How to Quit Smoking with Hypnotherapy in the New Year
New Year’s resolutions are goals we set for ourselves. The New Year = new me mind mentality has lasted since the Babylonians first started using them 4,000 years ago.
Unfortunately it’s very common to see people nowadays fail to accomplish their goals. When it comes to quitting smoking in particular, this is a real challenge. Either it never happens, or some people only quit for a few months before taking it up again, most likely from a trigger that causes them to use smoking as a coping mechanism.
This is why you should seriously consider hypnotherapy as a tool to help you quit smoking for good. Not only does addiction take over the body, but also deep in the mind is where addiction plants its seed.
Don’t think of quitting smoking, or smoking cessation as it’s usually called, as a New Year’s resolution; rather, consider it to be a healthy change you want to strive for.
Why it’s so Hard to Quit Smoking
Nicotine is both a physical and a mental addiction. A massive deterrent to quitting is the physical withdrawal symptoms that can cause disruption in your daily life. Withdrawal causes nausea, irritability, aches and pains, sore throat, headaches, and mental and physical fatigue.
However, it’s the subconscious that keeps us addicted and triggers the urge for a cigarette, whether it be routine with morning coffee, a reward for hard work, or you’ve got to have the fix when you’re under a lot of stress. The subconscious is the real reason why many quitting smoking aids are ineffective, why nicotine replacement therapy can only do so much, and why the mental subconscious thoughts are still there festering.
All senses—touch, smell, emotion, and sight—are sent to the brain to create a conscious impression where the brain shapes emotions and feelings and then delivers a response. The mind will receive a stress signal, think about what is happening, and create a response based on those thoughts. This is known as top-down thinking.
Ultimately, this is what makes quitting smoking so difficult. Our subconscious is what influences our top-down responses. In order to quit smoking, you need control of your top-down thinking by eliminating the automatic response to the trigger that keeps your addiction held in place.
How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Quit Smoking for Good
Hypnotherapy provides the ability to re-examine our top-down thoughts. The mind naturally creates associations that influence the response to stimulus that causes cravings. For example, you become stressed at work, which triggers smoking as a coping mechanism, and you react by having a cigarette during lunch break.
Though hypnosis, you can alter these negative thoughts while in the trance-like state, where your mind is more open to suggestion. Your mind can be fed more positive ideas and thoughts that “stick” from your hypnotherapist. These positive suggestions are roadblocks for your automatic, negative top-down thoughts that keep your addiction going. When you do experience a trigger, your mind won’t automatically react. Instead, it will slow down and “listen” to the new information you have given it.
Herbert Spiegel, author of “Trance and Treatment: Clinical Uses of Hypnosis,” was one of the first psychiatrists to promote clinical hypnotherapy as a means of smoking cessation. This is why one of the most popular hypnosis techniques for quitting smoking is known as the Spiegel Method.
Spiegel provided three suggestions repeated in a hypnosis script:
- Smoking is poison
- You need your body to live
- You should respect your body and protect it
His method doesn’t focus on quitting, but rather putting the focus on respecting the body which distracts the attention away from abstaining and completely ignoring it.
Is Hypnotherapy Right for Me?
The answer to this question depends entirely on you. Hypnotherapy is not the option for you if:
- You feel like you should quit smoking, but don’t really want to
- You aren’t ready to quit
- You want to quit for someone else
It is the best option for you, however, if:
- You want to quit for your own sake
- You want to remove the stressors and triggers of your addiction
- You feel up to putting in the effort to quit permanently
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