If you are reading this, you (or a loved one) have tried everything you possibly can to quit smoking. Regardless of your reasons, quitting smoking is difficult, and it could the hardest challenge you ever live through.
Smoking is one of the hardest habits to break since smoking gets you hooked, often as soon as you have your first smoke.
While some smokers use smoking as a tool for stress management, the truth is a majority of smokers, say 80% would be happy if they’d stop smoking. These individuals have tried all they know, and if you are on this path, you know just how hard and unnerving it is.
But with hypnosis on the table (hypnotherapy in the medical world), you might be able to overcome the smoking scourge you’ve been battling.
Smoking is not only bad for your brain’s health and the lungs, but it also affects your immune system, your self-esteem (when you have cigarette smoke all over you, and people shun you), and the worst bit is that tobacco is responsible for as many as 5 million deaths each year, in the world – as reported by the World Health Organization.
These are reasons enough for you to quit smoking, not to mention the fact that quitting is good for your skin, finances, and your family.
Why Can’t You Quit Smoking?
Blame it on the nicotine. Nicotine is the reason why you are addicted to smoking tobacco. Your brain has nicotine receptors, which means that when you start smoking, the brain gets its dose.
Every time you smoke, you are fulfilling that urge created by the brain and the turned-on nicotine receptors. To quit smoking, the nicotine receptors have to be turned off; hypnosis is the most effective strategy when it comes to quitting since it focuses on the brain.
Your subconscious thoughts encourage nicotine addiction. Besides the receptors, your subconscious mind is the reason why you always remember immediately you get behind the wheel or whenever you are stressed.
Obviously, the acts of your subconscious mind create a mental battle you cannot win. So, while undergoing a nicotine replacement therapy (NRP) gets rid of the physical craving to smoke, the mental urges sent by your subconscious will still be there, haunting you.
What this means is that you will only win the battle against nicotiana addiction if you tackle your mental battle and take control of your subconscious.
How to Overcome your mental battle and how to quit smoking
Top-Down Thought Processing
Before we look at how you could use hypnosis to break your smoking habits, you should know about the top-down processing, and how a trickle-down effect creates the unbreakable trail that breaks your one-week non-smoking streak.
The top-down processing looks at quitting as the process through which your mind received a signal (stress), and then it comes up with a response based on your thoughts about what is happening.
This is the process that makes quitting impossible. To quit, you need to control these processes. The control comes if you can eliminate your automatic responses to stimuli that’s keeping the addition.
Ordinarily, hypnotherapy is a guided process done by a professional who guides the person under hypnosis through the process. But in self-hypnosis, as the name suggests, you have to all the work on your own.
Under self-hypnosis, you’d have to use suggestions and relaxation techniques like listening to a pre-recorded audio or by watching a video on hypnosis.
There is no hypnotherapist involved in self-hypnosis, but thanks to the written scripts, you can talk to your subconscious without a hypnotherapist present, enabling you to create the change you desire.
Hypnosis represents one of the most effective ways of effecting and affecting parts o your consciousness, as well as your unconsciousness; often the parts of your mind you could be unaware of.
According to the Mayo Clinic, the use of hypnosis/ hypnotherapy in a more therapeutic setting could help you quit smoking or simply to overcome the bad habits you could have picked up over the years.
Hypnosis techniques induce a trance state, not sleeping, allowing you to sleep.
WebMD defines hypnosis as the altered state of awareness during which the individual undergoing hypnosis appears to be in a trance or asleep. Clinically, hypnosis could be used to treat psychological and physical problems.
One of the most common applications in the clinical world is pain control. Hypnosis has also been used to manage speech disorders, addiction problems, as well as weight issues.
Even though it remains unclear (going by the debates in the scientific world) as to whether hypnosis works or not, the truth is that hypnosis seems to work in most cases.
Hypnosis is also postulated to be the best solution to breaking nicotine addictions since it allows you to control your top-down thought process.
In this case, experiencing a craving-stimulating stimulus influences a response that makes you stress. You react to the stress by smoking.
Hypnosis gives you control because, in the hypnotized state, your mind is in a trance (daydreaming state), but your conscious mind is disconnected, making your subconscious highly vulnerable to suggestion.
The detachment from the conscious mind means that your mind won’t be looking for logical reasons as to why you should continue smoking.
As you self-hypnotize yourself, the guided hypnosis audio or video will offer positive suggestions that will stick to your subconscious, changing the normal course of things.
The access to your subconscious is more like setting up roadblocks that will automatically keep off the urge to smoke.
After hypnosis coming head on to a normal smoking trigger will not lead you down the smoking path. Instead, your mind’s immediate reaction is to slow down and take on the new information now in your subconscious mind.
How to Reframe the Subconscious Mind/ Thoughts
The thoughts in your subconscious are very powerful, and they form your perception. What this means is that when your subconscious tells you something, you will take it seriously, then it will relay that information to your conscious mind.
When you are hypnotized, you give your mind (subconscious) more accurate and new information on smoking.
Those hypnotic suggestions that you deliver to your subconscious when you are in a trance will help you reprocess the habit and gain more control over your habits and thoughts.
You could also frame your thoughts differently so that your mind perceives the smell of cigarette smoke as a bad smell that you cannot stand, for example, the smell of burning plastic.
Using the Spiegel Method
Besides reframing your thoughts, you could also break a habit by giving your subconscious new suggestions such as – smoking is poisonous, you need to keep your body alive, or that you must respect and protect your body.
If you are trying to quit smoking, then hypnosis might be an excellent option for you since it breaks the mental battle that makes quitting hard. Self-hypnosis helps in the cessation of smoking.
In a self-hypnosis session, you have to follow an induction hypnosis process that will allow you to enter the trance state, which opens your subconscious and makes you open to suggestions. You could also use a stop-smoking script or recorded hypnosis sessions for you to quit smoking.