What if behavior change can be simple?
By Lori Hammond
Coach and Professional Hypnotist. Giving you simple tools to stop overwhelm and harness joyful forward momentum.
If I could show you a simple way to make positive habits become automatic, would you be interested?
Read on because I think you're going to love this one.
When I was a hairstylist I had a few clients who refused to use professional shampoo on their hair.
They paid premium rates for their haircuts and color but didn't understand the importance of using quality products.
One of my favorite clients had long, massively thick hair. She almost always kept it in a ponytail because it was hard to manage.
Every time she came in I had to wash her hair 3 times to get the buildup from her grocery store shampoo out of her hair so I could get a comb or brush through it.
At the end of her appointments I gently suggested quality hair products because I knew they would make her hair manageable and let her wear her hair down if she wanted to.
At one appointment she finally decided to try out my recommendations.
Then she returned them 2 weeks later.
Her hair felt weird to her and she was so used to the build up, she didn't know what to do with it.
Learning Feels Frustrating
When I was learning to apply hair color my instructor told me,
"That frustrated feeling you feel is called learning. The reason it seems overwhelming and makes you want to throw your color brush across the room is because you're forming new neural pathways that will make this automatic."
She was right. In time it became soothing... almost meditative... to apply color.
Creating New Behaviors
The same principles apply to habit change.
New habits feel so weird at first!
Like switching the cheap shampoo for the nourishing, healthy brand.
We're used to the old way of doing things....
- Over eating/drinking/smoking etc.
- Feeling anxious or overwhelmed
Then we learn new tools and ways to stop procrastinating, over eating, or feeling anxious and we try out new behaviors for a few days or a few weeks.
It feels uncomfortable! It feels frustrating and overwhelming.
It's easy and automatic to go back to the old familiar way of doing things, even if it was making us miserable.
Learning new habits feels weird. It feels frustrating.
We don't see immediate results so we go back to doing it the same way we've always done it because it's easy and comfortable.
Sometimes humans would rather be comfortable doing something familiar that makes them miserable...
Than be frustrated and overwhelmed doing something unfamiliar that will make life better.
I'm about to show you a 2-second neuroscience hack that speeds the process of making new, uncomfortable habits automatic.
I'm talking about habits like daily exercise, or sitting down to write that book, or eating healthy food instead of junk food.
This trick works for reinforcing any positive behavior you want to do on autopilot.
The 2-Second Celebration
Before I give you this secret, there's something you should know.
New habits do not become automatic while we're practicing the skill. They become automatic when we sleep and dream at night, or when we're in a hypnotic trance or meditative state.
But how does your brain know what habits to make automatic?
It knows because you tell it to!
Every time you notice yourself doing your new habit, have a 2 second celebration.
You automatically re-create what you celebrate.
All you need to do is smile big and tell yourself, "Good job! I did it"
Then tell your unconscious mind - which is always paying attention to your thoughts - "I want to make this automatic."
Doing this shine a spotlight on the behavior you want to keep so your brain knows what to work on while you sleep.
It's really really important that you don't wait until you've "arrived" to do the 2-Second Celebration. If your goal is to run a 5K, celebrate lacing up your running shoes. Celebrate yourself for every practice run or walk - no matter how slow you are.
If your goal is to write a book, celebrate yourself for writing one crappy sentence.
If your goal is to eat less, celebrate yourself for leaving one bite of cheesecake on the plate.
Your brain pays attention and makes it easier and easier to automatically make progress toward your goal.
This principle works for good or "evil"
This principle is already working in your life.
If you feel guilty and beat yourself up when you do something "wrong" you are shining a spotlight on the behavior you don't want.
Guilt and shame are a negative celebration that tell the unconscious mind, "I want more of this. Make this automatic."
How do I remember?
If you want to remember to celebrate your success do this now...
Vividly imagine yourself doing the new habit you want to create. Pretend you're inside your body, doing the habit...
...seeing what you'll see
...hearing what you'll hear
...feeling what you'll feel.
Now mentally rehearse saying, "Good job! I did it!"
BONUS points for putting your hands up in victory.
When you mentally rehearse doing the things you want to do, the automatic part of your brain reminds you to do them.
Thank you for reading this Cheat Sheet.
P.S. If one of the new habits you want to create is doing group calls over Zoom (for hypnosis sessions or any other reason), Cassie and I have a "Mastering Group Hypnosis" training that shows you how to create powerful group sessions with confidence. I've been doing group Zoom calls most every week for the past 4 years (since before the pandemic) and this is the program I wish I would've had when I was figuring things out through trial and error. May I gently suggest you invest in learning the shortcut to mastering group calls really quickly and have an absolute blast doing it?LEARN MORE ABOUT MASTERING GROUP SESSION
Join Lori's Next Group Hypnosis Session
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Join me for a deeply relaxing, enjoyable group hypnosis session this coming Tuesday.
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