Are you embarrassed by a habit you have, or have tried to stop without success? Maybe just using willpower alone hasn’t helped you to stop the unwanted habit?

Habits are a part of human nature; we are all naturally creatures of habit. In many instances, these help us to work more efficiently by following a familiar path instead of trying to work out what to do each time we encounter a situation. ‘Good’ habits are therefore useful to us, but ‘bad’ habits can lead to unwanted problems or behaviour; these can include such things as picking, nail biting, teeth grinding (bruxism) and hair-pulling as well as less common problems.

Very often, the unwanted behaviour was once a solution to a different problem; for example as a child you may have felt comfort from the act of biting your nails or sucking your thumb, so you have learned to associate that act with comforting yourself.

Hypnotherapy can work very well with breaking any unwanted habits. The habitual behaviour comes from a conditioned response in the subconscious mind, which makes trying to overcome the habit and change the behaviour very difficult using willpower alone.

It is also common to find that many people who engage in habitual behaviour have basic unmet needs; they may find that they carry out their habit either when over-stimulated (due to stress or excitement) or under-stimulated (due to boredom or inactivity). An important part of the therapy will therefore be to address some of these underlying issues. It may not be necessary to delve deeply into past experiences to find the root of the problem, it might simply be a case of enabling you to build your confidence and self-esteem, and your resilience to cope with common, daily stresses.

Hypnotherapy, EMDR and NLP techniques can help by:

  • Raising awareness of when you are unconsciously engaging in the habit, allowing you to consciously change the behaviour
  • Identify any ‘triggers’ such as boredom, stress, lack of confidence etc
  • Teach self-hypnosis and other relaxation techniques
  • Reducing the need to carry out those behaviours by using your eye movements to help reprocess those feelings
  • Improve feelings of confidence, and lower levels of anxiety or stress
  • Sometimes it is useful to find the source or cause of the habit