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  Changing behavior with hypnosis

Hypnosis helps even if everything else fails.

James Braid

Changing your behavior is easier said than done

Was your last New Year’s resolution not to smoke any more, to eat less sweets or to exercise more? And… did you succeed? Unfortunately, this is not just a question of self-discipline and willpower. No one actually makes a conscious decision to start eating as unhealthy as possible or to keep straightening their tie while giving a presentation.

Our consciousness as well as our subconscious have stored some behavioral patterns. The latter can be recognized by the fact that you can’t simply shake them off, even if they are annoying or even reduce one’s quality of life. Often, a behavior is irrational and you just don’t understand why you can’t simply stop behaving that way. Unpleasant behavior, which appears due to subconscious beliefs, cannot change because of a conscious decision to do so. Smokers often say they don’t know why they smoke. Smoking is harmful to a person’s health, expensive and does not offer a single advantage. Nevertheless, successfully quitting smoking rarely happens out of one’s own willpower or by making a conscious decision. If you no longer want to smoke, you need to communicate this decision not only to your consciousness, but also to your subconsciousness. When under hypnosis, contact to the subconsciousness is made, which is exactly where these behaviors lie within. For this reason, behavioral changes are not only possible within a short period of time, but they last for a long time because the problem is addressed at the root. And that’s the whole secret behind why hypnosis is so effective and quick.

Changing behavior – why it can be so difficult

From a different perspective, however, it may make sense that it is so difficult for us to rid ourselves of habits. In fact, routine is vital for human survival. Otherwise, we would be overwhelmed with the simplest everyday tasks. Fortunately, we can clean, ride a bike, eat, shower, or listen to the radio without any problems and without constant euphoria or displeasure. Unfortunately, we can also smoke or eat unhealthy foods without constantly being influenced emotionally or cognitively. The neocortex and the limbic system, together with the FOXP2 gene, often join forces against us when it comes to getting rid of bad habits. (1) Saying that behavior or habits are deeply rooted is no exaggeration.

Behavioral change – hypnosis helps

In recent years, hypnosis has developed into a strategy for behavioral change based on scientific studies and has been proven to help get rid of annoying habits. This does not only include the widely known hypnosis for quitting smoking or changing eating habits, but irritating habits that are in the subconscious can be changed or completely cast aside with hypnosis as well, no matter whether we want to stop clenching our teeth when concentrating, be less jealous, or stop continuous shopping escapades.

The mechanisms of hypnosis are constantly being researched, which is why there are different theories. One of the theories states that a change in behavior is attributable to a moment of where hypnotizable (suggestible) people let go of their ego. The suggestions and images that are evoked are therefore not checked for social or future consequences or evaluated by the own self. Therefore, a changed self-image can be suggested to the hypnotized person. It is an ego that can behave differently than usual in future situations. According to another theory, letting go of the ego also has to do with the hypnotist (2). When in a hypnotized state, it is much easier for us to be aware of our behavior again and to change it in the long term.

The division into consciousness and the subconscious serves as an illustration and is of course not intended to explain all the processes of the complex human brain.

(1) Hürter, Tobias (2018): Am liebsten würde ich damit aufhören … die Frage ist nur: Wann? Und vor allem: Wie?. Zeit Wissen, 12.02.2018 (01/2018) http://www.zeit.de/zeit-wissen/2018/01/psychologie-gewohnheiten-verhalten-muster-aenderung/komplettansicht

(2) Revenstorf, Dirk (2014): Wie heilt Hypnose? Hypnose als Ich-freier Zustand. Universität Tübingen http://www.meg-tuebingen.de/downloads/2014-03-17%20REVENSTORF%20Hypnose%20als%20Ich-loser%20Zustand.pdf Seite 14-15.

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