Around two-thirds of people who smoke say they want to quit. Half of them try. But fewer than one in ten smokers succeeds in giving up smoking for longer than six months. If this sounds like you, perhaps it’s worth considering self hypnosis to stop smoking.
Recent research indicates that self hypnosis may increase success rates by as much as 30%. The method least likely to succeed is going ‘cold turkey’ – relying on will power alone to kick the habit.
Using nicotine patches, gum or sprays can increase your chances of success. These products are designed to deliver nicotine to your system in a different form. You need to gradually reduce your usage in order to break your nicotine addiction. If you stop using them too quickly, the temptation to light up again can return. And it’s difficult to resist!
Why is it so difficult to stop smoking?
If you’ve been smoking more than five cigarettes a day for three months or longer, you are likely to be addicted to nicotine. And, according to the American Cancer Association, nicotine may be as addictive as heroin or cocaine. Research conducted in 2012 showed that it may actually be easier to quit these hard drugs than it is to stop smoking. In comparison, people who wanted to give up drinking were five times more likely to succeed than those who tried to stop smoking.
Nicotine triggers release of ‘feel good’ chemicals in your brain
When you inhale cigarette smoke, nicotine is almost instantly absorbed into your blood stream through your lungs. Within a few seconds it reaches your brain, where it triggers the release of dopamine, the ‘feel good’ chemical.
Over time, your brain becomes dependent on nicotine to enable you to feel good. As with other habit forming drugs, you may find that as time goes by you need to smoke more cigarettes, or inhale more deeply, to achieve the same feeling of well-being.
As with any other drug, when you stop smoking, you will experience withdrawal symptoms. These could include feeling irritable, anxious or upset. You may suffer from insomnia or find it difficult to concentrate or relax. Or there may be physical symptoms such as headaches, nausea and dizziness.
Apart from physical reliance on nicotine, smoking is often very much a part of your daily routine. You may be accustomed to lighting up each time you have a cup of coffee or drive to work in the morning. Performing these everyday routines without a cigarette in your hand feels strange and uncomfortable. And you’ll miss those smoke breaks at work. Now there’s no reason to step away from your desk and enjoy a chat with co-workers while you puff away. You may be accustomed to lighting up after a meal, and feel something is missing when you stop smoking. All of which makes it more difficult to give up
Using self hypnosis to stop smoking
Hypnosis is a way of tapping into your subconscious, which controls many of the triggers that have you reaching for your cigarettes. Your subconscious makes you believe that smoking is enjoyable. That it relieves stress, helps you concentrate, keeps the weight off and is part of relaxing and socialising with friends.
When you use self hypnosis to stop smoking, you’ll have the opportunity to challenge these myths and replace them with what your conscious mind already knows to be true – that smoking is bad for you. You don’t need to smoke cigarettes to lead an enjoyable and fulfilling life. In fact, there’s nothing ‘enjoyable’ about filling your lungs with harmful smoke.
Hypnotherapy helps break these patterns
When you start using a self hypnosis app, you be instructed to settle down somewhere quiet and relaxing. Using a recorded message, your hypnotherapist will guide you to enter a trance like state. Although your body will feel deeply relaxed while you are under hypnosis, it’s not the same as being asleep. It’s a way of blocking out your conscious mind and allowing your subconscious to focus intensely on your goal of stopping smoking.
Scans have shown that during hypnosis, people actually experience more brain activity. This allows you to absorb suggestions made by your hypnotherapist that offer a different perspective on smoking.
Instead of seeing smoking as a pleasant, enjoyable activity, you will be guided to view it in a different light. You may be asked to visualise various positive or negative scenarios. For example, you could be guided to ‘smell’ the disgusting, stale smoke in your hair or clothes, or imagine yourself struggling to breathe because your lungs are full of smoke. Or you could visualise a healthier, stronger version of yourself, able to run for the bus without gasping for air.
Your self hypnosis app may include messages that help change your mental self image of yourself as a smoker to that of a non-smoker. Hypnotherapy can also help you to let go of old routines that included smoking, and replace them with other healthier options.
During hypnosis, subconscious beliefs that smoking relaxes you, or prevents you from gaining weight, can be altered and replaced by other beliefs. For example: Overeating causes weight gain. Deep breathing is a healthier way to achieve a feeling of relaxation.
Will hypnosis cure cravings for cigarettes?
Nicotine is an addictive drug. So you may still experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings. However, you can use your self hypnosis app on a regular basis to reprogramme your response to daily activities that trigger the urge to smoke. By altering what your subconscious believes, you strengthen your resolve and empower yourself to overcome the urge to smoke.
Each smoke free day builds on your ability to live your live without cigarettes. Even if you have tried to quit before and not managed it, you can succeed this time. Let the power of self hypnosis help you to stop smoking.
How to choose an effective self hypnosis app.
There are literally hundreds of apps available on Google Play and the Apple App Store. For complete peace of mind, be sure to choose one developed by an experienced clinical hypnotherapist with a proven successful track record.