Habits

Path
              through the grassThe subconscious mind is most definitely a creature of habit. Its natural function is to find repeated patterns and follow them automatically. That is why practice makes perfect. It is how we learn to do all the things we no longer need to consciously think about, like breathing, walking, speaking a native language or more deliberately learned skills like riding a bicycle, swimming or playing a musical instrument.

The brain is structured such that every experience triggers a pattern of energetic bursts connecting chains of brain cells (neurons) along connecting neural pathways. A new experience means a new neural pathway is created, and when the behaviour or thought is repeated often enough, the first step is soon enough for the subconscious to take over and the rest of the pattern happens automatically. Rather like a well-trodden path through a grassy field, it becomes the obvious way to go.

Of course, the pathway itself is not the reason for the journey. The destination is what matters, and this is frequently a desired feeling. The pathway might be nail biting, the destination a feeling of comfort. The pathway might be a cigarette, the destination perhaps a relaxing moment away from the desk.

The art of the therapist is to preserve the destination - the good feeling - but to programme a different route through the grassy field, so the original path becomes "grown over" with disuse and a new, less harmful behaviour replaces the original one. This can be a simple gesture or a different way of accessing the desired feeling; installed hypnotically and using NLP to rapidly replace the old habit.

If you want to know more about how this could benefit you, you can contact me using this link.