How to break a habit

Break a stress habit and live a healthier life > We are creatures of habit. They dictate nearly half of all our activities as the unconscious mind takes over and embeds routines into our thought patterns.

A habitual action is triggered by associations and cues. So maybe you always plug in the kettle when you get back from shopping, or check your cat is in before you leave the house.

No harm in any of that.  Indeed we teach our kids positive habits like not eating after they have cleaned their teeth, or doing their homework as soon as they get back from school. Habits help us as they ensure efficient functioning and bring order and stability to our otherwise chaotic lives.

How to change a habit

But how do you change a habit or learn a new one. For example, maybe you have a demanding career which means you always get home late. Feeling exhausted and stressed you automatically pour yourself a large glass of wine as a reward, slump in front of the TV and doze.  Then comes the 2nd glass of wine …

It is the same five nights a week and the dangers are obvious. Maybe a change of lifestyle should be considered, such as finishing work early some days to go to the gym or a meal out with colleagues.

What is your work hard reward?

If this is too difficult, change your mind frame about your ‘work hard reward‘. Why not substitute the wine for an inventive soft drink, an exotic hot infusion or just a humble lemon barley water.

No-one is pretending that such habit changes are easy. That is where a few hypnotherapy sessions work wonders in helping you secure your goals.

There are also DIY actions you can take which will improve your chances of success >

  • Ensure your conscious and unconscious minds are both 100% committed to the enterprise.
  • Identify more healthy specific rewards for specific achievements.

Most important of all remember that habit-breaking means more than just having strong will power. So do seek therapists who can help (Find a CNHC registered one in your area).

And finally, remember …. ‘positivity is like a muscle – keep exercising it and it becomes a habit‘.

5 thoughts on “How to break a habit

  1. Sophia Lilly says:

    Habits become things we depend on. They make life easier and often function as treats to look forward to. But my favourite coffee bar did not seem so tempting after I had decided to change my after-gym cup of coffee with a banana and health drink.

  2. A. L-F (full details removed by Moderator says:

    We are all creatures of habit. Without habitual responses you would have to work out afresh what do each time you were confronted with a situation.
    And your good habits serve you well, but the bad ones have unwanted consequences.
    Frequently the catalyst for these unwanted, problem behaviours started as solutions to different problems. As an example, if you are a shy person you may have overcome your fears by drinking alcohol in the belief it gave you more confidence. Then, as Tonic says, it is an easy step to for one drink to become two and so on. Your drinking started as a solution to a problem but then became a problem itself.
    Hypnotherapy works well with breaking any such unwanted habits, especially as many people who come to me seeking help with unwanted habits have unmet basic needs. An important part of their treatment to overcome the habit is ensuring that the basic needs is adequately met.
    Blog moderator responds> Thank you for your advice but your Posting has been reduced as it became an advert for your practice. You are welcome to add professional guidance that helps our Bloggers, but we cannot endorse unknown professionals.

  3. Ford (Lanelli) says:

    As a kid I bit my fingernails. Then later I attacked the skin around them until my fingers bled. I wanted to stop but failed. Then I sought help from a hypnotherapist (I won’t mention her name having just read the ticking off you gave the therapist above!)
    Now you are expecting me to say that I was cured instantly! But that was not the case as the first thing I was told was that I had to WANT to stop. There had to be a motivation to break the habit. You don’t actually need to believe that hypnosis will work for you – you just have to be willing to go through the process.
    Hypnosis appears to circumvent the part of the brain that says, “There’s no way this will help.” If someone said to you right now, “The next time you see a cream cake, you’ll want a carrot instead,” you would laugh. But if someone makes that kind of suggestion when you’re under hypnosis, it sneaks past your rational mind and into the part of your brain that influences action.
    So yes, I did beat my finger biting habit using hypnotherapy though it took two sessions. In my opinion give it a go.

  4. Kenton Harris says:

    Having a habit implies a current lack of control over a certain behaviour in a particular type of situation. Many people blame their unconscious mind for these bad habits, but even the most enlightened of us have them (though we might not admit it!)
    One way to break the habit is through repetition. This is a natural process whereby our minds learn which aspects of a thought process are important and which are not. You can also break a habit by making it seem unfamiliar or otherwise uncomfortable. Boredom is another one. Think about what your conscious mind is naturally attracted to and what it ignores.
    Remember that your mind is very keen on doing what feels comfortable.

  5. Jonty (you know me!) says:

    Few people realise the amazing power their subconscious mind has over their lives. The causes for some bad habits are rooted in memories or perceptions that may be forgotten by the conscious mind and totally outside of conscious awareness, but are retained in the subconscious. Hypnosis helps you to access your subconscious and change bad habits easily, such as procrastination, grinding your teeth when sleep and pulling your hair.

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