How are those New Year resolutions going? Have you given up smoking/chocolate/cakes/alcohol, and been to the gym/Zumba/swimming? If you have, then well done, but I suspect many have found that the motivation wanes after a few weeks and very soon the old habits return, and you are back where you started – on the couch with the chocolates!
So, why do we find it so difficult to change our habits?
Well, it’s because the brain is in a bit of a battle within itself. Our conscious, intellectual mind knows
that these changes are good for us and helps us to decide what to change. Unfortunately, that part of the brain that is responsible for our survival, the sub-conscious mind, really does not like change. It works on the principle that, if what we did yesterday kept us safe, then we will be encouraged to do the same again today. And that includes continuing those bad habits like overeating, smoking, avoiding exercise. If our conscious mind is in charge, then change is easier to accomplish, but if the sub-conscious mind is in charge then we find it all too difficult to achieve.
So, how do we get our conscious mind to take back control?
In order to spend more time in our conscious mind, we need to get rid of negative influences and instead employ the three ‘P’s – positive interaction, positive thinking and positive activity. This stimulates the neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’, which promotes happiness, motivation, self-control and confidence. A good night’s sleep is vital for getting rid of the negative influences of the day so that we can wake up rested and in a positive frame of mind.
How can we achieve this?
Change can be achieved in small steps – don’t try to change too much at once. Maybe change one thing a week – exchange biscuits for fruit, walk to the next bus stop, don’t take the lift all the way, drink more water, avoid one situation during the day where you know your willpower will be tested. Gradually build it up until, a few weeks down the line, you have a different way of life.
And this is where the hypnotherapy bit comes in! In hypnotherapy we use trance – it isn’t something we impose, it is a perfectly normal state. We naturally go in and out of trance all the time but we may call it ‘daydreaming’, or ‘being away with the fairies’ or being ‘in the zone’. In trance, the conscious and sub-conscious mind can be brought together to work on the same thing – and we can suggest what it might work on. Gradually, the conscious mind takes back control, the sub-conscious mind takes on board the suggestions made during trance and changes can be made.