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What Needs Do Bad Habits Satisfy?


Hypnotherapy Manchester


Bad habits typically form to manage stress, to overcome anxiety, and to promote relaxation. Habitual smoking, excessive drinking, abuse of drugs, and overeating are four of the primary ways that people attempt to self-medicate to feel better. Biting nails, picking at skin, hair pulling, are other habits that develop subconsciously in childhood, sometimes as a means for regaining a sense of control or to get noticed in those who feel abused or neglected. Bad habits also form as a means of self-punishment in a child who feels guilty, ashamed, or worthless. Not all bad habits involve using physical substances or doing bodily harm. Procrastination, obsessive compulsive behavior, and chronic negative self-talk are examples of bad habits that do emotional harm and damage self-esteem, while attempting to stave off fear, prevent failure, or dissolve guilt.


How Do Bad Habits Form?


Bad habits often form early in life when a child learns from the negative coping behavior of the adults, siblings, and caretakers who surround them. Because children tend to emulate what they see, children of smokers, drinkers, and drug users also tend to smoke, drink, and use drugs to manage their negative emotions and feelings. Sometimes, the negative habits develop more randomly. A child left alone may reach out and find that clinging to a doll or a blanket or sucking on their thumb provides positive tactile feelings that soothe and comfort. Faced with the same loneliness again, the child repeats the calming behavior. This becomes a habitual way of coping that, as the child gets older, is discouraged, if not punished, as unacceptable behavior. Bad habits can form later in life when stress and anxiety become extreme in response to an overload of responsibility, sudden dramatic loss, tragedy, or the onset of fears and phobias. However negative the consequences of the bad habits that form, there is always a positive pay off for the behavior, which usually involves a quiescence of fear or pain and/or increased pleasure or satisfaction.


Negative Effects of Bad Habits


The following list includes common negative effects of bad habits. If you exhibit some, many, or all of these, low self-esteem could well be the cause and hypnotherapy for self-esteem could very likely help.


  • Poor self image
  • Loss of self-respect and self-esteem
  • Diminished physical health
  • Substantial weight gain or loss
  • Loss of energy
  • Sleep problems
  • Social anxiety
  • Isolation
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Depression
  • Impaired sexual desire and function
  • Damaged personal relationships
  • Financial problems
  • Job loss or career stagnation


How To Overcome Bad Habits


Because the subconscious mind embraces the known and fears the unknown, it sticks with bad habits, reluctant to give them up because of the needs they are known to serve. For this reason, bad habits (such as addictions to smoking, alcohol, drugs, caffeine, and sugar) can be difficult to break. The key to correcting bad habits is to determine what triggers the bad habit and what needs are being met (albeit with negative consequences), and then to find replacement behavior that not only satisfies those needs, but also satisfies them without negative consequences. Even better if the replacement behavior has additional positive pay offs, such as increased self-esteem, feelings of self-empowerment, greater vitality, etc. Using hypnotherapy to replace bad habits.


Hypnotherapy is a relaxing, natural, and safe, brief-term form of therapy that enables direct and immediate influence on the subconscious mind where bad habits develop and endure if left untreated. With the help of various hypnotic tools and techniques, a client can gain more awareness of and control over their destructive impulses, while developing new behavior patterns that replace the bad habit with positive coping strategies.


Breaking bad habits through hypnosis is only possible


1) If you really wants to make the changes;

2) If you believe that you can make positive changes; and

3) is open to using the tools and techniques on a consistent basis.


The first step in hypnotherapeutic treatment is conscious cognitive inquiry to gain understanding of your specific problems and goals and to determine whether they have the appropriate motivation and acceptance. Next I induce hypnosis, a state of deep relaxation and inward focus in which the subconscious mind is directly accessible and highly suggestible to therapeutic associations, commands, visualizations, metaphors and other techniques that instill and support the positive attitudes, feelings, beliefs, and actions necessary to correct the habit.


Hypnotherapeutic Treatment Plan for Replacing Bad Habits


The treatment plan for correcting bad habits must be customized to each individual client’s particular case. There is no “one plan fits all.” The approach I take to each case, however, is outlined below.


Identify components of bad habits

  • Triggers
  • Needs
  • Problems and issues
  • Case History
  • Negative effects
  • Replacement behavior
  • Set initial goals
  • Develop a hypnotherapeutic strategy with specific tools and techniques
  • Provide habit correction hypnosis
  • Track progress
  • Set new goals
  • Revise strategy
  • Implement revised strategy


The following list includes some of the hypnotic tools and techniques I use to correct bad habits:


  • Cognitive Inquiry
  • Deep Diaphragmatic Focused Breathing
  • Progressive Relaxation
  • Post-Hypnotic Suggestion
  • Habit Replacement Visualization
  • Resource State Discovery
  • Interactive Self-Esteem Building
  • Guided Imagery
  • Inner Child Work
  • Negative Trigger Desensitization
  • Positive Memory Revival
  • Mindfulness
  • Negative Self-Talk Redirection
  • Positive Suggestions for Self-Empowerment

Bad Habits


Bad habits start when you are feeling anxious, restless, tired, stressed, are too busy, or are just plain bored. It can also be when you are trying to concentrate hard on something. We use bad habits to distract or reward ourselves, like smoking or eating. Comfort eating is a big one for example – think of the clever Kit Kat advert on TV! “Take a break”. The advertising company associated ‘Kit Kat’ with a break and eating.


However some people take too many little breaks throughout the day and the chocolate adds up on the waste line! Most adults can only store 5 to 7 things in their head at a time. Anymore than that and it is overload and the brain needs a time out. This can take then take the form of a bad habit. When you first did it; you got something out of it. When you go to the cinema you might buy popcorn and a drink, but are you really hungry and thirsty? Or is this just a habit that you do? Do you really need to spend more money? 


Disclaimer* - Results very from person to person. Hypnotherapy is not used to treat or diagnose any disease.

manchester hypnotherapy

 Manchester Hypnotherapy

hypnotherapy for bad habits