Overcome your bad habit with Swish Technique


Swish technique can be a life-changing experience for someone who has been struggling to overcome a negative behavior or emotion. Did you know that by simply visualizing it, you can change an unwanted or troublesome behavior into a positive one?

Yes!!! But hold on. Although it appears to be simple, it “really” is.

Disclaimer: It can be complicated in three situations. First, if one is unable to visualize. Second, she/he is understandably reluctant to let go of the unwanted behavior/emotion. Third, they have a speck of doubt about the technique.

If someone exhibits compulsive or negative behavior, they or their family may consult an expert or, if the problem is severe, admit them to a rehab – for example, in the case of alcohol addiction.

That is a common scenario in the case of compulsive behavior. Such behavior/emotion, on the other hand, can be effectively eliminated through Swish; if the individual is determined, positively charged, has relevant will power, and wishes to do on their own.

If someone succeeds with do-it-yourself or self-help techniques, it can give them a sense of accomplishment as well as more control over their health and well-being. I believe that overcoming a health challenge on their own makes people stronger both physically and mentally.

It is a well-known fact that our mind is highly powerful and contains all of the resources necessary for our advantage, and that it can be used to build a life of our choosing.

We have the ability to change our beliefs, behavior, and the emotions associated with them by harnessing the power of our minds; without going to a psychiatrist or swallowing pills.

I understand that serious cases of physical and mental health necessitate the intervention of a professional. However, regardless of the severity of the problem, most people believe that only an expert can solve it. Few, on the other hand, believe that “willpower” and “determination” is sufficient to change their lives.

So, if you’re looking for a great self-help tip to help you overcome a challenge, or if you’re just curious, stick around and read until the end.

What is Swish in Neuro Linguistic Programming?

The Swish is an NLP technique that is most often used to assist people in breaking bad habits that are difficult to break. Drinking, smoking, nail-biting, overeating, or a compulsive desire to eat a specific food are some very common behavior responses that people find difficult to overcome.

Even a specific emotional response, such as fear of an animal or event, can be very disturbing and have a negative impact on one’s mind and personality, but Swish can help with that as well.

Swish was co-created in the early 1980s by Dr. Christian Hall and Richard Bandler. According to her website, she is credited with co-developing many of NLP’s diagnosing tools, including Temporal Language Patterns, Verbal Swishes, and Sleight of Mouth Patterns. Sub modalities is one such example, which you’ll soon find listed on my blog.

How to do Swish step-wise?

Let’s go over this step by step so you can do it yourself.

Step 1:
Sit quietly and consider the behavior you want to change. You must be completely convinced to stop that behavior.

Step 2:
In your mind’s eye, picture yourself engaging in this undesirable behavior. Examine the visual carefully; whether it is static or a movie, your expression, your clothes, the environment, sounds, and so on; because you will have to put it down for a while and pick it up again. As a result, it’s critical to be aware of the entire scene.

Set the visual aside in your memory, take a deep breath and get ready for Step 3.

Note: Transitioning from one visual to the other may take a few seconds or minutes. Don’t be in a hurry to move on and finish it off. You may open your eyes and have a glass of water too before moving to the next step.

Step 3:
Visualize yourself as a genuinely happy and healthy person.

Note: Do not imagine yourself engaging in any positive activity as a replacement. It can become meaningless in a real-life situation, if the time or place you are in is out of context.

Eg.: If you want to quit smoking and visualize your empowering self, exercising, it can become out of context because you wouldn’t exercise all the time, or at work, or while socializing. When you feel the urge to smoke during these times, the context is lost, and you may relapse into your bad habit.

Similarly, picturing oneself in an exotic location, a higher position in one’s career, or with a best friend, partner, or family will be completely inappropriate, regardless of how powerful and rational it appears.

To avoid such a relapse, imagine yourself in a blank or neutral environment, happier, healthier, and far better off without your bad habit.

Tip: Visualizing nothing in the background and with no one is the best option because you will be able to apply that visual in any general real-world situation.

It is critical to remember your empowered, happy, and healthy self.

Step 4:
Bring this empowering visual in front of you, whether it’s a static image or a movie, as if you’re looking at it. Soak in this empowered feeling for as long as you can and amp it up as much as you can. If you’re a good visualizer, you might be able to see it happening right in front of you.

Set it aside for a while.

Step 5:
Bring back the visual of your bad habit, whether it’s an image or a movie, and bring it in front of you, just like your empowered visual.


Step 6:
Consider both versions to be in front of you, side by side or up and down or one in front and one behind. Whatever suits you best, in your imagination.

Step 7:
Intensify your emotions while increasing the size of the desired and empowered visual. Move the visual as if superimposing it over the negative one or striking it with the empowered visual. You should see the visual of your bad habit blurring, dissipating, or losing its colors (whichever way you prefer).

