Give up smoking consciously or let hypnotherapy help

If you are serious about giving up smoking, then you may need to consider that it's not just a physical addiction. Our brains create associations to events and places where we perform our habit, and it's often this effect which drives the compulsion to light up. This automatic pilot part of the brain is helpful when we are trying to learn something useful, like riding a bike or driving a car. We don't want to be thinking of how to do those things all the time, but to be in control of your smoking habit you do need to be fully aware of decisions, and this comes from your frontal lobes just above your eyes. You would have complete control if you were flying, for example, because you know smoking is not allowed on aeroplanes. You don't smoke for those hours of flying until you touch down and your automatic pilot directs you straight to the smoking zone.

Think about the times and places you are smoking. Is it to help you wind down after work, or is it to get yourself out of the office for a break? Note downtimes and places you are smoking as an exercise, then choose one thing to change in the coming week.

Great; you are making a conscious decision to make a change and stop smoking. It's better to start with one small, easy adjustment than to work on everything at once. Find other pastimes to help you unwind; not changing to something equally unhealthy like alcohol, something like a hobby such as knitting - where your hands are busy, and your mind is focused.

Also, think about how you smoke. Which hand do you hold your cigarette in? Try this exercise to change the habit:
When you usually smoke, have a cup of tea, coffee or water and hold it with your smoking hand. Sit on the other hand. Disrupting what you usually do can help change the habit. Distractions can help too, as the urge to carry out your habit can get lost if we focus on something else for a while.

Now consider why you started to smoke in the first place. Often it's to fit in or appear cool during our teens. Sometimes, it's about rebelling against authority such as school or strict parents. Does smoking still serve that purpose? - highly unlikely.

The part of the brain promoting the habit doesn't understand time. It doesn't realise that is not the reason why you are smoking. What would you like your future to be like smoke-free? Sometimes, focusing on what we want allows our brains to come up with solutions to arrive at the preferred future. If we only focus on the health implications, it could increase anxiety, and that takes you out of control.

The average amount of money people spend on smoking per year is around £1,700 according to Action on Smoking and Health (ASH). This could buy you a second-hand car, or a luxury holiday somewhere you've always wanted to go. I've known people to put that money away each week and purchase a whole new wardrobe of clothes with the savings.

How can hypnotherapy help?

So you have hopefully just learnt some techniques to help you give up smoking by consciously making changes in your life. If you need further help, you mind find it useful to try hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy helps suggest to your subconscious mind to give up smoking, whilst suggesting all the excellent benefits you're going to have as a non-smoker. It helps relax you and place you in control of your decisions and responses.

There are many campaigns throughout the year encouraging taking the step to change habits. World Stop Smoking Day takes place in March, and of course, Stoptober in October. Why not let these campaigns inspire you to give hypnotherapy a try? A small investment in your health can help save many problems as you age. Of course, there is no better time to stop smoking than now. So, take the first small step and soon you could find yourself free from smoking completely.

Hypnotherapy Directory is not responsible for the articles published by members. The views expressed are those of the member who wrote the article.

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Written by Penelope Ling BA DHP SFBT CBT SFBTSUP - Supervisor

Penny Ling is an experienced solution-focused hypnotherapist specialising in fears and phobias and many anxiety-related problems in between. She was Editor of Hypnotherapy Today magazine, supervises other hypnotherapists. She has published an eBook - "How solution-focused hypnotherapy can help with life", and a contributor to Happiful Magazine.… Read more

Written by Penelope Ling BA DHP SFBT CBT SFBTSUP - Supervisor

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