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What is really keeping you stuck? Have you ever tried to lose weight? Or quit smoking? Or start a New Year’s resolution? Usually, when you start something that is a change from what you’ve been doing previously, you are full of motivation and eager to succeed. But within a couple of weeks, old habits begin to creep in and before you know it, you are eating more junk food, smoking again and your resolution is simply a faint memory.
And how many dieters try diet after diet and lose some weight only to regain it? And how many smokers successfully quit smoking, only to resume the habit. When that happens, it’s easy to feel like a failure and to feel defeated. But what most people are unaware of is that there is a secret saboteur that is to blame for these failures.
Making major changes in your life such as dieting, beginning a new exercise program, or quitting smoking takes much more than just willpower. It is literally a battle of wills that occurs between your conscious mind and your subconscious mind.
Your subconscious mind is the place in your brain where you store all of the experiences that you’ve had in your life. Those experiences are what the subconscious knows, and anything that is “known” to the subconscious is considered good. So if you’ve been smoking for a while, the subconscious believes that “smoking is good”. If you use food, alcohol, drugs, shopping, or gambling to calm yourself or to handle stress, the subconscious will take them in and equate them as “good”, even though you know that consciously, they are not beneficial.
When you consciously make the decision to quit smoking, eat less, exercise more, stop over-spending money, or any other “addictive” behavior, you begin to engage your willpower which is an effort of the conscious mind. These new behaviors are unknown to the subconscious mind which will equate the unknown changes as “bad”.
The subconscious then goes into protective mode to remove the unknown and to go back to the “known”. That’s when it sabotages you and you find yourself falling back into the unhealthy patterns. A battle will take place between the two areas of your mind. But the subconscious will always win every time, simply because it is larger and much more powerful than the conscious mind.
So, you may think that it’s hopeless and that change is not possible. But there are ways to reprogram the unhealthy habits from your subconscious. The best way to reprogram your subconscious is through hypnosis. The relaxed state of hypnosis essentially gets the conscious mind out of the way so that the subconscious mind can be accessed and given positive messages that can replace the faulty messages that have prevented success with life changes.
Affirmations can work. But, just reciting affirmations to yourself while wide awake will not work. When we are fully awake, our conscious mind is alert, and we do not have the access to the subconscious that is necessary to reprogram our mind effectively. The best way to use spoken affirmations is to record them and play them back while you are falling asleep.
Visual affirmations: those set to music with pictures that evoke emotions that correlate with the message of the affirmation are also very effective. This type of affirmation creates an experience which the subconscious mind will accept more easily.
These are the best and most effective ways to combat and retrain your secret saboteur.