The topic today is all about stopping those compulsions and taking control of feeling better, about giving up those bad habits and this is in response to an e-mail from someone who sent in a great big list of things and so this is one of those things off of that list.
So, I am not going to cover any specific N.L.P. techniques with this today or any specific hypnosis techniques but I am going to give you a brief idea of what those could be and also some more general stuff and kind of low-level stuff for actually sorting these sorts of problems out. The thing with stuff like habits and compulsions is that if you view this as a problem that is bigger than you, are more powerful than you, then it probably will be. But if you know that this is just something that is going to get sorted and you’re going to be able to sort it easily, then guess what you’re going to have a whole different ride.
Now here’s a suggestion for you if you are having some problems with these habits and compulsions and you’re on the verge of doing the thing that you don’t want to do. You’re on the verge of reaching for that cigarette. You’re on the verge of putting that fingernail in your mouth or whatever it might be, I want you to give yourself some time out. So, you know like you do with your kids when the kids are misbehaving and you need to separate them and you say right timeout. Go sit yourself on the naughty step. I want you to stay there for five minutes and I want you to have a think about the way that you’re behaving and when you’ve come to the right conclusions about your behaviour and you’ve decided how you’re going to behave better, I want you to come back and tell me that you’re sorry and tell me what you’re going to do even better next time. Stay there until you’ve made your mind up. So, we do this for our kids right. Now here’s the thing sometimes you need to do that for yourself.
Sometimes you need to give yourself a bit of time out before you go and do something silly. So that silly thing could be smoking the cigarette but you really, really you don’t want to smoke because you don’t want to smoke anymore. Now I’m not saying you have to go and sit yourself on the naughty step and give yourself a telling off, but you can have a word with yourself every now and again. You can sit there and think to yourself: okay, so how am I behaving. What do I really want and how can I now make the right decision about the right way to behave better? You can do that to yourself and when you’ve given yourself that little bit of a talking to, you’ll probably find that you come up with a much better reaction than the automatic one of just going ahead and doing it anyway. Give yourself some time out sometimes.
Now Tony Robbins says that in order to give ourselves leverage to move away from a problem we need to apply massive immediate pain to that problem and something like power and pleasure to the solution.
So, I want you to think about what pain you can add to the thing that you don’t want, to that habit or compulsion that you don’t want to have. It could be ‘this thing makes me unhealthy, it’s making me unattractive. I don’t actually like it. It’s slowing me down. It’s making me feel old’.
All of those things are going to be applying pain to the thing that you no longer want to do. Now when we look at pleasure you can be thinking: ‘well when I’ve done this or now that I am doing it, I am in control of my life. I’m feeling like more of an achiever. I’m feeling fitter and I’m going to look better’. So, think about the language that you’re using in implying pain to this problem and also then applying pleasure to the fact that you’ve moved on from it and that you’re going to do something different in the future.
So, if we look at particular N.L.P. techniques. Things like the swish pattern can be useful here. Things like Belief change. Compulsion blowouts, a horrible exercise that usually results in somebody throwing up and hypnosis is also particularly useful. It depends on what the problem is and who you’re working with as to which one of those techniques you might feel is most appropriate.
The most important thing I personally feel, the thing that can really create the tipping point on this is your own internal dialogue. Your own language, so depending on where you are at in terms of making the change, might depend on how you’re using your language. Now affirmations are very, very useful and very, very effective. It’s important though to use these affirmations correctly. So let me give you some ideas of the sorts of things that people might be affirming to themselves and how this might be useful or not so useful for them. So, let’s go with our smoking person. If they’re saying to themselves, I’m going to give up smoking. I’m going to give up smoking. What that statement tells us is that it’s something that’s going to happen in the future so they have not yet done it. And that also there’s this element of necessity. Okay, so it’s kind of essential that they do it, but they still haven’t done it yet.
Now, remember as well, every time we say the words smoking, even if it’s stop smoking, quit smoking, refrain from smoking, where is the focus going to be? Focus is going to be on smoking, isn’t it? So, it’s worthwhile remembering that. It’s probably not the best thing to affirm to yourself because if you’re doing that, you’re still bringing your attention back to smoking, even if you’re talking about not doing it.
So how about this one ‘I want to stop smoking’. Now this one again is in the future. They still haven’t done it yet and it’s more possibility than that necessity. It doesn’t have that sort of commitment sound to it does it? If we compare ‘I’m going to stop smoking’, there’s an element of certainty there, whereas if we have ‘I want to stop smoking’. It’s a bit like I want to but I might not. How about this one: ‘I will stop smoking’. Again, this one is in the future, it’s more essential, there’s more necessary to it, but the fact is they might stop smoking one day but that one day might be when they’re dead.
‘I will stop smoking’ – well when? Today, next week, next month, next year? So, it’s not as committal as we would really want to hear. ‘I’m trying to stop smoking’. That’s just the worst one, isn’t it. It’s in the present, which I guess is good, but the word ‘try’ don’t even get me started. If you want to know about the word ‘try’, listen to the previous podcast. Listen to the experiment on there and see if it works on you. Try is not essential. It’s definitely not committed. Okay how about this one: ‘I have stopped smoking’. Again, so this one is in the present ‘I have stopped smoking’. It implies that smoking did occur in the past but the word have has an element of possibility about it. So we could say there is still that option to smoke again in the future but I would say it’s certainly better than any of the others that we’ve said so far.
‘I do not smoke now and I will not smoke again’. Now this one is in the present. It implies permanence for the future even though there is a reference that smoking did occur in the past. This one sounds very definite doesn’t it? ‘I do not smoke now and I will not smoke again’. If somebody said that to you would be much more likely to believe them than any of the others that we’ve spoken about before.
So how about this one. ‘I’m going for a jog’. Now you’re probably wondering why that has nothing to do with it. Well really that’s my point because for this person smoking is not even in their focus. It’s not on their radar. It doesn’t exist in their universe. Their focus is nowhere near smoking so really who stands the best possible chance? Definitely the jogger and the fact that there jogging probably tells us that there are a whole lot fitter than the smokers are anyway.
Right so I hope that helps you out with regards to the compulsions and habits. There’s so much within that particular niche. There’s so many different ways of dealing with those problems but that’s a good thing because it means there’s lots and lots of different ways to move forward and there’s certainly something for everyone.
By Gemma Bailey