NLP can help abolish many bad or unwanted habits and behaviors, such as smoking, overeating, nail biting, etc.
An effective NLP technique for breaking bad habits is the Swish pattern. It is highly recommended for breaking unwanted habits. 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.
The Swish pattern has different variations; here are two simple ways of executing it:
1st Step: 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.
2nd Step: 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.
3rd Step: Keep the two images separated from one another–either side by side in your mind, or you can have one picture behind the other.
4th Step: 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.
5th Step: 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.
6th Step: 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.
7th Step: 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.
Another even simpler Swish variation for breaking bad habits goes like this: Start out visualizing yourself performing the habit or behavior you want to break. Again, you can add in the trigger that occurs just before you perform your unwanted habit. Then visualize yourself performing your substitute habit that is a good, productive replacement.
Now see yourself pushing the image of the bad habit away while you perform the replacement habit. Imagine an image of yourself in a very positive state. You imagine starting to perform the unwanted habit, see yourself stopping the behavior, and snap your fingers. The last step is to visualize yourself in the positive state doing something that affirms you have broken the bad habit, such as performing your substitute habit instead.
Practice this a number of times until you automatically do this sequence before performing the old habit, and you should begin to find yourself choosing to perform the replacement habit now instead of the old habit, and feeling really good about yourself as you execute the new habit.