Is there something that you just can’t stop doing on a daily basis?
How did that habit form? Is it something you want to continue doing, or is it something you’d rather do away with? And most importantly, how is that habit affecting your life?
Habits are an essential part of our lives
A habit is a behaviour that has been repeated enough times to become automatic. In other words, we engage in a behaviour without the conscious intention to do so.
Researchers estimate that 40% to 50% of our actions on any given day are driven by habit. Habits free our mind to focus on new challenges and solve problems. Without habits, our brains would shut down, overwhelmed by the minutiae of navigating daily life.
All of the habits that you have right now — good or bad — are in your life because they provide you with a reward. Everything from biting your nails, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, buying shoes every time you go shopping, drinking a glass of wine every night with dinner, compulsively checking your email, provides you with some kind of reward or benefit.
“Bad habits interrupt your life and prevent you from accomplishing your goals. They jeopardize your health — both mentally and physically. And they waste your time and energy.”
~ James Clear author of Atomic Habits
When we decide a habit is no longer useful, or is harming us in some way, we label it ‘bad’. We can choose to live with our bad habit or change it. But, because bad habits provide some type of benefit in your life, they can be difficult to change,
To make habit change easier it really helps to understand the structure of habits. This structure has a name – the Habit Loop.
The Habit Loop
- The cue tells your brain which habit to use. A cue can be anything – location, time of day, sequence of thoughts, person, sound etc.
- A craving is the motivational force behind any habit. In response to the cue our brain anticipates the reward. Once a craving exists we will act automatically.
- Behaviour - the craving drives us to act automatically. Our behaviour can be incredibly complex like driving a car or really simple like tying a shoelace.
- The reward satisfies our craving and ultimately becomes associated with the cue, creating a loop.
The entire Habit Loop happens in a split second.
Changing the structure of a habit
In Atomic Habits author James Clear describes an easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones. Clear says that to change a habit you need to change one or more of the components in the habit loop.
In simple terms, if you:
- eliminate the cue; your habit loop will never start.
- reduce the craving you won’t experience the motivation to act.
- make the behaviour difficult, you won’t be able to do it.
- change the reward so it fails to satisfy your craving, then you’ll have no reason to run the habit loop again in future.
Reprogramming your mind to facilitate habit change
“The truth is the brain can be reprogrammed. You just have to be deliberate about it.”
~Nathan Azrin one of the developers of habit reversal training
Your brain is changing all the time, constantly adjusting and rewiring itself, making new habits, fostering connections and erasing old ones. You can leverage this ability, of your mind to rewire itself, by combining your conscious actions to change the habit loop with hypnosis.
Hypnosis enables you to utilise the habit forming ability of your subconscious or non-conscious mind to make your chosen habit change easier and faster.
When it comes to utilising hypnosis for successful habit change your options are: work with a professional hypnotist (like me!) and/or use self-hypnosis.
Imagine having the ability to create, or change, your habits on purpose. How much would that positively affect your life?
Are you ready to change that bad habit?
Helping people to change on purpose is my passion. If you'd like to explore how I can help you break a bad habit or form a new habit, contact me today on 021 056 8389 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the Book Now button below.
REMEMBER - "When you change your mind you change your life."
Tony helps people to change their minds and behaviours on purpose, using evidence based safe, fast and effective, personal change techniques.