How re-framing can help change bad habits

One of the main tools we use in hypnotherapy is re-framing. It enables clients to look at their past and their behaviours in a new light and gain a new perspective. When we keep viewing the past with the same eyes, we create the same story, the same thought processes, and the same patterns, keeping us stuck in our habits.

For example, when a smoker starts to feel stressed, their smoking program “switches on” and activates the thoughts, feelings and behaviours associated with that pattern that makes the person leave the stressful situation and go outside and have a smoke.

In the case of a binge eater, when they start to feel stressed or emotional, the ‘binge pattern’ will activate based on past experiences, and they will open the fridge door and grab whatever is there that will alleviate their stressed or emotional feeling through food…because it has worked in the past.

What is re-framing?

Re-framing is used when there is a secondary gain at play. If keeping you eating helps to relieve stress, that’s what will continue to occur until a better solution is found. The same with smoking. If smoking creates an escape from the stress, to the subconscious mind, that’s a positive and a proven tool to alleviate stress, so until a better alternative is available, trying to quit cigarettes using will power alone, will be difficult.  

When we carry out re-framing in hypnosis, we look at new ways of behaving more appropriately to deal with the core issue, in the examples, it’s the stress. The client is always in control and they choose the new behaviours they would like to carry out.

If it’s smoking, they may choose to take a deep breath and calm naturally or they may stop and have a drink of water until the stressful feeling goes away.

With binge eating, it may be to go for a walk or call a trusted friend if they start feeling emotional.

Re-framing is powerful because it gives you choice.

It gives you new options to behave in new ways and not just become a slave to your habits. Yes, you can do this consciously, however, when you carry out re-framing in hypnosis, it is much easier and quicker!

In hypnosis, we also carry out future pacing, where you can visualize the newly constructed patterns of behaviour within relevant future contexts. Imagining and feeling the new behaviours playing out is so powerful. It allows you to re-wire your brain and create new neural pathways. The brain doesn’t know the difference between what is real and what is imagined which is why working in hypnosis is so powerful for changing habits, and why so many people quit smoking and lose weight with the help of hypnotherapy.

Are you ready to change your bad habits and start creating better ones?


Published by Mindful Hypnotherapy and Wellness

Hi! I'm a clinical hypnotherapist, massage therapist, yoga and meditation teacher. I study and practice Buddhism and am always learning more about the mind. I live in the beautiful Gold Coast Hinterlands and love to relax and chill out in nature. Namaste xx

One thought on “How re-framing can help change bad habits

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