The unconscious mind is the part of our mind that operates outside of our conscious awareness, influencing our thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
The unconscious mind plays a significant role in shaping our behavior, including our habits.
How the Unconscious Mind Prevents Changing Habits
It can sometimes prevent us from changing habits due to the following reasons:
- Habitual patterns: The unconscious mind learns and reinforces patterns over time. These deeply ingrained habits become automatic responses, making it difficult to change them consciously.
- Emotional associations: Unconscious emotional associations with certain habits may hinder change. For example, if a habit provides comfort or a sense of security, the unconscious mind may resist letting go of it.
- Resistance to change: The unconscious mind often prefers familiarity and stability. As a result, it may resist any attempts to change habits, even if they are detrimental.
- Cognitive dissonance: The unconscious mind may hold conflicting beliefs or values, leading to cognitive dissonance. This dissonance can make it challenging to change habits, as it can cause anxiety or discomfort.
- Limiting beliefs: The unconscious mind may hold limiting beliefs that can prevent us from changing habits. These beliefs may stem from past experiences, conditioning, or societal expectations.
How the Unconscious Mind Helps in Habit Change
We can leverage the influence of unconscious mind to support habit change by using techniques that tap into its power.
Here’s how the unconscious mind can be involved in habit change:
- Visualization: Visualization is a technique where you mentally rehearse a desired outcome or behavior. By repeatedly visualizing yourself engaging in a new habit or achieving a goal, you can influence your unconscious mind, making it more likely that you’ll adopt the new behavior.
- Affirmations: Positive affirmations are statements that you repeat to yourself to reinforce desired beliefs or behaviors. By consistently using affirmations, you can influence your unconscious mind and create a more supportive mindset for habit change.
- Hypnotherapy: Hypnotherapy is a therapeutic technique that uses guided relaxation and focused attention to access the unconscious mind. During hypnotherapy, suggestions for habit change can be introduced, potentially influencing the unconscious mind and making it easier to adopt new habits.
- Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT): EFT, also known as tapping, is a technique that involves tapping on specific acupressure points while focusing on a particular issue, such as a habit you want to change. This technique is thought to help release negative emotions and beliefs held in the unconscious mind, creating a more supportive environment for habit change.
- Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR): EMDR is a psychotherapeutic technique primarily used to treat trauma-related disorders, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It involves recalling distressing memories while simultaneously undergoing bilateral stimulation, such as eye movements, taps, or tones. The goal of EMDR is to reduce the emotional intensity of traumatic memories and reprocess them in a healthier way. EMDR can potentially help you address emotional barriers or trauma that may be contributing to your habits, making it easier to adopt new behaviors.
- Proprioceptive Deep Tendon Reflex (PDTR): PDTR is a neurological therapy that focuses on identifying and addressing dysfunctional reflexes and their impact on the body’s proprioceptive system. By using manual muscle testing and other techniques, PDTR practitioners can identify and treat the root causes of various physical and neurological symptoms. PDTR may help improve your physical and neurological functioning, which could indirectly support your habit change efforts.