It is important to make a distinction between addiction and habit.
Addictions are considered more powerful and an advancement from a habit
A habit is described as a behavioural pattern that:
• is automatic in response
• has developed due to frequent repetition to become second
• is not usually damaging.
Habitual behaviour is natural and a part of our everyday lives. In fact they can help us to conserve mental energy and move more fluidly through our day to day lives.
Habits include all sorts of actions and behaviours, from the way we brush our teeth in the morning, to changing gears as you drive
But of course just as we can form good habits which help us to live our daily lives, we can also form less helpful habits too.
We commonly see habits such as biting our nails as a 'bad habit'
These bad habits can be broken because they are, more often than not, unconscious or passive actions. Once we get a hold on them on a more conscious level, we can stop them
Addictions on the other hand, are impulses that can be a lot more difficult to control and often a lot more damaging both physicaly and emotionaly
Addictions can be activity based, such as gambling, shopping, eating or sexual activities, or can be chemical such as nicotine from smoking, alcohol or drugs
These all trigger a neuro-chemical response which we all know as ‘pleasure’, or a 'buzz
The repetition of behaviour is largely driven by a developed dependency on that ‘feel good’ response.
Hypnotherapy for habits and addiction – How can it help?
Hypnotherapy aims to get to the root of the behaviour by enabling the client to relax into a state of mind where they can access the subconscious associations with the behaviour and gain increased intellectual control.
In a relaxed and open state of mind, you can be more receptive to positive suggestion, which the hypnotherapist can utilise to help you to take greater control to overcome the habitual or addictive response
A solution focused approach also helps you to reacquaint with inner resources which can help you to cope with triggers in the future or any other issues surrounding the addction or habit
As a therapist, your welfare is my priority. If you are struggling with an addiction that is damaging your health and wellbeing, it is important to seek the support of your GP too. There might also be some valuable resources they can help you to access for free
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