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A habit starts with a decision…

A habit starts with a decision… A decision that was made a long time ago for reasons that may or may not be valid anymore. Most decisions are straight forward: “This is how we handle situation X.” For example, when we hear someone call our name, we turn around. Other decisions are more complicated....

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Addictions, Phobias, and How They’re Alike

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in healing, Mental Health | Posted on 08-01-2017

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Addictions, Phobias, and How They’re Alike

A hypnotherapy teacher I once had shared her belief that drug addicts and people with severe fears/phobias have “entities” attached to them. Instantly, a picture flashed in my mind of slimy gremlins with teeth and claws, clinging to innocent humans. I began getting freaked out, and had to ask her to explain! According to the teacher, addiction itself becomes like a person—a parasite, really—that is secretly running the life of its host, sapping all their joy. The same is true for someone who lives with acute fear(s), which completely overpowers them and controls their behavior, emotions, words, and decisions.

I can’t say I’m willing to think of a drug addict or fear-ridden person as plagued by a parasitic entity…that’s a couple steps into the realm of “too weird” for me. However, in my work with clients over the years, I have come to understand what my early teacher was talking about.

For example, someone with a strong fear of driving is compelled to check in with that phobia before making any plans requiring travel. Person to Fear: “Would it be okay if I go visit Grandma on Saturday, or will you cripple me with terror and make me hyperventilate when I get in the car?” Fear to Person: “NO! You can’t go! What are you thinking? You would have to drive on the freeway, and I won’t let you do that!” At this point, the sufferer crawls into him- or herself and starts feeling anxious before they’ve even gotten anywhere near the car. They’re defeated once again, and their life just keeps getting smaller. In addition to that, they now have to make an embarrassing phone call to Grandma explaining (i.e. making up) the reason why they can’t come and see her.

Drug addicts have it even worse, as that drug, or more accurately, the need to keep that drug flowing through their bodies, literally consumes most of their waking thoughts. The fear of not having access to that drug totally runs their lives. I include food addiction in this category, as anyone who has an issue with food will tell you that thinking about it takes up a huge amount of their time. The only difference is that food addiction is quite a bit less destructive than drug addiction—or at least, less immediately destructive.

To make matters worse, in both cases, people around the afflicted person do not understand why that individual can’t “just stop” taking the drug or overeating. Why can’t that phobic individual “just get over it”? People who don’t have these problems simply don’t comprehend how difficult it is for people who do.

If you suffer from an addiction or phobia, what can you do? Get professional help. Like a weed planted in your back yard, either one of these issues will grow like crazy unless you do something early, when they’re less deeply rooted. From my experience with clients, it’s apparent that if ignored, these problems fester and get bigger—one small, mildly annoying fear can blossom into five huge, debilitating ones. With drugs, it’s even worse. These days, there are illicit drugs that can hook users after just one dose. Others may take longer, but it’s unsafe to experiment.

Both addiction and dysfunctional fear, which as you can see have certain similarities, are not only devastating to the person affected, but to everyone around them, including their family and loved ones.  Getting help might be easier if you consider that these issues affect more than just you. I, myself, am the daughter of a person who suffered from severe fears and phobias, and over time I’ve had to confront the detrimental effects this had on my own psyche. Please! Love yourself and your family enough to do the work to heal, because all of you deserve the best life possible.

And if you need help, Give me a call today!

Jill Thomas 760-803-2841


The Cluster of Fears

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-05-2016

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Usually when I work with a client on fears, we focus on one or two at a time. A client who is afraid of spiders usually doesn’t have other non-bug related fears to look at. The client who is afraid of flying typically isn’t afraid of heights as well. Usually these fears are the result of either a single traumatic event or having taken on someone else’s fear (such as a parent). But,  every once in a while I see a client who is afraid of a large amount of seemingly unrelated things—heights, flying, escalators, driving on the freeway, hospitals, tight places, etc. All of these at the same time typically aren’t about a single traumatic event that can be pointed to and healed.

