Are Your Daily HABITS Serving or Sabotaging You?

Did you know that inspiration can get you started— but HABITS keep you going? Author Jim Rohn’s motivational philosophy reminds us that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. For this reason, he might ask us: “Who’s in charge of your life—do you run the day or does the day run you?” 179286030

Unfortunately, a lot of us probably feel that the days (and the needs of others) continually run us. And, let’s face it; we live in an intense time where stressful demands often come at us from multiple directions: kids, aging parents, spouses, clients, bosses….

So, when you think about your daily HABITS, would you say that they are serving or sabotaging your health and wellbeing? For example, when you feel stressed, how do you respond? Do you have a HABIT of reaching for any of these?

a) Salty, crunchy, deep-fried snacks
b) Excessive sweets (notice that “desserts” is “stressed” spelled backwards)
c) Another glass of wine
d) A cigarette
e) All of the above

Now, since stress is a normal part of life, it can be helpful to develop healthy HABITS that include using “self-care tools” to navigate our responses to the twists and turns of our days. Changing deeply ingrained HABITS is no small order; however, self-hypnosis, is one “practical tool” that I personally would find difficult to get along without.
In fact, when I’m unable to sleep, one of my most effective relaxation techniques is practicing self-hypnosis. I teach many of my clients how to use self-hypnosis to overcome insomnia and get a good night’s sleep.

Now, let’s be honest—when many of you hear the term “hypnosis,” you probably think about the eerie mind-control scenarios from Hollywood’s depictions. Or, if you’ve seen stage hypnosis, then you picture a guy with a pendulum telling you to quack like a duck. So let me share with you that stage hypnosis is for entertainment, whereas hypnotherapy is a powerful tool…for positive transformation.

What is Hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy is a way to relax and calm your mind, body, and emotions in order to enter a focused state where challenges and unhealthy HABITS can be explored. Because the imagination is activated, hypnotherapy is sometimes called “guided imagery.”

Hypnotherapy addresses unhealthy HABITS at a deep, unconscious level—below the surface—to explore issues from the inside out. And just so you know, many of my clients, after completing their first hypnotherapy sessions, express surprise at how inspiring their hypnotherapy experiences were (often with a grateful tear in their eye).

What is a Positive Suggestion?
A positive suggestion is a positive statement that relates to a goal. When someone is in a deeply relaxed state during hypnotherapy, his or her unconscious mind can become open and receptive to positive suggestions. A positive suggestion is often the opposite of the self-defeating HABIT that the person wants to change.

For example, when clients come to see me with a goal to lower their stress levels, they are often receptive to these positive suggestions:

 I prioritize daily tasks and enthusiastically accomplish them one by one
 I feel satisfied after completing each task (and I offer myself positive strokes)
 I know that I am capable of reaching my goals (one step at a time)
 I eat healthy meals slowly and mindfully
 I enjoy moving and exercising—and it feels great!
 I take quality time for myself each day

So, if it feels right, call me and consider adding self-hypnosis to your “self-care toolkit.” Then, you can begin creating daily HABITS that serve—rather than sabotage—your success.

Finally, keep in mind that growing healthy HABITS is like gardening. First, we patiently remove the unwanted weeds. Next, we consistently water each desired seed. Then, before we know it, we find ourselves standing in the center…of a rich and colorful life!

Don’t Miss Trina’s Upcoming Workshops:

1) “The ZEN of Sketching,” for details go to and click on “Private Sessions & Workshops.” Join us for this CREATIVE FUN!

2) Save the Date: Workshop for women and men—Managing Emotional and Compulsive Eating—at John Muir Women’s Health Center in Walnut Creek: Thursday, Oct 16, 6:30-8:30 pm. Cost: $40 (Includes Weight Loss: 2-CD set). Seats are limited—register today for this inspiring workshop: (925) 941-7900 option 3.

Trina Swerdlow, BFA, CCHT, is a Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, an artist, and the author of Stress Reduction Journal. She currently has a private practice in downtown Danville. Trina passionately supports her clients in reaching their goals. You can reach her at: (925) 285.5759, or

Certified Clinical Hypnotherapy services in California can be alternative or complementary to licensed healing arts, such as psychotherapy.