Stop smoking with hypnotherapy
Congratulations to you! You are reading this article because you have decided to stop smoking and, again, bravo, because it can be challenging, make no mistake.
Firstly, though, a little story of how I helped my mum stop smoking – or at least this is what she claimed. In the 80s, she used to smoke maybe 20-30 a day and, when she was on the phone, non-stop. One day, during one of her marathon gossiping sessions with her sister on the line, I noticed that she had a cigarette lit and perched on the mantelpiece – with the door to the hall opened, I then noticed that she had lit up another one.
In my teenage innocence (or embarrassment) I called out to her, “Mum, do you know that you have already one on the go?” To this day, she claims this incident served as a wakeup call in that she realised she needed to stop. The result? Cold turkey, no use of patches, no more cigs, and no e-cigarettes.
The good news
Before we go into details of how hypnotherapy can help, it is very important to realise that hypnotherapy has every chance of success if you are 100% motivated and committed to stopping and returning to being a non-smoker. You were not born a smoker and there are lots of times in the day that you do not/cannot smoke.
Think of your hypnotherapist as a friendly and informative passenger in an imaginary car driving towards success. You are the driver that wants, needs and can benefit from the change when you stop smoking!
When you sign up for a stop-smoking programme like mine, we will work together to remove the confusion between your conscious mind and subconscious mind about what’s important to you – your health or that cigarette. You see, whenever we do something repeatedly, our subconscious mind believes it (that cigarette) to be very important to us. Yet our conscious mind knows what we need to do for good health (quit smoking).
What is hypnotherapy?
Hypnotherapy uses hypnosis to try to treat conditions or change habits. It is a state of relaxation in which the hypnotherapist will make beneficial suggestions to your unconscious mind. There are different types of hypnotherapy and different ways of hypnotising someone.
What will happen in a hypnotherapy session?
Firstly, you'll have a chat with your therapist to discuss what you hope to achieve and agree on what methods your therapist will use. They will take a full and confidential case history (usually starting with a consultation form sent to you before the session) and, based on these answers, design a therapy session.
After this, the hypnotherapist will lead you into a deeply relaxed state and use agreed methods to help you towards your goal – stopping smoking and remaining stopped. You're fully in control when under hypnosis and don't have to take on the therapist's suggestions if you don't want to. If necessary, you can bring yourself out of the hypnotic state. Hypnosis doesn't work if you don't want to be hypnotised.
What are the benefits of stopping smoking?
These can vary from person to person and may seem pretty obvious. Some of them are:
- to have more money in your pocket
- to smell fresher
- to feel fitter
- to be free of the risk of smoking-related diseases
Hypnotherapy is about helping you to stop smoking and to remain a non-smoker. With 100% motivation from you and a genuine desire to stop smoking, hypnotherapy can be extremely effective in making you stop and enjoy the benefits – it has worked for thousands of others, so why not you?
In the therapy sessions, we will address the process of stopping and remaining stopped and also any fears/concerns of what happens when you have done so. Some of the common concerns are: putting on weight, how to cope with stress when you have stopped, coping with withdrawal symptoms and having enough willpower to remain a non-smoker.
The main benefit of stopping is a boost to your confidence and self-esteem. You will have achieved something difficult, using your own willpower, motivation and determination. I will only act as your coach or cheerleader, using proven methods for you to score that goal. Result!
How can I prepare myself for stopping smoking?
There are many practical and physical things you can do to help yourself. Firstly, I tell all my clients to not be too hard on themselves – smoking is an addiction that takes hold for many reasons. For most of us, addiction (be it smoking, alcohol, gambling, biting our nails etc.) functions as a coping habit, nothing more, nothing less.
When we carry the addictive patterns of behaviour for long enough, the conscious act of using/taking the drug is taken over by the subconscious. You have no longer a choice because it has become a wired in, looped pattern at the subconscious level. That is what we will address in the hypnotherapy sessions, in which you will create other ways to meet the urge with my help.
Some top tips – preparing to stop smoking
Remember that smoking is the biggest cause of preventable deaths in England, accounting for more than 80,000 deaths each year and that one in two smokers will die from a smoking-related disease. Do you need any more motivation than that, also keeping in mind that if cigarettes were invented tomorrow, they would be banned immediately?
Yet, well done you, because you have moved into what psychologists call the “preparation stage” of the quitting process when you actually prepare for the big event-stopping for good. So how can you help yourself?
1. Check and be 100% sure mentally, that this is the right time to quit… preferably at a time when your life is relatively stable. Be positive, act confidently and think about the challenges you have already overcome in your life. Everyone has some of those.
2. Tell friends, family and colleagues who are supportive and encouraging, to help you in any way they can. Ask them to exercise or go outside with you, start walking or running more, if you can.
3. Get rid of any smoking paraphernalia before your first session to make your home into a non-smoking zone.
4. Do something that you know will increase your motivation to quit i.e. start a money jar. Every time you buy a packet of cigarettes, put the same amount into this jar. Count it up after a week or month and think about how you can spend it on something nice. You deserve it.
5. Employ and really use a hypnotherapist. We are there to listen and address your hopes and fears around smoking. Make this the year you actually do it and reap the benefits!