Overcoming bad habits

Firstly, by “bad habit’, I mean something that someone does automatically but no longer wants to have it happen. So the bad habits I am talking about here include things like nail biting/picking, thumb sucking, teeth grinding, hair pulling/eating, procrastination and those things that, if we are not too careful, could possibly develop into an Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or a full blown addiction (e.g. texting, surfing the web, shopping or binge drinking) .

Note – for habits such as  alcohol and other addictions please see the relevant page on my site – click here

We are of course all creatures of habit, most of them useful and good for us, some which are downright bad for us and some somewhere in between. But of course what is bad and what is good is, like beauty, entirely in the eye of the beholder.

Behind every bad habit lurks a positive intent

It is always worth remembering that every “bad habit” originates from a positive intent for the person, often set in childhood – perhaps to get pleasure or comfort, or to help with concentration, or to cope with boredom or anxiety. However, original causes are often lost in the mists of time, and even when known for certain, the person with the bad habit is still left with the problem and the challenge of overcoming it.

And while the original intent behind the habit can get lost over time, a bad habit continues because, to the individual at least, there are benefits to be had from it, no matter how strange it may seem to others.  For example, the nail biter may like being lost in their own world for a while as they nibble their nails, frequently washing hands does reduce the spread of disease, avoiding physical exercise avoids muscle pain and feeling exhausted.

Satisfying needs in more appropriate ways

So when helping people to overcome their bad habits I am always careful to ensure they still get to satisfy their underlying needs but in more useful, appropriate ways. In hypnosis, the conscious critical mind is bypassed to give access to the unconscious mind, that part of the brain that forms and controls all habits. Hypnosis enables you to be so deeply relaxed and open to suggestions that you can effectively and rapidly reprogramme yourself to let go of that old habit and develop new ways of thinking and being that are right for you.*

Depending on the habit, personal motivation and someone’s attachment to it, it usually takes 2-4 sessions for me to help someone overcome their bad habit*. For example, eliminating a nail biting habit can often be accomplished in a single session while overcoming procrastination may take several sessions (no pun intended!).

*Results may vary from person to person.