STOP technique prevents lapse

The STOP technique is really powerful self hypnosis technique which can work for issues like addiction, anger, weight management and any destructive behaviour and allows you to take back control of a situation when you are at risk of making a poor decision.


This technique uses one of the most powerful words in our vocabulary to help us snap out of a learned behaviour which we are choosing to change.


When in a situation where you are about to or are already doing something which undermines your change plans such as putting yourself in a high risk situation if you are a recovering addict or absentmindedly snacking if your issue is weight management or preparing to feel anxious if your issue is anxiety this technique is a very effective our of trance self hypnosis tool.


At the point you are aware that the behaviour is unhelpful, risky or is the activity that you want to end say to yourself either out loud or using your internal voice Stop!

Short, Sharp, Stop!
Loud and Clear


As you apply this voice it should be short, terse and clear. It should be said as a command. This use of this short, direct word will help you to snap out of the ‘auto-pilot’ behaviour and you can look at how you can get out of the situation. Exiting the situation can include calling others for support from your support network, moving away from the risk situation or to focus on another thought process.


For Alcohol Addiction you may use this technique if you find yourself pouring a glass of vodka, as soon as you are aware use the Stop! command, and withdraw from the room you are in and then call a friend to talk out the activity.


A similar approach could be used for self harming.

For Weight Management you could use the same approach, withdrawing from the situation until you able to put the food away or dispose of it, but first move away from the situation so that you can restore control of the situation by being and operating in the right frame of mind.


With Anger as soon as you are aware of the feelings you can use the command and use the technique of withdrawing or apologise for how you reacted but not for how you think or feel about a particular situation and you will come back to it later.


To enhance the STOP technique you should practise this before you need it and as part of this practise visualise either a hand with the upright palm in front of you as a police officer may display their stop sign, alternatively you could visualise a roadside stop sign. Visualise this very big so that it fills your field of vision and by using this combined with the word it will be very effective at helping you get control of a situation which is undermining your plans to make permanent changes.


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