Why we build habits
All of us build habits into our lives to make our lives easier and more manageable. These habits are in effect learned patterns of behaviour. If we take the example of driving a car, when we are learning to drive, we think about everything we do, when to change gears or indicate, how to use the rear vision mirror and the controls. This is a “conscious” mind activity – we are aware of what we are doing. The more we drive the more the more it becomes a “subconscious” mind activity. In other words we make a habit of driving and this becomes a learned behaviour. Now when we drive a car, we don’t even think about it, it just “happens” and we arrive safely at our destination not even remembering much about the journey.
We have built a new habit – driving – to make our life easier, it’s one less thing to have to think about, we just do it.
In the same way that this applies to “good” habits, it is also true of “bad” habits. Both good and bad habits are constructed to help us not to hinder us. Nail biting is an example of a bad habit which usually originated to help deal with nervousness or anxiety and even though we may no longer be anxious, we still carry on the habit of biting our nails.
How hypnosis helps
Because habits over time become subconscious behaviour, they need to be broken at a subconscious level and this is where hypnosis helps. In a trance state the subconscious mind is very open to useful suggestion and can often be encouraged or retrained to find more creative and less harmful ways of achieving what the habit achieves for you. In this way habits are changed without any stress or anxiety.