Why is it so hard to break long-standing habits?

Why is it so hard to break long-standing habits? You might make a statement that this is the last cigarette you are ever going to have, or say that tomorrow you will only eat healthy foods. But, tomorrow comes and you go back to the same old way of doing things. You want to change, but it is like part of you doesn’t want to change.

It is probably because you were using willpower to make yourself change. Willpower is a product of the conscious mind, but habits are a function of the subconscious mind. In a conflict between your conscious and your subconscious, your subconscious mind will always win. Hypnosis is the best way to communicate with your subconscious. The hypnotist can talk to this part of you, and ask it why it is urging you to smoke when you don’t want to, or eat foods you know are bad for you. The hypnotist can ask it why you dread exercising, or why you are so afraid of ducks or anything else. In hypnosis, your conscious mind is relaxed  while your subconscious mind stays alert, and it can shed some light on why these habits are important to you. The hypnotist can then guide you to find other, healthier ways to meet your needs without this detrimental habit. When the subconscious is on your side, it is easy to make changes, and become the way you want to be.

During hypnosis, I have had clients tell me, and also reveal to themselves, unusual reasons why they feel they need to keep these detrimental habits. In hypnosis, they might reveal that they need to keep smoking because the only time they slow down or take a break is when they smoke a cigarette. The subconscious knows that they work too hard and need those breaks. The client is not aware of these feelings that are driving this unhealthy habit. The client can then promise to themselves, in hypnosis, that they will still take breaks after they quit smoking.  This assurance eliminates the strong cravings they were experiencing.

Another client realized that the strong cravings for smoking she was experiencing  were because she and her mother used to go outside together and smoke while everyone else stayed inside. She and her mother really got close at these times. Her mother had since died, and her subconscious mind urged her to continue to smoke to keep the memory of her mother strong by giving her these strong cravings. In hypnosis, she agreed that she could keep the memory of her mother strong without smoking.

Yet another client revealed that she had to keep chewing tobacco because it made her unique among her friends. We brainstormed other ways she was unique among her friends, and with this knowledge during hypnosis, the habit was eliminated.

If your subconscious mind feels you are safer by carrying 50 extra pounds around,  you will never be able to stay slim. You might be able to lose the weight, but little by little you will gain it back. Your subconscious mind knows how many calories or fat grams are in most foods, and it can cause you to crave the things that will pack on the weight to keep you safe. Through hypnosis, you can realize that it is OK to release the weight and still feel safe. Then the cravings go away, which makes slimming down so much easier.

The purpose of an addiction is an attempt to self-medicate emotional pain. Sometimes the reason the client is having trouble making the changes they want to make is because of something that happened earlier in life.  Maybe it was a long time ago, but it is still very painful to think about. In hypnosis we can heal that event so that it no longer feels painful, and there is no reason to self-medicate.

Hypnosis is beneficial in other ways, too. It can remove the blocks to learning, or to excelling in sports, music or the arts. Then the natural abilities a person has can start to shine. He or she  may have blockages to sleeping, or blockages to feeling confident. In hypnosis we can discover where this blockage came from, what it is doing for them, and how to remove it. The answers are inside each of us.

Hypnosis can help relieve headaches  and muscle aches anywhere in the body. Irritable Bowel Syndrome, asthma, and fibromyalgia are just some of the serious diseases that have been shown in studies to be helped by hypnosis. In working with medical conditions or mental conditions, the hypnotist can work with a client’s doctor or mental health professional to give the client the best outcome for a given problem.