07401 127872

Harmony Hypnosis - Sheffield

Habits, making and breaking

Sep 23, 2022

The 4 steps to making or breaking habits.

If your honest with yourself, you will be able to think of some bad habits you’ve got and some good ones you would like to have or improve on.

Perhaps you drink too much, you vape, you don’t eat enough fresh food or you need to exercise more? At least one of these will apply to you, right?

You’ll notice those examples are all negatively framed ie you aren’t achieving this or you’re doing too much of that. As useful as this is for habit change, it’s even more important to set positive goals.

If you set and reach achievable goals (start small or you will set yourself up to fail), you’ll get a little ‘feel good’ reward from your nervous system in the form of the neurotransmitter dopamine, sometimes called “the molecule of more”. Dopamine motivates you and gives you that sense of achievement when you reach a goal or target and getting your dopamine system working for you is the key here.

There is just one problem though. How many times have you made a New Year’s resolution and then just found the motivation fading and you gradually forgetting or losing interest?

Here are a couple of great tips to prevent this from happening. Firstly, mentally rehearse the new habit. Close your eyes and imagine the act step by step and build a positive association with the act by imagining the smile on your face and more importantly the good feeling you’ll have after completing the task. Once you’ve run through it all from start to finish in your mind in a positive way, do it again … and again.

This is a form of basic self hypnosis, because hypnosis is widely recognised by neuroscientists to be the most effective way to create profound change in habits! In fact, I would encourage anyone who wants to create new habits to invest in some sessions with a hypnotherapist.

If you are quitting smoking or vaping for example, with hypnosis you are 4 times more likely to achieve complete cessation in a single session! (Speigel et al, Stamford medicine).

Amazingly when you mentally rehearse, you’re building neural networks in the brain that means when you carry out the habit for real, the mental electrical signals have less resistance to overcome.

Other than the mental rehearsal, the other vital ingredient is to do something called bracketing. For example, brushing your teeth is a successful habit because it’s bracketed between waking up and going downstairs for a coffee. Because it’s before one regular behaviour and after another, it’s bracketed and therefore requires no conscious effort.

If you are starting a new healthy habit, be it exercise, meditation, diet planning … bracketing will help a lot because your neural networks in your brain will build long lasting associations.

4 recommended tips for making and braking habits:

1/ Hypnotherapy – this is the most effective, proven way to change habits

2/ Set realistic goals

3/ Mentally rehearse the new habit repeatedly and build positive neural networks

4/ Bracket the habit between existing behaviours

    Why not book a consultation now by calling 07401127872 or by messaging through the website?

    I offer therapy online or locally in Sheffield.

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