleep.

So why is this important to know?

When thinking about self-hypnosis, the key to successfully conducted self-hypnosis is to enter the theta state. It lets you make new connections in the brain quickly and comprehensively. You become open to those new suggestions that you want to absorb, which increases the likelihood of these thoughts becoming a reality.

We have so many blocks in our conscious brain, that when in hypnotic state, it bypasses our conscious brain and allows us to go right into the brain where true change can happen.

How to do Self-Hypnosis

You can do it any time of the day and anywhere. The main thing you have to keep in mind is that you are in a relaxed state. This means you cannot perform self-hypnosis while driving or doing other activities. It requires your undivided attention and a peaceful environment. I wouldn’t try it in places where you need to be alert and awake; that can become messy.

All you have to do is indulge in brief, focused sessions just about 5 minutes long. Ideally three sessions in a day are helpful. Daily practice is necessary in this regard, and it may take up to three months for you to develop mastery over hypnotherapy. 

You have to create a 60-second script known as Hypno-affirmations and read it out few times while performing the session. After a few days, you will start memorizing it. So, there will come the point when you can enter a relaxing state just by closing your eyes. Here is a step-by-step process of how to perform self-hypnosis as a beginner.

STEP 1: 

While seated on a comfortable chair, take your hands in your lap, and your feet should be on the floor. Start taking deep breaths. Inhale, count to four, exhale. Repeat this process slowly.

STEP 2: 

Start imagining that your favorite color is flowing in through the top of your head and moving down through your body. Imagine as if it is washing your body and taking all the stress out with it.

STEP 3:

Keeping your eyes closed, start counting from 10 to 1, either silently or aloud. Now say- I am going deeper and deeper after every count. 

STEP 4: 

Repeat the Hypno-affirmation script, either silently or aloud especially in the area of changing a habit.  Such as, I am Calm, I am Safe, I am smoke-free, my body is at my ideal weight, my finger nails are shapely and nice, etc.

STEP 5: 

Take a few deep breaths, just like before, and experience yourself calm and happy.

STEP 6: 

Open your eyes. You will notice that your stress level is much lower. Pat yourself on the back. You have just embarked on a journey to self-healing.

Key Takeaways

Self-hypnosis cannot be done overnight; it takes practice and persistence. Just like the habit you developed, it takes time to shift and change it. It might have taken you 28 years to bite your nails; so a few weeks/months of effort is worth it to change that habit.

The added benefit is that self-hypnosis helps in other areas of your life and has double benefits. It’s worth a try… you are worth it to get unstuck from these unhealthy habits.