Stopping smoking has been a huge struggle for many people for years. And there are several major hurdles to beat. But unfortunately the likelihood is that the only problems you anticipate and try to beat are nicotine addiction and the withdrawal symptoms that follow.
But there are several other major barriers to quitting smoking. They include weight gain, a fear that you will no longer be able to enjoy your life without cigarettes, the fear that it is going to be difficult, the fear that you will not be able to tackle life’s problems without cigarettes and a tonne of mental associations which you have created smoke shops near me.
And unfortunately you are more than likely to ignore these added problems, as you have probably not been told about them by your doctors or friends or experts. So it is mainly down to your lack of understanding, lack of preparation and a lack of know how. The main issue is that most smokers and experts alike fail to realise how big a role the mind plays in a smoker’s life and his smoking activities.
When you started smoking, it was for a reason – to fit in, rebel, deal with a difficult problem, cover up insecurity, impress a sibling or friend etc. And unbeknown to you that reason for smoking still exists years down the line, but deep in the back of your mind. You also has several other reasons for smoking, known as Smoking Links. That is, a link to a certain place, group of people, time, location, emotion, event or situation – these can also know as triggers.
This is where your mind plays a huge role – it is your mind that has tied any of the above situations, and many more, to a cigarette. So now whenever you wake up, drives to work, are about to get on a long haul flight or are about to meet your partner’s parents for the first time, you light a cigarette. It is called a learned response – after years of repetition your mind has now taken over and makes you reach for a cigarette without thinking about it – it’s automatic.
So when you stop smoking you are bound to encounter these types of situations or times again. Your mind then does what you have trained it to do for years – think about a cigarette – you have taught it to do so and it now does it on cue. You have probably been aware on more than one occasion that you have a cigarette in your hand – but you cannot remember lighting it. This is where your mind comes into play – it has made you light that cigarette without you consciously having thought about it, so it has now become a sub-conscious action.
So your mind has a huge role to play in your smoking addiction. You have taught your mind to think about smoking in certain situations. But your mind can also be taught to remove those associations.
Via hypnosis you can reach the part of the mind that controls smoking – the subconscious, and allow it to once again cooperate with your conscious mind’s desire to stop smoking.
Our mind works much like a computer – in that we have programmes that decide what we do, when we do it and how we do it. These programmes can also be referred to as software.
For example, a computer needs an operating system to function. In a similar way humans need an operating system – this is controlled by our subconscious mind. This operating system or ‘software’ controls our breathing, our Central Nervous System, our heartbeat and blood circulation, the need to sleep, our digestive system and the operation of our bowels.
And this software works automatically without us having to think about it – we don’t think about our breathing or heartbeat – they happen automatically. This software came with us when we were born.
But we all have many pieces of learned software. On a computer that can be things like MS Office, Online Poker, Calculator and Internet Explorer. These are different pieces of software, that when installed allow an individual computer to perform different tasks or skills independently of each other.
Our minds work in much the same way. For example, throughout our lives we have all learned different skills that allow or make us do what we do. First it was crawling, walking, talking, writing, and tying our laces. Then when we got older we learned to ride a bike, drive a car, shuffle a pack of cards, throw a ball, juggle, cook, send an email and draw.
Again, we’ve taught ourselves these programmes, and after some repetition and practice they now occur automatically. For example, when we are driving we don’t think – red traffic light: OK foot off the accelerator and onto brake, check mirror, handbrake, back into first gear. This sequence happens on its own – we taught ourselves to do this.
So how does this tie in with quitting smoking?
Smoking is exactly the same – it is a programme on your minds. You have taught yourself to smoke for many reasons – so smoking is a learned reaction to a certain situation, that situation then acts as a trigger to smoke.
So now every time you are under stress, get stuck in traffic, wake up, and finish your coffee or tea etc. you light up – automatically. You have taught yourself that this is what you doe – smoking is a piece of software on your sub-conscious mind.
The role hypnosis plays in stopping smoking is key. It helps you access the part of your mind that has the smoking programme – the subconscious, and then it allows you to remove that programme and critically, replace it with something else.
This later part is very important because many smokers, despite hypnosis, still encounter situations that remind them to smoke. But when you learn to change your focus to a new area of your life (installed through hypnosis) you are free to change your focus to something new. This allows you to continue enjoying your life free from cigarettes.
This is also key because if you are like most smokers, you may fear you are losing out by quitting smoking. When you replace the smoking programme on your mind, you change your source of fun or pleasure. Therefore doing away with any desires or reminders to smoke.
Another major benefit in using hypnosis to stop smoking is that it helps you to prevent weight gain. Why stop smoking without preventing a major factor in relapse? Hypnosis allows you to put your mind back in touch with your appetite so that you eat only the right types of food in the right amounts.
In order to stop smoking you must remove your reasons for smoking – your smoking links. If you have no reason to smoke, why smoke? This can be done largely through hypnosis – by removing associations and desires. Several habit and routine changes also help people to disassociate and remove your reasons for smoking.
For example, many smokers light up because it is their source of pleasure and maybe it’s the one thing that is theirs and theirs alone. The solution is for the smoker to find a new hobby that takes up quite a bit of time, about an hour a day or so works great, so that he can see and realise that there is life after cigarettes.
If you enjoy your cigarettes a new hobby or activity will help to ensure that you still enjoy life while being free from cigarettes. Once you have removed your reasons for smoking you should then use your positive reasons for stopping smoking to propel yourself forward.
A major mistake many smokers make is that they start off thinking – “I should stop because it’s going to kill me, I’m going to get emphysema”, or something similar. This is obviously quite possible, but it does no good to your state of mind – you end up quitting out of fear rather than out of desire for the good things that you will get.