Finding it hard to stop smoking? If so, here's an easier way to quit.
So why can't you stop smoking, you ask?
Beating the smoking habit:
As with most habits they stick fast! But there's good reason for that. A habit is a natural mechanism of the mind that allows you to repeat an action without having to re-learn it over and over again.
Think of all the things you do in your daily life where that is so useful. Driving your car, getting dressed, cleaning your teeth, tying your shoe laces, writing your name, you get the idea. Life would be chaotic if you had to re-learn all those things that you do every day.
Habits and pattern matching
Smoking cigarettes goes hand in hand with other activities such as drinking coffee, after a meal or while chatting on the telephone. You do these these things so automatically that one wouldn't feel right without the other! On occasions such as these, you reach for that cigarette without questioning it because not doing it would feel odd. Many times, you don't really want one!
Smoking and Stress:
If you're a smoker, stressful situations are more than anything else, most likely going to test your resolve to quit. However, when you can control your response to stress you can control your urge to smoke.
People often smoke more when feeling stressed and smoking may make them feel better temporarily, but not for long. This is because smoking is a stimulant for the body, making the heart beat faster, which is hardly relaxing!
It is the act of breathing out (the smoke) that provides the soothing effect. Especially as the out breath is usually slow and long, which has an automatic relaxation effect upon the body's nervous system.
So while smoking can distract you from stress for a short time, breathing deeply can be all that is needed to counteract stress!
If you are feeling particularly stressed or suffer with anxiety, it's always advisable to address those issues first before trying to quit smoking.
How does hypnosis help you quit smoking?
Many people have heard that hypnosis can help them to quit smoking and rightly seek this as a viable option.
In a recent major research study various methods for becoming a non-smoker were compared and the results were impressive. It showed that those who used hypnosis found it to be three times as effective as nicotine replacement therapy.
As with any habit, smoking is a learnt behaviour through repetition and is then performed automatically. Smokers are more likely to light up without consciously thinking about it, and therefore smoke more than they actually think they need!
Habits are performed within the unconscious processes of the mind, which is why hypnosis is so useful for changing unwanted habits right where those automatic responses are first created.
When willpower is proving too difficult and challenging, leaving you feeling grumpy and stressed, maybe hypnosis is the answer for you?
How smoking affects your mood:
Attempting to quit smoking does affect the mood of many people - and not for the better!
As soon as the effect of the consumed cigarette wears off, you start to get withdrawal symptoms. These symptoms go away when you smoke again, and so the cycle ensues! You are suppressing uncomfortable feelings which are being caused by smoking.
But the chemical 'hit' received after a cigarette isn't the problem. Those chemicals are out of the system within about 72 hours and many people can go that distance without lighting up.
It's the emotional pull coupled with the pattern matches mentioned earlier that so often cause a return to the habit. When uncomfortable feelings arise or a sense of missing out, is more often the trigger for a return to those cigarettes.
Here's a thought - American researchers have found that quitting smoking makes people feel happier, and the effect lasts for as long as they manage to kick the habit. Now that's a positive reason for quitting
“Before I quit smoking I was always thinking of my next cigarette, my life revolved around them. Now it’s really different… and I don’t want to smoke anymore. If I can do it anybody can.”
KATHIE, BUCKS, UK
Update: Kathie remains a non-smoker since 2014
Don't stop smoking until you are ready
Being ready to become a non-smoker is a decision and that's a powerful motivation. For most people however, it isn't easy to simply go cold turkey. They often struggle with cravings, with mood swings and substitute behaviour.
This is why hypnosis is so effective because it allows for a natural process to occur. One of my clients decided to work with the 10 steps hypnosis pack alongside a 1-1 session. Initially sceptical and unsure that she really could stop I heard from her a few weeks later when she told me that she awoke one morning knowing that was it, she was ready to stop and her desire to smoke cigarettes was gone!
I love hearing success stories like that. Do you have a stop smoking success story? If so, please let me know.