For example, when subjects were told not to eat chocolates sitting right in front of them, their persistence in puzzle solving deteriorated. When they were told to suppress an emotional reaction to a movie, they had problems solving a solvable anagram.
This is the overwhelming reason why willpower only works in the short term. You only have the conscious resources to exhibit willpower on one (or at the most two) fronts at one time. This is why it is SO HARD to stay disciplined with eating, exercise, setting new goals, studying, and the like.
Any self-regulatory strategy has costs with respect to depleting a person’s general resources for self-regulation.
Accomplishing Goals without Depleting Willpower
Willpower works in your conscious mind because you are constantly thinking about the change that you are trying to accomplish. Now, your conscious mind is only able to process approximately 50 bits of information a second, while your unconscious mind processes approximately 11 million bits per second. That means your unconscious mind processes information about 220 THOUSAND TIMES FASTER than your conscious mind.
Much of the time, your conscious mind is actually the bottleneck towards effecting true change, as its main role is getting you through the day in the "here and now" and setting long term goals. Researchers call this “Executive Control.
The Trick Is to Have the Triggers for Your Desired Behaviors Reside in Your Unconscious Mind
For example, if your goal is weight control, you would naturally want your unconscious mind to automatically desire healthy green foods, water, healthy portions, exercise, etc. without having to think about it consciously. Think about it for a moment. Non-smokers don't have the urge to smoke because they are not sitting there thinking about cigarettes the whole day. So if a smoker could erase cigarettes from their mind, they too would naturally not feel the urge to smoke.
In addition, if your goal is to be more productive, you would want the actions of setting goals, rewarding yourself for success and focusing on your projects to be automatic. If you have to consciously think about it all the time, you will exhaust your resources.
If your goal is to have a better relationship, you would want to somehow program in natural triggers for listening, paying attention, giving space, and showing empathy, instead of always having to think about them.
So there you have it. Things seem to be a whole lot easier when we automatically think about them in a certain way. That is why hypnosis is such a great tool. It not only helps to erase our negitive behaviors, but you can also insert positive ones as well.
Change Your Life With Hypnosis