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The power of the subconscious and finding willpower

Changing a habit

Have you ever tried to change a habit; for instance start going to the gym, go on a diet or stop smoking etc. only to find that you cannot keep up the new habit and so you end up going back to your old pattern of behaviour again? Well, if this sounds familiar, it’s because the acceptance of any new habit requires our subconscious mind’s cooperation and not only just our willpower. We all know what we need to do to be fit and healthy, but just think about all the obstacles our mind throws at us – excuses, emotional eating, binge drinking … the list never ends. So what do we need to do if we could truly change what our mind wants?

The power of the subconscious and willpower

Well, we need both sides of our mind; i.e. the conscious (or left side – the part that is responsible for logic) and the subconscious (or right side – the part that deals with our imagination and intuition) to work together in harmony. Why is that, I hear you ask?

This is because whenever, there is any kind of conflict in our though processes, the subconscious mind will always win. This explains why smokers find it difficult to stop smoking or dieters see their weight 'yo-yoing' – they still imagine the pleasures of cigarettes and the delicious taste of unhealthy foods. Willpower alone will never work because willpower is the left side and it is always overridden by the right side, unless it’s re-programmed to change. This is where CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) - and hypnosis can do wonders by re-programming the subconscious mind.

So what exactly is CBT and hypnosis?

CBT helps you to recognise how your thoughts can affect your feelings and behaviour. It combines a number of approaches including a cognitive approach (examining your thoughts) and a behavioural approach (the things you do). It aims to break problems down into smaller parts, making them a lot easier to manage.

Hypnosis is a natural state of the mind and we experience it daily without realising; when we’re daydreaming, listening to our favourite song, or when we are immersed in a gripping movie. But how does hypnotherapy work? Hypnotherapy may involve getting you into a state of deep relaxation and the hypnotherapist (not Hypnotist – as there's a huge distinction) would then instil positive suggestions to replace those negative unhelpful thoughts that we have. This can help with stopping smoking, stress management, weight and unhealthy habit control, exam and test worries, goal achievement and social phobias etc.

So, the next time you find yourself dreading going to the gym or obsessing over calories, you’ll know it’s not just your willpower that you have lost but a new mindset that you will have to find!

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Written by Nadia Wyatt, MA BA MBACP EMDR FInsLM CNHC

Nadia Wyatt, owner of Goals Solutions, is a counsellor, hypnotherapist, life coach, EMDR therapist and EFT practitioner. She works with adults, couples, parents and children, including children with autism. She is based in Billericay Essex and has a clinic in Marbella Spain. She specialises in anxiety and depression.… Read more

Written by Nadia Wyatt, MA BA MBACP EMDR FInsLM CNHC

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