A lot of people come to hypnotherapy wanting to change their bad habits. They smoke or vape. They eat too much junk food. They keep getting into unhealthy relationships. Or maybe they spend hours a day scrolling through Facebook even though it’s sapping all the joy out of their lives.
“I want to stop doing X, Y, and Z,” they say. “I just can’t seem to do it.”
At this point I always ask them, “So what part of you doesn’t want to change?”
This is usually not such an easy question to answer. At least not fully. And so this is where we begin our therapeutic work.
As human beings we don’t do things for no reason. There is always a motivation for our actions. Even if it’s a subconscious one.
Let me give you an example.
I enjoy eating ice cream. A lot.
At one point in my life I was a Ben and Jerry’s addict, eating almost a pint a day. If I didn’t get my fix on the way home from work I just wouldn’t feel complete.
I knew my habit wasn’t good for me. Eating all that sugar before bed kept me awake at night. I put on weight. I was worried about diabetes and heart disease. But still, even though I tried many times, I just couldn’t stop.
Unfortunately I didn’t know about hypnotherapy then. Otherwise I could have figured it out much faster.
Eating ice cream was comforting me. It was filling a deep need to feel good about myself, to feel OK and safe in the world (at the time I had allowed myself to come under the control of a lot of stress and anxiety). That first bite of sweet, creamy deliciousness made me feel all of those things.
But when I finally realized that eating too much ice cream was hurting me more than it was helping, it was too late.
That’s because, even though I consciously knew the cons to ice-cream-over-indulgence, my sub-conscious mind, which is completely receptive and non-judgmental, wasn’t so convinced. It still wanted me to feel good, OK, and safe. It just didn’t understand that there were better ways of accomplishing those goals.
And that’s what we aim to do in hypnotherapy. We work with the subconscious mind to realign our naturally positive motivations with actions, beliefs, and patterns of behavior that bring us true happiness and freedom.
Fortunately for us, our true nature-which is always perfectly loving and wise-wants exactly that for us and more.