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Saturday, December 11, 2010

A New Year: Letting Go of Unhealthy Habits

As the New Year approaches, this is the time of year when people take stock of their lives and make decisions about what they'd like to change, including letting go of bad habits. Breaking negative habits can be challenging, especially for habits that are longstanding, like smoking cigarettes, overeating, eating in unhealthy foods, overspending, and other negative habits.

A New Year: Letting Go of Unhealthy Habits

It's one thing to make a commitment at the New Year to make a change. It's quite another thing to stick with it, especially when we're under stress. Most New Year's resolutions fall by the wayside within the first few months of the year.

Most people underestimate the type of resolve, external support, and the inner resources that they'll need to let go of bad habits. Engaging in a bad habit, especially one that is longstanding, is like driving down the same dirt road hundreds of times. After a while, ruts start to form in the road that the tires have rode over again and again.

This reminds me of when I went to Ercolano (on the other side of the volcano from Pompeii in Italy) several years ago. I could see where the chariots had gone over the cobblestones hundreds of times from the deep ruts in the stones. Similarly, engaging in negative habits over and over again creates deep pathways in our brains so that when we're emotionally triggered, our inclination is to go down that same pathway. This is one of the reasons why it's so hard to break bad habits.

Fortunately, clinical hypnosis can be very effective in helping most people to break bad habits, whatever the bad habit might be. When used by a hypnotherapist, clinical hypnosis can access the unconscious mind, bypassing the conscious mind. If the client is motivated, very often, clinical hypnosis will not only help to break bad habits, but it can also help to sow the seeds of new, healthy behavior.

As I've mentioned in prior posts, there is a difference between a "hypnotist" and a "hypnotherapist." People who call themselves "hypnotists" might know various hypnotic techniques, but they're not trained and skilled as psychotherapists who are hypnotherapists. As a result, their work is often not as effective.

If you're thinking about bad habits that you'd like to let go of and healthy behaviors you'd like to replace them with in 2011, you could benefit from seeing a hypnotherapist who can help you to make the changes that you want in your life.

censed psychotherapist, hypnotherapist, EMDR therapist, and Somatic Experiencing therapist in NYC.

To find out more about me, visit my website: Josephine Ferraro, LCSW - NYC Psychotherapist.

To set up a consultation, call me at (212) 726-1006 or email me: josephineolivia@aol.com.