At first glance, these fears may not seem related at all, but if you look deeper, you can see that the root fear is a loss of control. For example, if you are driving around the city and let’s say you blow a tire, you can easily pull over and deal with it. That is much more difficult at 70 miles per hour on the freeway, and it can feel like being out of control. The same can be said for flying. Once you get on that plane, there is no pulling over if you get uncomfortable and no bailing out.To make it worse, you can’t even use the bathroom unless they say it is ok.

For most people these things are a part of life that we have grown accustomed to dealing with, so to some extent, it’s not a big deal. If you are someone who suffered at times in your early life when control was taken away and you were violated, the loss of control in these situations can trigger negative feelings about these activities.

It’s been my professional experience that people who have what I call “a cluster of fears” were often the victims of long-term sexual violation, like being molested as a child over a period of years. Usually when these people come into my office, they have already been in therapy for quite some time. This is good because much of the work will have already been done. Yet, the damage left behind in the form of unhealed fears needs to be addressed.


This makes it both harder and easier to work on. Harder because we have to look for a deeper, more painful injury that the client may or may not want to talk about. Easier because instead of looking for one or two events causing one main problem, we are looking for an event or events causing lots of problems in many areas of the person’s life. When you find those initial triggering events and clear the emotional charge, the person’s whole life can change for the better seemingly overnight. There is still work to be done, but the crippling symptoms (the fears) diminish; the person can begin to live more fully.

If you or someone you know is dealing with a cluster of fears, don’t wait to get help. On the other side of the pain you may temporarily experience while looking at those unpleasant memories is a peace and transformation beyond explanation available to you.

Love yourself enough to do the work of healing the deeper wounds. You are so very important to the world and so very worth healing.


Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis


That’s Just Stupid!

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 03-22-2016

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One day I tripped over the cord of my expensive and much-loved digital recorder. This is a vital tool (as seen on Ghost Hunters, even!) I use in my office every day. Not only that, it was a gift from my husband.

recorderThe recorder fell in slow motion, landing with a thud and crunch that marked its end.  As I realized it was all over for my electronic friend, my mother’s voice echoed in my brain: “Jill, if you get too attached to things, God will punish you by taking them away!” Okay,  I won’t lie. I proceeded to bawl like a baby for about ten minutes before I heard another more practical voice in my head – my father’s this time – saying, “FedEx probably has a cutoff time to deliver. Better get on that, Jill!”

Well, if God really wanted to punish me, there would be no Amazon Prime, FedEx overnight rush delivery, and credit cards! Less than 16 hours later, Zen was restored when my new digital recorder and an extra large package of long-life batteries arrived.

Honestly, I don’t believe for one second that a Higher Power really cares that much about my digital recorder, but it did occur to me that for some reason, my mind had retained that sound byte from my mother’s belief system.

The truth is, all of us keep tons of old data in our psyches, usually things handed over by our families of origin. Most of these little “belief blips” are pretty harmless…like my mom’s weird idea about not leaving the light over the stove on too long because “that bulb is hard to change” (it’s not, by the way), or my father’s quirk about not using the garbage disposal too frequently because disposals are a “huge job” to replace (again, not true). But other family “wisdom,” especially limiting beliefs about money, can be very destructive.

At least every week in my practice, I help someone wrestle with, and hopefully shed, limiting beliefs about having, creating, and/or earning money. These clients’ old ways of thinking about money, if not addressed, keep them from achieving the life they want. Money is just one area affected by faulty thinking. Outdated attitudes about almost anything in our lives can cause big trouble.

Think of these bits of faulty logic as bad programming code, causing the computer (you!) to do something it shouldn’t or not do something it should!  If you replace the bad code with something new and better, life opens up in remarkable ways.

Sounds good, you may be saying. But just how do I do that?


Much of our outdated thinking can be eliminated simply by being recognized, and then acknowledged as ineffective or false. Others attitudes take more work, requiring you to recognize the behaviors you do that reinforce the faulty belief. One example is thinking that you will never be able to lose weight. If you keep trying the same old ways that you already know don’t work, your repeated failures reinforce that belief. If you want a different result, you must try a different approach.

