Habits can be wonderful, automating many things we once found difficult to do. Think back on when you learned how to drive. Initially, it was difficult to remember everything you needed to do as you drove down the road. Later, you found it easy to navigate your car through a city. Everything you needed to do became habitual.
Unfortunately, while habits can make our lives easier, they also have a dark side. Some habits can make life more difficult.
Good and Bad Habits
Since habits can help or hurt us, we differentiate them as either “good habits” or “bad habits.” Obviously, there is nothing we need to do about good habits, other than reinforce them. It’s always a good idea to cultivate habits that improve the quality of our lives. Getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy diet are examples of good habits.
We only need to get rid of our bad habits since they don’t serve us well. Bad habits range from mild to severe. They are often extremely difficult to break.
Psychologists have developed many ways to drop harmful habits. While most are effective to some degree, two particularly effective ways of getting rid of bad habits are aversion therapy and hypnotherapy.
Let us look at how these two therapies could break bad habits like nail-biting, smoking, drinking, worrying, and procrastinating.
Aversion therapies help people break bad habits by associating something unpleasant with their habits. This therapy is often used for addictive behavior.
For example, nail-biting, whose scientific name is onychophagia, is a habit that people developed to reduce stress. They learned to associate it with experiencing immediate relief from stress, anxiety, excitement, nervousness, or boredom. Furthermore, biting your nails can also ruin your teeth. To maintain good dental health, you should visit this reputable dentist.
The habit can become so automated that people chew on their nails without even realizing it. They bite their nails to calm down when watching a television show, reading a book, or chatting on the telephone.
Nail-biting isn’t restricted to just gnawing on the nail itself. A person may also chew on their cuticles and the skin around the nail.
In the short term, nail-biting causes fingers to get swollen and sore and cuticles to bleed. It often causes infections around the nail and in the lips and gums. In the long run, nail-biting can lead to deformed nails and the disruption of normal nail growth.
One simple but effective method to stop nail biting requires the use of special nail polish. Bittering agents present in Stop the Bite nail polish make nail-biting an unpalatable experience. This special type of nail polish does not contain any toxic chemicals. It’s also animal cruelty-free and vegan.
Aversion therapy is also effective for other addictive habits like smoking or drinking. Smokers will stop smoking if cigarettes are made to taste unpleasant.
Alcoholics will stop drinking if they come to hate the flavor of their favorite alcoholic beverages.
Hypnotherapy is another highly effective way of breaking unhealthy habits, and it can get rid of any habit. Although it can work for the same issues as aversion therapy, it is especially effective with less tangible habits like excessive worrying or constant procrastination.
It’s possible to practice self-hypnosis by listening to a self-hypnotic recording, but it is far more effective if a person sees a professional hypnotherapist. All a person seeing a hypnotherapist has to do is relax, follow hypnotic suggestions, and slip into a drowsy state.
Since subjects don’t have to monitor their hypnotic session, they go into a deeper state than if they tried self-hypnosis. Besides inducing a deeper state, a professional hypnotherapist will also design a customized treatment plan for them.
In fact, subjects may go into such a deep state that they don’t remember anything about the session. This lack of conscious awareness allows the hypnotist to effectively program their subconscious mind.
What Makes Therapy Effective
Therapy, regardless of the type a person uses, does not always work if they have a strong unconscious resistance to change. For therapy to be effective a person has to make a strong commitment to change.