Tip: For a dramatic and entertaining effect, you can also imagine the empowering visual coming from above and slamming into the undesirable visual, so hard that it shatters, or catches fire, or whatever method you prefer to destroy it.

Step 8:
Do not stand up, open your eyes, or speak right away. Allow your mind to settle and absorb the empowered visual for a minute or two before moving on with your activities.

This should be done at least three times at convenient intervals. Depending on your availability and intentions, it could be once a week, once a fortnight or once a month. You wont get good results if you force yourself to do it. Intention is the only thing that works.

Is there any pitfall in the Swish technique?

Yes. As I mentioned at the start of the article, this technique will not work in three of the most common scenarios. Please read it again if you missed it the first time.

Another reason it might not work is the manner in which it is carried out. If you visualize yourself as someone with whom you do not resonate or are not inspired to become, this process will be a waste of time. You will find it much easier to break the bad habit if your mental image of your ideal self is realistic rather than fictitious.

Another pitfall… What if I’m not a visual person?

If you’re not a visualizer or don’t understand what that means, don’t be discouraged; this technique will still work for you. You’re on the right track if you’re determined to break a bad habit and believe in the technique, or even want to try it out.

How can you visualize?

Look around you at the furniture, the garden, the people, and so on. Close your eyes and try to conjure up the same images in your mind. Is it possible for you to see them?

If your answer is partially ‘yes,’ there is still hope. You may not see all of the details, which is perfectly fine. It’s still good news that you can visualize, and with some practice, you’ll be able to improve.

If you answered ‘no,’ you have a slim chance of succeeding with this technique without taking the most effective visual path. However, if you still want to try this technique, we’ll have to devise a workaround.

What can you do if you’re not a visual person?

Let me tell you something: even if you can’t visualize, you’re a perfectly normal person. It’s just that your preferred Modality in your Representational system is something other than visual. I’ll publish an article on NLP’s Representational System as soon as possible.

What should you do if you aren’t a visual person?

Consider an event in your mind. Are you able to feel or hear anything in your thoughts as you’re thinking? Do you vaguely see any visuals?

If you can’t make out the visuals, you’re probably not a visual person. In that case, you may experience intense emotions, sensations somewhere in your body, or hear sounds.

Whatever it is, it is clear that your preferred Modality is auditory or kinesthetic rather than visual.

The next step in breaking a bad habit is to follow the same steps that we discussed in the visual format. The Modality is the only thing that will change. As a result, instead of visuals, you will be dealing with the feelings or sounds associated with the bad habit in your memory.

How to test your preferred Modality?

You must first determine your preferred Modality by recalling the bad habit and comprehending what appears in your memory. Do you have any feelings? Do you have any bodily sensations? Are you hearing anything?

Once you have a fair idea, you are ready to move forward.

Disclaimer: If you are unable to understand it or your mind perceives it as a complicated technique, you may experience discomfort or anxiety. You might also consider giving up completely if you don’t want to try any further. You have a choice.

I advise you to take it easy. Nothing happens in an instant. You might consider doing it again the next day or whenever it is convenient for you. Just don’t give up on this technique just yet. It’s effective!

If you don’t want to rely on traditional counseling and medications, you can seek the assistance of an NLP practitioner.

Returning to the Swish self-help technique. Assume you have strong emotions associated with the bad habit. That means you are predominantly kinesthetic.

What are you going to do?

Step 1:
Sit quietly and consider the behavior you want to change. You must be completely convinced to stop that behavior.

Step 2:
Consider yourself to be a genuinely happy and healthy person. Consider the feeling you’d like to have when you’re free of your bad habit.

Tip: If it’s difficult for you to emote a happy you all of a sudden, think about a successful or happy event in your life.

Allow yourself to be immersed in this sensation for a few moments before moving on to Step 3.

Note: Switching from one emotion to another may take a few seconds or minutes. Don’t be so eager to move on and finish it. You may open your eyes and drink a glass of water before proceeding to the next step.

Step 3:
Consider the undesirable behavior and investigate what emotions you are experiencing.

Happy. Sad. Nervousness. Palpation. Breathlessness. Anger. Fear. Or something else.

Whatever emotion you’re experiencing while contemplating the undesirable behavior, try to mitigate its impact by focusing on the desired emotion of the empowered you. Feel as if the bad habit is crushing or dissolving under the weight of your empowered self.

To elicit the desired emotion, you must reconsider the happy event that you considered in the “Tip section” of Step 2. While you’re at it, amplify the positive feelings associated with the event.

Step 4:
Do not stand up, open your eyes, or speak right away. Allow your mind to settle and absorb the empowered feeling for a minute or two before moving on with your activities.

In comparison to the visual technique, you may need to repeat this technique more than three times because our subconscious responds better to visualization.

Did this article help you in any way?


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