We all have habits we want or need to break for health reasons, to preserve relationships at work or home, or to keep financial health. But in spite of warnings from doctors, many individuals continue to smoke, or eat too much. Others spend more money than they know is healthy. Another has the habit of flying off the handle and getting himself in trouble with peers or at work.
To make changes, we need to change our beliefs. All habits – or unthought actions – emanate from the subconscious mind. And these habits start either as learned behavior, which we learn subconsciously from watching or hearing others, or consciously through repeated learning, such as learning to read. It takes 21 days to create new brain pathways.
We can start new habits by:
Tip one: Initiate a positive habit – The first principle in attempting to alter our behavior is to realize that we are all creatures of habit. Because positive habits are far more beneficial than bad habits, the key is to initiate a positive habit (the "suggestion") strong enough to overcome the bad habit. This can be accomplished by developing new patterns, or by selecting a habit so effective and enjoyable that it acts to overpower the undesirable bad habit.
Tip Two: Implant a new positive image – So now you’re motivated and you want to change something, how does it work? If we took a smoker who desires to quit smoking, for example, hypnosis can help by changing your self-image into that of a non-smoker. A new, positive image is implanted into your subconscious (the first factor required – motivation – is imperative). Now your old feelings, attitudes and fixations about smoking have been dismissed. Perhaps you want to lose weight. You know all the reasons you should lose weight. You really want to get in better shape. You want to take better care of yourself. Hypnosis helps by suggesting to your subconscious that you don’t want to "lose weight" but "be healthy." These are the "believable suggestions" at work. You are now focusing on what you want to gain, for instance, better health, self-esteem and vitality.
Tip Three: Change for yourself, not for someone else – If you are changing because someone else wants you to, the chances are greatly reduced that hypnosis will work.
Tip Four: Repeat, Repeat, Repeat – Most of the habits, feelings and emotions we want to change are deeply implanted in our subconscious mind and will not just "go away" with one set of suggestions. Find a suggestion you can believe and repeat it every day in the mirror. Speaking in the mirror helps set new beliefs into the self conscious.
Tip Five: Make suggestions believable – If you are to accept a suggestion, your mind must first accept it as a real possibility. Saying I will lose 100 pounds in a week is not believable or possible. Once you can find a believable suggestion, you are well on the way to real change.
Hypnosis is one way to make suggestions to your subconscious through a natural trance state, which is sometimes, but not always, facilitated through relaxation. As you tap into the subconscious mind, it allows the formation of new habits or patterns, as well as allowing patterns to strengthen or change. But because the conscious mind is always in control, the want or need to change must be there. Hypnosis doesn’t facilitate change if change really isn’t wanted.