So this is yet another hypothesis. I realized this tonight after a long day of hair picking/pulling and getting fed up with it. I was thinking of a way to hypnotize myself:
The key to stopping any addictive behavior is to interrupt and repattern the reward circuits in the brain.
When you do something that gives you pleasure, you begin to form a chemical attachment to that activity in the brain. The more the pleasure/satisfaction occurs, the stronger the attachment. Research dopamine.
So, in a moment you are not caught up in an obsessive/addictive behavior, you can actively work on shutting off your dopamine pump toward the undesirable activity.
Imagine this activity your mind loves to do. Now imagine something horrible happening because of it. Become repulsed. Repeat this 10 times.
I found that this was actually a relaxing activity! My forehead and jaw softened as I made the negative association and my breathing deepened. It is as if I snapped myself out of a begging dog posture toward the pleasure of the activity.
For every time you slip up and allow yourself pleasure from the offensive activity, create an equal number of unpleasurable experiences with your imagination. For example, every single cigarette drag, or every nibble at a nail.
I’m excited to try this out. Let me know if you try too!