Many people wonder why they cannot stop a harmful habit or a behavioral pattern even though they are well aware that it is bad for them and they have consciously made the decision to change it. They feel angry and frustrated and often blame themselves for being weak or not determined enough. “My weight is killing me! Why can’t I control my eating? I want to but this irresistible urge is so persistent and pervasive that I finally succumb to it. Then I feel guilty and feel like eating again to numb my guilt and the vicious circle continues…
You don’t have to wonder any more. I can tell you right away why this is. It is because, although you have made a conscious decision to change the habit, your subconscious is not on the same page.
Let me use a story to illustrate how powerful our subconscious is:
Once upon a time there was a flea in the forest. It felt like going for a swim in the ocean so it jumped on an elephant’s back and said to the elephant:
“Come on my friend! Take me to the beach! We will have lots of fun there!”
The elephant had other plans though. It started galloping towards the mountain.
“To the beach, I said! To the beach! Not the mountain!” shouted the flea to the elephant.
The elephant completely disregarded the flea and continued making his way to the mountain.
Two hours later, under the scorching sun, the flea felt very hot and thirsty. It spotted a river nearby and said to the elephant:
“My friend, I’m dying of thirst up here. I’m hot and I need you to take me to the river so I can cool myself down.”
The elephant had other plans; it seems. He saw a hole full of mud. He jumped in and started rolling in it. The flea screamed:
“You are suffocating me! I can’t breathe in the mud! Please get out of the mud hole and jump into the river!”
To no avail… The flea’s request fell on deaf ears…
The elephant, happy as ever, continued to wallow in the mud…
In case you didn’t get it, the flea represents the conscious and the elephant the subconscious mind.
If we think of the brain as a computer, there is all sorts of software in it running programs. Most of these programs were installed when we were little and helped us learn how to navigate in this world. The majority of them run in the background and we are not aware of their effects. They are helping us accomplish everyday tasks without occupying space in our short memory. Such programs make sure we get dressed, brush our teeth etc. being able, at the same time, to process any kind of information or stimuli that come either from the inner or the outer world.
Nevertheless, some other programs are created after trauma or in times of severe stress irregardless of our age. They are not helpful or neutral as the aforementioned ones in the present but they were created to help us survive. They were useful when they were “installed” but they are not serving us any more or, even worse, they are harming us. They have us repeat unhealthy patterns of behavior which might remain imperceivable for our whole lives unless there is some kind of awakening. We need to become aware of them before we can work on uninstalling them and/or replacing them with ones that serve us and our life mission.
Here’s an example of an actual client who came to see me in my capacity as a hypnotherapist because she wanted to quit smoking. She had been working as a primary school teacher for years and dreaded the thought that her students might see her smoking or smell tobacco on her clothes but hard as she tried, she couldn’t stop smoking. She was a loving person with a cheerful disposition and her happiness was marred by that “filthy habit” as she called it. She had been living with this guilt until she received another blow; she was diagnosed with emphysema and risked not being able to live a normal life and be dependent on oxygen supply. Guess what? She was still not able to stop smoking. That’s when she came to see me.
While she was in a hypnotic state, with the help of regression, she remembered the time she started smoking and why she had done so. She was a bright country girl, coming from a family of humble means, and had been given a scholarship in a prestigious fine arts school. All her classmates came from the big city, were stylish and pretentious and almost all of them smoked. So, she started emulating their behaviors and airs, smoking being one of them, to try and fit in. Smoking to her was the only means she could be part of a group. Smoking meant she would have friends. As a result, her subconscious mind associated smoking with being sociable and fun loving. When we discovered the root of her inability to quit smoking, reprogramming her brain became a lot easier. We knew exactly which words and phrases to use to reassure her subconscious that quitting smoking wouldn’t mean solitude and isolation.
There are many ways we can access our subconscious to do this work, although, I should warn you, it’s quite difficult to do it without help.
We can access the subconscious through deep relaxation induced by hypnosis, yoga nidra, meditation, NLP, tapping and so many more methods.
To me, the most direct approach is hypnosis. With the help of a good hypnotherapist we can work wonders and use the power of our subconscious to our advantage. We can discover underlying causes of a problem and reprogram the brain with personalized post hypnotic suggestions that make sense to us and to our subconscious. We can make the elephant hear us and follow our instructions.
Here’s Adelia’s testimonial on hypnosis:
“After two difficult years, laden with a recurring physical illness that science could not explain and heal, I knocked on a lot of doors and had the chance to meet Evina. She immediately identified which method to apply. Thanks to a few sessions of hypno-therapy, my body and my mind were regenerated, I had answers to my questions, my illness disappeared, my deep nature was revealed to me.”
If you feel stuck and unable to change harmful behavioral patterns, don’t hesitate to give hypnosis a go! I will literally change your life!
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