Habit or Addiction? Your Choice!
There is much confusion over where a habit ends and an addiction begins. The NHS defines addiction as not having control over doing, taking or using something to the point where it could be harmful to you. The definition of a habit is that it is a settled or regular tendency or practice, that is hard to give up. So what’s the difference? When does a habit become an addiction rather than a habit that has got out of control?
We are encouraged to believe some people have ‘addictive personalities’. We’re also told we may be genetically predisposed to becoming addicts, and that an addiction is very hard to cure, so the best we can do is to manage it. If we choose to believe that, then we are far less likely to tackle our issues.
You may believe that you are addicted to chocolate, or are secretly scared that you’ve become addicted to alcohol, gambling, shopping or something else that is threatening your wellbeing. Now, just for a moment, let’s reframe that. Think about your doing-too-much-of-something issue and tell yourself it’s a habit that you got into gradually and you now want to take back control and reverse it. Feels better already, right?
Once upon a time, when you were young, you ate chocolate (for example) and it tasted good. Your subconscious mind registered your pleasure. Over time, there was more chocolate and more pleasure, and your subconscious started a ‘chocolate’ folder into which it stored all the times you ate chocolate. One day, something happened in your life that made you feel bad, and your protective subconscious said ‘Aha! I know what to do!’ and immediately sent you a message ‘Eat Chocolate!’ You responded to that message, and for a very short time it did make you feel better. But there were more bad times and so more chocolate, and after a while, your ‘chocolate habit’ developed and your health started to suffer. Substitute almost any other food, substance or activity, and the same rule applies.
Hypnotherapy won’t help you just manage your extreme habits but to take back control and be free from them, by exploring the underlying roots and causes of your need to do something potentially harmful to your health or your finances. Whether you’re 18 or 80, you can be free to live a much longer, happier and healthier life.
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