Kick the smoking habit
Recently I’ve seen a huge increase in enquiries from people who want to stop smoking. And it's no wonder - the cost of living crisis means that everyone is wondering where they can make savings.
When I work with someone to help them become a non-smoker I am most interested in finding out their beliefs about smoking:
Do they believe they can quit?
What does smoking do for them, if anything?
Do they think they are addicted or have a habit?
My role is to help them understand how any unhelpful beliefs have come about - and more importantly, help them see things in a brand new way. By the time a smoker comes to see me they have usually tried all sorts of things to quit - going cold turkey, patches or gum, even medication. Hypnotherapy is seen as a last resort - which is a shame, as it's probably the least painful way to stop smoking!
It's normal to believe that becoming a non-smoker will involve a certain amount of pain. But a craving for a cigarette is essentially the same as any other kind of craving. Smokers have them, and non-smokers have them. Cravings are all about instant gratification - and because smokers always have something to smoke close to hand, they rarely explore their ability to surf the urge.
Many people believe they are addicted to smoking. But when you think about it, smokers pretty much always settle on a number. They know exactly how many times they will smoke during the day. If they want to take time off from smoking to go to work, get on a plane or sleep, they can do that. Settling on a number and taking time off is a luxury that an addicted person does not have - they need to take more of a substance for it to have an effect - or decrease the amount of time between taking it. So smoking is absolutely a problem of habit.
If you believe you are physically addicted to something, it goes without saying you will believe it will be painful to give up and difficult to do. Therefore smokers are likely to believe there must be a price to pay when they quit, and this sets the mind up for an expectation of suffering and side effects.
If you’re a smoker, think about this; every single time you smoke it is prompted by something you are about to do, something you were doing, something you have just done, or perhaps a way you are feeling. Every single one has a prompt, cue or trigger.
There is a huge amount of habitual behaviour connected to smoking, and this simple fact alone is often enough to empower someone to quit smoking forever, now.
But don't take my word for it - here's some recent feedback from people I have helped who are now happy non-smokers:
"GOBSMACKED is an understatement! Just wanted to let you know I am now a non-smoker. I haven't touched anything and I've been smoking for 24 years. I just don't desire it, it's mad!"
"I'm well and truly over the smelly fags! You helped me to see the relationship/habit for what it was. Blown away by how powerful one session was!"