Habits & Disorders

How habits & disorders are formed

A bad habit or disorder is caused through repetition. If a particular behaviour is carried out on a regular basis, it can become deeply ingrained in your brain as an auto-pilot response to the same triggers. These responses then become automatic at a subconscious level, without you having to think about it too much.

The habit or disorder can be used as a coping mechanism for things such as stress, triggering the habitual response, which results in eating, smoking, drinking, gambling, etc. This then produces the reward or pleasure, such as a reduction in stress, anxiety, agitation or emotional distress, leading to a feeling of relief, at least temporarily. The problem is further heightened if your bad habit becomes the only way you know how to cope with the feelings that trigger the habitual response.

How does it work?

The approach will vary depending on each individual's specific requirements, but it very loosely involves changing the automatic conditioned response in the subconscious mind that causes you to respond to certain triggers. This is something that many people cannot control through conscious thought processes because, when behaviours are so deeply ingrained in the subconscious, changes often can't be implemented at a conscious level.

Under hypnosis, the learned response within the subconscious can be changed to something more appropriate to the situation, so that in future, you will be calm, relaxed and in control in the situations where you used to succumb to your habit. This leads to a profound increase in motivation to change habitual behaviours that are linked to it. You then learn how to handle trigger situations much more effectively, replacing negative emotions and responses with positive ones and remaining in control.

If factors such as stress, anxiety or tension contribute to your problem, learning suitable relaxation techniques and coping skills help you to respond more appropriately to trigger situations. Tension increases reactivity, relaxation lowers it. As negative habits are negative automatic reactions, relaxation gives us greater self-control, rather than be at the mercy of tension induced habitual responses.

Staying on the right path

Reverting to old behaviours is avoided by making sure that you have the resources, positive habits, new experiences and understanding to stay on your chosen path, and remain free from old habits. The whole programme fosters a deep sense of self-belief that helps strengthen and maintain the desired changes.

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