The use of meditation is a tool for doing away with useless, worn-out beliefs. Place yourself into a meditative state by relaxing and focusing on the peaceful stillness underneath all those noisy thoughts. In this quiet place, imagine the specific limiting belief written on a chalkboard in front of you. Now, picture yourself erasing those old words, while thanking them for helping you in the past, and writing a new belief that is more in line with who you are now and what you want to create. This technique takes some practice, but it’s fun! Try doing it at least once a week.

Of course, if you would like help with this belief replacement process, or you would like to release a bunch of those self-defeating ways of thinking and acting, call me to schedule an appointment.

Your past does not have to dictate your future! Just because some principle or attitude was sacred to your mom or dad, doesn’t mean it has to be part of your thought system, too.

All of this said, if you find me curled into the fetal position, crying on the floor of my office next to broken pieces of my new digital recorder, you can probably assume that my mom’s old belief was true after all…

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis



“I accidentally made myself impotent, and I need your help.”

Posted by healthyhabi | Posted in healing | Posted on 10-16-2014

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“I accidentally made myself impotent, and I need your help.”

One of my first paid hypnosis clients was someone moving here from another state and looking to continue the work he had started with another hypnotherapist. Since at the time most of my clients were coming to me for common fears and phobias this man’s statement really intrigued me.

“I accidentally made myself impotent, and I need your help.” This was a deeply religious man, and in his religion, it was considered infidelity to even think about a woman who was not his wife in a sexual way. Unfortunately, in his occupation as a commercial photographer, he would often take pictures of women wearing little to no clothing. Even though he was married, these women would flirt with him making it nearly impossible NOT to think of them in a sexual way. Since he didn’t want to spend eternity in a very hot place (in his mind), he had created an interesting yet equally destructive way of dealing with this problem. He put on weight, a lot of weight at the time I was speaking with him. He was almost 400 pounds and had not been able to have sex for some time.

None of this was done on a conscious level. So for a long time he couldn’t figure out what had caused the problem. One of his friends had suggested hypnotherapy, and under hypnosis it was revealed that he was creating his health problem as a way of saving both his marriage and his soul.

I asked him how his prior hypnotherapist had help him discover the problem and he said “Well, after a few sessions, I came in one day, she hypnotized me and just asked, ‘What am I getting out of this?’ Saving my marriage was the first thing that came to mind. It seemed ridiculous at the time because in reality it’s actually making my marriage worse but in a different way.” He had actually created a real medical physical problem as a way to solve an emotional one.

That is often how our unconscious mind works; it looks at the bigger problem and tries to solve it, not noticing that it created another problem as a result of that unconscious decision. It’s a bit like a dark fairy tale where a person gets a wish granted. They wish for money, gain a lot of money but only because someone close to them died.

While I was working with him under hypnosis, this man was able to make a different decision about how he would solve this problem, one that would allow him to lose the weight and be healthy. In time, he was able to fix some hormone imbalances which were a part of his problem, lose the weight and return to healthy sexual function, as well as maintain a healthy, happy marriage without giving up a career he loved. All of this started when he stopped looking at the symptoms of the problem (weight gain, impotence) and looked at the underlying problem itself. So often we only focus on the physical, and we miss the underlying emotional benefit we receive by creating and maintaining this problem.

If you have an issue you can’t seem to get rid of, ask yourself, “How am I benefiting from this problem? What am I getting out of this?” Your first reaction will likely be an angry, “Nothing! This is all bad,” but try to go deeper, play devil’s advocate and look at things like, “Am I getting much needed attention because I have this problem? Am I getting to avoid something I don’t want to deal with because of this problem?” Having the answer may not automatically solve it, but you will be much closer to the solution than you were before. Love yourself enough to take a deeper look at the “why’s” of your problems rather than just the “what” of your issues and don’t be afraid to seek help. It may be closer than you think.

Jill Thomas CCHT
Healthy Habits Hypnosis
Author of the book “Feed Your Real Hunger” & “30 day weight loss Jumpstart” Hypnosis CD
For more information and free hypnosis meditations visit www.healthyhabitshypnosis.com