Did you know, Hypnosis and Neuro-Linguistic Programming can be very helpful in overcoming addictions?

Clients are often frustrated by their addictive behavior with alcohol. It can be a very perplexing challenge.

As a hypnotherapist and NLP practitioner and coach, I like to look at it from a behavioral point of view and from the perspective of “consciousness.” So what is consciousness? What is reality? What is experience?

Consciousness is everything…it’s the essence of being human, experiencing life. Consciousness is energy and is unlimited.

So, why do we do the things we do? Why do we experience life, joy and pain the way we do? Why do we limit ourselves?

How does alcohol play a role in our experience? Why do some people have problems and others do not?

Consciousness

We are all walking around in our own level of hypnosis and version of reality. (Hypnosis being a state of mind or a brain wave.)

Our brain will only allow so much information into our conscious awareness. It’s estimated there are approximately 2 million bits of sensory data for us to experience at any given moment.

However, the tiny part of our brain called the Reticular Activating System filters those bits of information and the maximum a human is capable of experiencing is around 138 bits of those 2 million bits (a tiny fraction of what’s available).

A conversation with someone is approximately 40 bits. That’s why when you’re at a party, several people talking to you at once (40 bits X 4 = 160 bits) is about all you can intelligibly process, while the rest of the crowd just sounds like a murmur.

That just means we’re missing out on a whole lot of experience.

You play a part in creating your own reality. If alcohol is part of your reality, it’s taking up a lot of what’s available for you to experience.

So, what determines what we experience? How do we choose our life experience?

You may have guessed…our beliefs about what is true for us are the deciding factors regarding what information we allow into our awareness. So it’s completely accurate to say: You create your own version of reality based on what you believe is true.

So how does addiction play into this, and in particular alcohol? And, how can we overcome it?

Alcohol for most people seems pretty harmless right? Some grow up seeing their parents enjoying their 5 o’clock cocktails, or wine toasts over Thanksgiving dinner and it seems pretty neat. We start making the connection between family functions and fun with alcohol.

Many of us have had a good laugh as Uncle Bob drank too much and fell down or did something stupid, grown-ups acting ridiculous. Although, as a child, watching a parent overindulge in alcohol on a daily basis is horrifying and lonely. Unfortunately, and quite typically, some will copy their exact behavior once they become old enough to do so. Why?

Our beliefs mold our behaviors. When we are young, prior to age 12 or so, our parents or figures of authority and their behaviors and beliefs can become our own, whether we like it or not. Our minds are not capable of deciphering good and bad…experience just “is.” We don’t have the level of consciousness maturity to start making judgments and decisions for ourselves. If mom and dad are doing it, that must be the way it’s done.

These beliefs become dominant in our subconscious mind and dictate our behaviors.

The 2nd aspect of the mystery of alcohol is the general theme surrounding it in society. We are bombarded daily by messages glamorizing alcohol. It’s everywhere and you’re probably not even aware of it. Television ads, movies, billboards and restaurants, friends and parties, events, family gatherings, funerals, tragedies, stressful days at work, all become motivation to rationalize a reason to drink. Looking at it from the behavioral point of view, it’s quite comical.

I was recently made aware of the barrage of songs on the radio all revolving around heartache and whiskey. I hadn’t even noticed. It did give me a good laugh though.

Alcohol is NOT glamorous. What it truly is: Toxic Poison which has been packaged in all sorts of pretty ways.

A person addicted to alcohol has bought into the belief that alcohol is good and improves everything. In all transparency, it’s not really your fault…we are constantly being brain washed to believe in this trickster. However, no one has to be a victim of this brainwashing. It is possible to take back control. Bring the light of your awareness to the party.

As a hypnotherapist, coach and Neuro-Linguistic Programming expert, the work we do promotes becoming more consciously aware of our “unconscious” processes.

Most of the decisions you make are based on beliefs held in your subconscious mind. You’re not aware of this at the “conscious” or wide-awake state of mind. However, if you focus your attention on it and observe what’s really going on, you can start making changes that are true for you, that is, not based on unconscious beliefs and societal programming.

Your parents may have been caught in the same trap, so there’s no need to point fingers or blame others. No, in fact, it’s time to move on and accept responsibility for your own beliefs and behaviors. Be aware you’re being (and you’ve been) programmed.

Figure out what’s really true for you. Be honest with yourself: How much of a role does alcohol play in your life? What is it costing you physically, mentally, emotionally, financially and in your relationships? What do you really want? How do you want to experience life?

Imagine or get a vision of what it could be like if you were free from this trap, living a clear-headed, sober life?

You may realize how much time, energy and money you’ve wasted poisoning yourself. You may also realize the belief that alcohol makes your experiences better or more fun is not true. In fact, alcohol can rob you of your memories and your health.

If you’re struggling with alcohol, a qualified hypnotherapist and NLP specialist could really help you through the process to recovery. There are many behavioral tools which can benefit you greatly in overcoming destructive behavior and learning to manage the underlying emotions and beliefs that are at the root of the problem.