Ahh bad habits. We all have them, right? They may provide temporary relief or pleasure, but in the long run, they can have negative consequences.
There are many types of bad habits, from those causing physical harm (like smoking, overeating or nail-biting) to those causing emotional distress (like procrastination and negative self-talk) — and many others.
A bad habit’s underlying cause is always an emotion. But whether we adopt a healthy way of processing it or develop a bad habit depends on many factors, including environmental factors, learned behaviours, and coping mechanisms.
It’s All About the Subconscious
It's vital to recognise that our bad habits are not necessarily a reflection of our character or willpower but are often deeply ingrained patterns of behavior caused by emotional issues. These underlying emotional issues may be challenging to identify consciously but can be uncovered and addressed through therapy or other forms of self-exploration.
In my therapeutic experience, hypnotherapy is the most powerful tool for working with the subconscious. Whether you want to build your self-confidence, achieve your career goals, save more money, or lose weight, hypnosis can help reprogram your mind to achieve your life goals.
Sometimes the necessary change can be achieved in a few hours — like when I quit smoking after only one session. This rapid change is possible because, unlike other therapy methods, hypnosis taps directly into your subconscious mind and makes the change exactly where it’s needed.
Another great thing about hypnotherapy is that you can practice it yourself without visiting a therapist — and make hypnotherapy of bad habits a part of your daily self-care routine.
How to Use Self-Hypnosis to Overcome Bad Habits
If you want to break a bad habit, self-hypnosis can be a powerful tool. Here's how it works:
Set your intention: Clearly define the bad habit you want to overcome. Be specific about what you want to change and why.
Find a quiet and comfortable space: Choose a calm environment where you can relax without distractions. It could be a quiet room in your home or a peaceful outdoor setting.
Relaxation and deep breathing: Begin by taking deep breaths and focusing on relaxing your body and mind. You can use progressive muscle relaxation techniques or visualization exercises to promote a state of relaxation.
Induce a trance state: Enter a trance-like state by using self-hypnosis techniques. This can involve repeating positive affirmations, visualizing desired outcomes, or listening to guided hypnosis recordings or scripts.
Suggestions and affirmations: During the trance state, repeat positive suggestions and affirmations related to overcoming your specific bad habit. Use empowering and motivating language to reinforce your commitment to change. For example, if you're trying to quit smoking, say to yourself, "I am a non-smoker. I am healthy and strong."
Visualise success: Imagine yourself successfully overcoming the bad habit and visualize how your life will improve as a result. See yourself engaging in positive behaviors and enjoying the benefits of breaking the habit. See yourself as a non-smoker, or someone who is no longer procrastinating, or someone who has stopped biting their nails.
Repeat this process regularly — every day if possible. Regular practice is the key to success in self-hypnosis. With it, you will find it easier to break your bad habit and replace it with a good one. So, take some time for yourself today and try self-hypnosis to break that bad habit holding you back.
Bernard Tewes is a licensed hypnotherapist and the founder of HypnoBox, a self-hypnosis app.