The Swish technique in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) can help abolish unwanted habits and behaviors, such as smoking, overeating, nail-biting, etc, and replace them with desired behaviour. It works by changing your focus just when you are about to drop into the old habit unconsciously, putting the newly-introduced desirable habit into your conscious mind as a substitute, thus changing your focus and making you consciously aware of what you are about to do.
Note that whenever desiring to break a habit, it is very important to substitute a more desirable habit in its place. Trying to break a bad habit without substituting some desirable alternative in its place leaves a void, and the unconscious may try to replace the void by bringing back the old bad habit or another unwanted behavior in its place.
Here is the complete method explained in simple steps:
Step 1: You start out visualizing yourself performing the habit or behavior you want to break. You may also want to include a specific trigger that may occur before you break into this bad habit in your mental image.
Step 2: Now visualize yourself performing a substitute habit that is positive and productive – something that you can easily slip in as an alternative to the bad habit.
Step 3: Keep the two images separated from one another – either side by side in your mind, or you can have one picture behind the other.
Step 4: Envision the image of yourself engaged in the good (substitute) habit, and have this picture quickly fly into the image of you doing the unwanted habit.
Step 5: See the unwanted image actually smash into and through the bad-habit image. Imagine the bad-habit image shattering into a thousand pieces like shards of glass.
Step 6: It can actually be very effective to make a sound out loud, a “swoosh” or “swish” sound, each time you envision the two images colliding and crashing, and see the good-habit image now replace the bad-habit image.
Step 7: It’s a good idea to repeat this process at least once a day, or more at first until the good habit begins to become ingrained and you are no longer unconsciously performing the bad habit, but are now always aware that you have a choice.
This is one simple and effective method. It’s like having an angel that appears, gently changing your focus and reminding you if you start to revert back into the bad habit.
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