Overcoming Unwanted Habits with NLP

overcome unwanted habits with nlp

What we repeatedly do have a massive impact on our life. That’s when our HABITS come in. Our habits drive our life. We have a list of habits from the day we are born till now, some of them help us grow and some create messes in our lives. It is said “Good habits are difficult to form and easy to live with, and bad habits are easy to form but difficult to live with.” It really becomes very difficult for some people to get rid of their unwanted habits.

It ranges from minor to major unwanted habits. It could be nail biting, picking your nose, gossiping, overeating, overspending, smoking, and so on. We start them because in some way they make us comfortable and that’s the reason, our brain keeps urging us to repeat them.

You may be surprised to see how quickly you can learn to change your habits — if you really WANT to.

So often our habits serve us well. Do you remember learning to tie your shoelaces, for example?

It was a struggle at first, wasn’t it? It gradually became easier and easier.

I suspect that when you now tie your shoelaces you don’t even think about it most of the time, and often it is done in a rush.
That simple task, just like driving a motor vehicle or brushing your teeth, has become such a habit that you don’t have to consider it.

This is how our brains make things easy for us. But now and again we get into bad habits: we eat too much; we drink too much alcohol; we smoke and don’t know how to stop.

This is the time when NLP helps you get rid of such unwanted habits quickly and effortlessly. There are several techniques which can help you to overcome your unwanted habits. One of them is a Swish Pattern.


The swish pattern is a form of pattern interrupt designed to assist us in changing direction – to interrupt the pattern we have been running (problem state or behaviour) and replace it with a more useful pattern (desired state or behaviour). “It works by changing your focus just when you are about to drop into the old habit unconsciously, putting a newly-introduced desirable habit into your conscious mind as a substitute. This interruption changes your focus and makes you consciously aware of what you are about to do.

Remember, whenever you desire 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 fill the void by bringing back the old bad habit or another unwanted behavior in its place.

Another powerful NLP technique is Anchoring.


Anchoring is one of a number of NLP techniques for bringing about significant change in a person’s life. Using the anchor, we can trigger certain behaviors, thought patterns, or emotions, and change aspects of our lives. Anchoring is an excellent technique for helping people stop cravings and get rid of bad habits.

An anchor is simply a connection between a stimulus and a certain emotional response. In psychology, it is referred to as Conditioned response.

Here’s a common example:

When you drive up to a traffic signal and see a red light, there’s a good chance you brake without thinking about it. This is an unconscious process. While you probably had to think hard about it when you first learned to drive, the response is now automatic.

When you see a national flag or listen to your favourite song, what happens? You have a different kind of feelings, isn’t it? it just change your state without even thinking about it. These are all anchors.

Most of the time, we don’t know that anchoring is happening in our lives, since its outside consciousness. However, when we do it on purpose, we can train ourselves to overcome our unwanted habits, such as quitting smoking, becoming comfortable with something that frightens us, or losing weight.

You probably do it all the time without noticing. Every time you smile and compliment your restaurant wait staff, you’re creating an anchor that tells them you’re pleasant to serve. The next time you go to that restaurant, you’ll probably get better service just by repeating the anchor – a smile and a compliment.

Creating these types of anchors in yourself and others can make a huge difference in your life. Swish pattern and Anchoring are a couple of the most powerful techniques NLP has to offer.

There are quite few more, which can bring the wonders in your life. These techniques and its applications are covered in depth with live demonstrations at our NLP Practitioner programs.

Overcome your unwanted habits and live a fulfilling life. Stay blessed.