It’s a new year and that means new goals to be achieved
This blog has been written to assert the importance of how "a behaviour or action is preceded by a thought". There is a particular interest to how hypnosis is used in therapy to aid smoking cessation. Essentially, the aim of this blog is for smokers to be open-minded to the notion that "when you’re thinking changes, so does your behaviour".
It is true that many of us do not pay much attention to our thinking. We are often so ingrained in our daily lives that many of us in western society have little time to think outside the box.
So how can hypnosis help your resolution?
Think about this for a minute: on an old stereo there is usually a rheostat switch which is responsible for the balance between the two speaker circuits. When the rheostat is moved to the far left, we can only hear the music from the left speaker. The right speaker still exists, however it has just been temporarily disabled; the flow of electricity has been interrupted. In the same way too, the flow of electrical impulses in the brain through your thinking patterns can be changed to benefit you. In hypnotherapy, smokers are be shown how to break their links and triggers that cause them to smoke.
Using the analogy above, it is possible for these triggers to be disabled and not only can hypnotherapy help you do this, but it can also help to reprogram the mind. That’s right, if you're a smoker ask yourself, were you born a smoker? There is only one obvious conclusion that we can withdraw from this; that at some point you programmed yourself to smoke. It is a learnt behaviour. Remember,every action is preceded by a thought.
There are now of course e-cigarettes which are available as a smoker’s alternative. What's interesting about these is that manufacturers cleverly exploit the notion of ‘stop smoking the easy way’ as a sales pitch. Such a powerful incentive requires little conscious effort and before you know it, even ex-smokers have them. Truth be told however, the same pattern of thinking exists within the sub-conscious mind. With e-cigarettes, you have not stopped smoking, you've just replaced it. The robotic movement of arm to mouth still exists! The point here is that because the underlying thought process is still rooted deep in the sub-conscious mind, so does the action. Every action is preceded by a thought.
The next important step is for you to understand that smoking is a habit, not to be confused with an addiction. Many hypnotherapists believe there is a significant difference. As you may be aware, our brains are proficient in responding to the environment and processing information from the outside world, but it’s different for everyone. More to the point, what makes you want to smoke will be completely different from another smoker. There are particular triggers you have throughout the day reminding you when it is time for you to have your next cigarette. For example, when you wake up in the morning and flick the kettle on, or before you head off to work. Then at work before you know it, you’re waiting for a break to have the next one! We calls these anchors and it’s your brain making you think it is doing you a favour.
This is what creates a habit and it’s the same routine every day. Addiction on the other hand is an ‘absolute’, there is no leeway whatsoever. It implies that you are in constant need of a 'fix' from whatever substance, if we were referring to heroin then this could be classified as an addiction. However, as a smoker it is unlikely that you have purposefully woke up from a deep sleep at night just to have a quick ‘fix' of nicotine, unless you accidently wake up of course. The point here is that you do have the willpower to postpone the need for a cigarette (have you ever flown long-haul?). If you can do that, perhaps you withhold yourself just that little longer.
Remember next time to ask yourself just before lighting that cigarette, "Do I really want this? What are the benefits of me remaining a smoker?".It is not unusual to then proceed light the cigarette and believe it was what you needed. Sometimes the urge seems too strong and it’s your conscious mind which falls victim to your defensive statements. "But I enjoy it" or "Yes of course I want to give it up, but I will finish this packet first" and "It calms me down".
You can begin to understand now it is merely a matter of changing your thought process. Defence mechanisms stem from your sub-conscious mind and are habitual. Many hypnotherapists listen to how clients express their willingness on wanting to quit smoking and it is often the following: “There is a part of me that wants to give it up, but then there is a part which does not…”. In such cases you find yourself in conflict.
To wrap up on what has been said here, if your resolution is to finally be good to yourself and are determined to quit smoking for good (how good would that feel?) then it is the role of the hypnotherapist to make your journey of becoming the non-smoker you once were, much easier. That’s right. Not only does hypnotherapy allow access to the important part of the mind responsible for your habit, but can also remove the thought process and replace it with something that is intrinsically motivating for you.
You will be an ex-smoker if you fall victim to e-cigarette merchandise, but a non-smoker if you choose hypnotherapy to help you!
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James BrannanNovember 29th, 2016