Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):
Most habits are hard to break for two main reasons. First, many habits seem
to fill a basic need most people have today – the need to relieve stress and/or the need for
pleasure or happiness. Since the vast majority of people are either stressed or depressed a good
part of the time, one can see how easy it is to fall prey to certain habits especially habits of
excess. This also explains why people who stop one bad habit (e.g. smoking) without doing something
about the need factor often find another (e.g. overeating) taking its place.
The second major reason habits are hard to break is that even if you can do something about the
needs that a habit fulfills, once a habit is deeply ingrained, it becomes automatic, involuntary
or sub-conscious, i.e. the old habit automatically kicks in before you have a chance to replace it
with a new positive one. Thus, if you wish to break a bad habit, you need to:
- Take care of the need factor, and
- Re-program yourself so that the new positive habit
automatically kicks in before the old one does.
This handbook presents a program that has effectively dealt with both of these factors.
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The Habit Buster™ program presented in the handbook
is an outgrowth of a highly effective proven method for giving people greater control over all aspects
of their lives. The method, referred to as Self-Programmed Control (SPC ),
was developed by clinical psychologist Alfred A. Barrios, Ph.D., as a result of years of research in
the areas of higher order (Pavlovian) conditioning, cognitive restructuring, guided imagery and
biofeedback. There are basically three parts to the Habit Buster program:
Part One presents some simple but powerful SPC techniques
for increasing your mental focus and willpower. This gives you a strong feeling of hope and
confidence that you can indeed accomplish your goals.
Part Two involves a unique biofeedback device called the
Habit Buster Biofeedback Card. This device allows you to eliminate
the urge or need for the habit right at the moment of need. Whenever you feel the urge,
instead of reaching for your habit you will reach for the card and perform the
SPC techniques on the back until the urge has disappeared.
Part Three involves a procedure known as focused visualization or Self-Programming.
In the more highly focused and relaxed state of mind produced by the
SPC techniques, you will be able to self-program in the new habit
so that it will automatically kick in before the old one has a chance to rear its ugly head.
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This habit breaking program has been tested and researched
in at least four different colleges and universities. The results achieved at East Los Angeles
College, UCLA, Santa Monica College and Southwest College will give you some idea of how effective
this program can be for habits of excess. An anonymous questionnaire given to a total of 313 students
at the completion of the SPC class asked the students to (a) list those areas they had been excessive
in prior to the class and (b) indicate which of these areas they had overcome as a result of the class.
The following are the tabulated results of the percentages of students overcoming their excesses:
|Food 78% (100 of 129)
||Cigarettes 73% (52 of 71)
|Alcohol 92% (59 of 64)
||Television 86% (120 of 140)
|Marijuana 72% (31 of 43)
||Other Drugs 83% (16 of 19)
Such startling results show that habits can be broken easily by using these remarkable new techniques,
all based on the power of your own mind. What some people call willpower, or self control, can be learned.
You now have in your hands the tools that can break all of your bad habits, all you need is
the commitment to use them.
[If you plan to use the Habit Buster program for a habit of physical
addiction to drugs or alcohol, it is strongly recommended that your withdrawal
phase be monitored by your physician.]
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