If you were to ask every smoker in the UK if they liked the habit they have, the majority would say that they simply HATE smoking. An estimated 80% of smokers would be happy to never smoke a cigarette ever again.
Of course, as a smoker you will know that smoking adversely affects your health, even a casual or social smoker will experience a sore throat or that out of breath feeling when walking up the stairs. The World Health Organisation publishes that tobacco is responsible for 5 million deaths per year worldwide. Coupled with the other reasons to quit; to save money, for the kids, healthier complexion and skin, smell, teeth and gums etc, the benefits of quitting are endless.
But you know this right? You know the benefits and reasons for quitting? You know the detrimental effect on your health? So why can’t you JUST STOP?
The reason is quite simple – ADDICTION. Surprisingly, this addiction (although rooted deeply in your subconscious mind) is not as strong as you think. The multibillion-pound tobacco industry will want you to think this addiction is strong and powerful (remember, they want to sell you patches or gum) and this is great business for them. The vaping industry is also a huge growing market, you only have to look on your local high street to see the vast amounts of shops popping up. But remember, only a very small proportion is true addiction. This addiction is not to the cigarettes but to your body’s unconscious response to those cigarettes. You are not addicted to cigarettes as they want you to believe.
So if only a small proportion is addiction then the rest must be physiological, and the way our subconscious mind, our “inner voice”, thinks about smoking (that voice in your head) telling you that you NEED a cigarette or vape, habitual smoking at mealtimes, when driving, out for a drink (and the list goes on).
This all becomes a mental trap, our subconscious thoughts add to the strength of keeping the addiction in place, for example I have had my lunch, time for a cig or I’m driving, time to light up.
You may associate smoking with relieving stress, so a natural response after a bad day would be to reach for the pack and light one up. However, smoking takes the credit for being a stress reliever because of its association with other physiological actions; breathing out (we know breathing is a fantastic way to relax) and normally you may have a cigarette in conjunction with a break at work or maybe a punctuation to the end of a working day (a full stop or maybe and exclamation mark). But these examples mislead us into thinking that it is actually the cigarette that is helping us to relax, when in fact it isn’t, not one of the 400 chemicals in cigarettes is a stress reliever, more so, the chemicals are linked to raising stress adding to the addiction.
All this coupled with withdrawal symptoms when we try to quit makes the whole smoking issue seem to be an impossible habit and addiction to kick.
But what if you could “TURN OFF” that inner voice telling you that you need tobacco? Well that’s where a hypnotherapist can help you. Using hypnosis, a hypnotherapist will reframe your thought process to think negatively about smoking and alter your thoughts on smoking and eliminate that automatic response in the subconscious mind that keeps that addiction in place.
So, what happens during the hypnosis? The hypnotherapist will induce a trance through relaxation and breathing techniques, trance is somewhat like being in a day dream, aware of what’s going on but at the sane time the mind seems almost elsewhere. The brain wave activity changes and your mind becomes detached from the conscious part of your mind, the part of your mind that is looking for any little reason for you to remain a smoker.
With the subconscious mind now open and receptive to suggestions, positive suggestions are given to dissociate your subconscious mind with smoking and almost block these automatic thoughts when triggered, and reframe them with no association to smoking at all.
So back to the original question…Can hypnotherapy stop me smoking? Clearly, the answer is YES! However, like with any smoking cessation plan, you have to want the results for it to be totally effective. So, if you want to quit then you will be able to with a little help from a qualified hypnotherapist.
I am John Lowson (HPD MAFSH CNHC, MNCH reg) a fully qualified Solution Focused Hypnotherapist and member of the National Council of Hypnotherapy and the Complimentary and Natural Healthcare Council and I am the proprietor of J Lowson Hypnotherapy and the Halifax Hypnotherapy Clinic in West Yorkshire and I am happy to discuss hypnosis with you and get you stopped…and stopped for good!