Throw out the cold turkey... quit smoking the easier way!
Wishing you a Happy New Year and if you're considering stopping smoking in 2017 then this article will provide you with some encouragement and key information that explains how hypnotherapy makes stopping easier. My goal is to make this article concise and easy to read and yet give you some new information about what needs to happen for stopping smoking to be a done deal.
There are some key factors that need to change within a person for them to move away from the old smoking habit and into a new non-smoking mode without feeling draw back to it. The ease with which someone stops smoking will usually be equal to the degree to which these factors are dealt with.
Factor one: Pain and pleasure associations
People, animals and everything living, are drawn towards what brings them pleasure and away from what gives them pain. However, having said that, we must make a key distinction. We are drawn towards what we perceive to give us pleasure and away from what we perceive to give us pain. If we perceive being broke to give us more pain than working hard to earn money, then we will be motivated to work. But if we perceive working to be more painful than losing our possessions, then we will sit on the sofa until the bailiffs come a knocking. These pain and pleasure perceptions drive us to take the actions we take.
If a person still perceives smoking to bring more pleasure and benefit to them than pain and detriment, then they will tend to veer back towards smoking, and the cigarette, cigar or pipe will still hold a lure for them. You need to get to a threshold point where you perceive more pain associated with smoking, than pleasure, and the good news is that our perceptions can change. In a hypnotherapy session, your therapist will guide you to consider all that you presently don't like about smoking in a way that stacks negative associations. Rather than allowing the negatives of smoking to be dispersed (like happens over time), when you strongly consider all the negatives of the past, present and future in quick succession, it allows the mind to create more powerful associations that drive you away from the desire to smoke. Then, when you stack the positives for the present and future of freeing yourself from smoking, then it tips the balance in the right direction.
Factor two: Identity shift
This is a huge one. If a person doesn't create within themselves enough of a shift away from the old identity of 'being a smoker' and towards a new identity of 'being a non-smoker', then they may likely have within them an auto-pilot mode which draws them back to the habit. In fact being a 'non-smoker' is perhaps not the best new identity, after all, people who have never smoked wouldn't think to identify themselves as a non-smoker. It's just not something that occurs to them. A person may be better off deciding to instead, just be someone who at this point in their life, decides that their long term health and well-being is the most important thing. They've decided that their body is too valuable to them and it's processed enough dangerous stuff! They make a declaration… "I'm not that person any more who assumes their body will withstand anything, no, I am no longer willing to risk my body's health and survival, I declare I am now 'a health focused person'. I am now a person who values health through and through, shows other people the way and stands true to my long term well-being. I am no longer willing to tolerate that old identity and I'm becoming something better for me and my life now".
Factor three: Future rehearsal of changes of habit
As well as pain and pleasure associations, a person will have a unique array of associations in their mind of when they smoke and when they don't. Do they smoke with certain people, certain places, when drinking a beer or wine, with a coffee or tea, for a break at work, in the garden, at the desk and so on? The old locations and specifics of where or when you smoked need to be considered and the old connection to them severed. This is done in part by consciously planning for what to do instead, that can bring you any benefit that the old routine may have given and then by rehearsing in the mind future routines and situations. Rehearsal lays down the structure in your mind for you to more automatically follow. It makes the positive outcome familiar and easier to go along with.
The above are the main factors that need to be accounted for and a hypnotic state enables the effects to be intensified. In a hypnotic state, a person's mind is deeply focused and their unconscious processes are far more receptive to new ideas and changes. So long as they are agreeable and good for the person, thoughts and ideas can be accepted in the mind so that the power of these overrides the power of what used to be. Stacked together, these key factors have a very potent and powerful affect and help a person to reach a threshold point of no return. We know 'going cold turkey' can be tough and working with a hypnotherapist could be the sort of positive experience that makes all the difference.
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About James Brannan
James Brannan is a hypnotherapist based in Ealing and serving West London areas. He offers hypnotherapy for a range of issues and performance enhancement.