Every New Year, people consider what they want to change about themselves and often that includes quitting smoking. They intellectually know all of the rational reasons which support this desire but, for a lot of other compelling reasons, have lingered upon the fence, puffing away on their death sticks.
So, as the New Year is rung in, smokers around the world stomp out their “last” cigarette and steel themselves for a painful withdrawal from their best friend. They utilize aids such as nicotine replacement in the form of patches, pills and gum. They engage in deep breathing and exercise to alleviate stress and quell cigarette cravings. They drink enough water to float a boat and they vent their frustrations and craving pangs on family, friends, employees and mothers-in-law.
Eventually, most of these wanna-be non-smokers fail in their efforts to be rid of smoking. They resign themselves at some point and pick up the pack again, happily re-uniting with their smokes. A part of them knew they wouldn’t make it anyway and sighs with relief to know that it was right all along! A 2012 study of smokers conducted by Legacy, a foundation which researches tobacco use, showed that the average person who decided to quit smoking as their New Year’s resolution was successful for approximately just one month.
What these failed non-smokers don’t realize is that the key to success in smoking cessation lies within their own minds: they need to move out of negative mental states in order to create permanent shifts in mind and body.
The biggest drawbacks to most stop smoking approaches is inherent in the description of this activity itself; look at the language used to promote smoking cessation: Stop Smoking! Quit! Cut it out! You’re going to die!
All of these descriptions imply a loss, a deprivation. The primary, gut reaction a smoker feels when just thinking about changing smoking behavior is that of losing something, of experiencing a void. This isn’t just imagined, either. Smoking provides, along with all of the known detrimental effects, many positive benefits. Depending on the individual, they may include:
- a chance to take a break
- a way to relieve stress
- a place to think (or not think!)
- something to occupy nervous hands
- an adjunct for socializing or bonding
- satisfaction for a rebellious nature
- aid to digestion or weight control
So, when a smoker thinks about letting go of cigarettes, they also subconsciously are thinking about letting go of the above benefits, which can be pretty scary. Much of this thought process occurs below the smoker’s awareness, but carries a huge impact upon the chances for success.
This is where hypnosis can help; in fact, research shows that second only to heart disease, hypnosis for tobacco cessation is far superior over other methods. A qualified hypnotist can help a client raise awareness of not only the numerous benefits that smoking brings but provide alternative, healthier methods to achieve those benefits.
For example, many smokers claim that having a cigarette relaxes them, despite the fact that nicotine is a stimulant! This is due to a conditioned response to the smoking activity itself and can result from a variety of reasons: perhaps smoking affords an opportunity to step away from stressful a situation, it can serve as a distraction or provide an opportunity for introspection.
This benefit can be provided to the client without the need for smoking. The hypnotist guides the client to the desired state, whether that is one of comfort and relaxation, confidence or any other chosen feeling. When engaging the subconscious, which is the realm of the creative imagination, there is no distinction between real and fantasy, so the client learns experientially about this state of being, along with how to access it quickly, thereafter being able to gain the results previously only enjoyed through smoking.
No matter what time of year the choice is made, moving out of a mentality of deprivation and into one of gain and reward helps the new non-smoker stay a non-smoker. By bringing attention to the many benefits of being smoke-free, hypnosis promotes positivity and belief in success. Hypnosis provides the atmosphere to not only create awareness of all of the wonderful things the client is bringing into his life as a result of this decision, but gives the experience of seeing and feeling these benefits in action, through future pacing the happier and healthier lifestyle.
Imagine making a list of those benefits:
- Better health
- Easier breathing
- More energy
- More time
- More money
- More self respect
- More comfort
- Fresh breath
- Cleaner home, car and clothing
Positive suggestions of these added benefits and mind states are compounded during the hypnosis session and reinforced through the use of a hypnosis recording as repetition is a component of permanent success in smoking cessation.
By working with a qualified, experienced hypnosis practitioner, smokers can help themselves become free of their smoking habits and step into the healthy lives they deserve.