How many things do you do without thinking about them? You might include “walking” and perhaps even “using a knife and fork.” But did you include adjusting your pulse rate and blood pressure when you exercise? Releasing fat for conversion to sugar in the liver? For all those things, you can thank your subconscious mind for taking care of and supporting you.
But this is what makes habits hard to manage. We smoke a cigarette after dinner and that changes blood flow, affecting our digestion. The body expects that and has adjusted the way it processes food to match. Take away the cigarette, and now it can’t process food properly.
Or how about starting a new habit? We want to exercise more, and there’s that break at 3 PM when we sit around drinking coffee. Maybe we could walk then? But the reason that we don’t do anything around 3 PM is because we’re resting before the push to closing time at work. When we start walking, we might make mistakes and coworkers and supervisors call us out. Maybe more exercise wasn’t such a good idea after all?
The two examples illustrate how dedicated your subconscious is to you, and how wide the range of its concerns. As burdened as it is, every change in routine is a possible crisis. For that reason, it prefers to resist change. Try to stop smoking and the cravings get more intense. Plan to exercise and at the appointed hour you feel more fatigued than normal.
So how to change our routines?
Hypnotherapy is a valuable aid because it presents to the subconscious the positive results expected from the change. We’re not throwing a change at it without preparation – we’re getting its buy-in and support.
Once that commitment to change is established, we then proceed incrementally. When we wake in the morning, the body is primed to start the day. Adding a little exercise to that routine is consistent with the expectations of the body and subconscious. So rather than putting a change into a time of rest, we add it to our active routine. “I shave – and then I do twenty lunges.” What we add to the time of rest is laying out a reminder: “After brushing my teeth, I put my sweats on top of the dresser.”
To prepare to end a habit, we break up patterns. We stop smoking after meals. Through relaxation therapy in hypnosis, we recognize the onset of anxiety and soothe ourselves with deep, calming breaths while visualizing our favorite vacation spot.
And most importantly of all – when we meet the plan, we smile inwardly and tell ourselves “Good job!” Then that night, when we pass through hypnosis on the way to sleep, the subconscious reviews the events of the day and hears “Good job!”
If this sounds like the foundation for a life-long skill of habit management, you’d be right. Succeed once with something meaningful to you, and habit change becomes a habit! Through the sleep transition, you could eventually build that acceptance – but why not speed the process up with hypnosis?
If you’ve got an important goal that depends upon a change in routine, reach out to Brian today! Mention this blog post and you’ll get your first session at a 50% discount.