For over 15 years I repeatedly failed in my attempts to stop smoking using a variety of products. Despite all those failures, just like you, I knew I needed to quit this habit that was slowly killing me. One session of Solution Focused Hypnotherapy to stop smoking was all it took.
Is hypnotherapy good for stopping smoking?
Hypnotherapy is more effective than using many other methods to quit smoking. Using hypnosis to quit smoking has often been proven to be the most successful method. The largest-ever study into smoking cessation methods was reported by the world-renowned New Scientist magazine. It quoted smoking hypnosis as being the most effective way of giving up smoking.
The study compared a variety of different methods, with a sample size of over 72,000 people, spanning 3 different continents. The conclusion of the study was that using hypnosis for smoking cessation was the most effective method. It was proven to be 6 times more effective than using willpower.
Using hypnosis to stop smoking really can increase your chances of permanently quitting by eliminating your desire to smoke. There are also no know side effects when the treatment is carried out by a professional hypnotherapist.
The problem with willpower
One of the main issues with using willpower is that it takes a lot of hard work. Our brains really don’t like hard work, that’s why we develop habits. Once something becomes a habit it becomes automatic. The part of our brain that deals with our executive function (our ability to learn, memorise and recall) is happy that it’s got one less job to do.
However, as we know it takes time for things to become a habit. All the time we are relying on willpower we are draining our executive function. This system needs to take frequent breaks to recharge. Our system can only do this effectively if we’re in peak form. Stress, sleep loss, poor diet, loneliness and a lack of exercise mean that our willpower is never topped up to maximum levels.
Willpower is not an endless supply
Willpower is depleted by overuse, it’s usually a short term temporary fix. If you’re trying to give up smoking, trying to eat healthier or trying not to drink as much alcohol you’re burning through your bank of willpower at an alarming rate. Additionally, you might also be trying hard in a new job or attempting to be more patient with your children. Anything that requires concentration will additionally deplete your supply.
Most people also overestimate how much willpower they have. Most people’s willpower, including my own, is very weak. When we try and give something up using willpower we are denying ourselves something that we want. Once that willpower bank has been depleted and we find ourselves even in a mildly stressful situation, then it’s not long before we have a cigarette in hand, cursing another failed attempt.
What is the success rate of hypnosis for quitting smoking?
It’s very hard to say an actual percentage rate of people who have quit using smoking hypnosis. What we do know though is that hypnosis to stop smoking is consistently found to be the most effective way of quitting.
A study in 2014 found that using clinical hypnosis was more effective than using nicotine replacement products in patients that had been hospitalised for a smoking illness. At 12 weeks after treatment, the results of quitting rates were 43.9% v 28.2% and after 26 weeks the results were 36.6% v 18.0%, that’s over twice as successful.
As with any method to quit, using smoking hypnosis requires the person to want to give up. Using hypnosis to quit smoking is not a magic wand. You can’t fool your brain. You either want to stop or you don’t. I won’t take anyone on as a client who has a motivation to stop of less than 8/10. I just won’t take you on as a client if you’re not committed.
What are the benefits of hypnotherapy?
One of the main benefits of using hypnotherapy to stop smoking is that the results are instantaneous.
I compare the nicotine replacement model to people who seek professional help for an alcohol problem. We know with nicotine replacement, depending on the number of cigarettes you smoke, you start on a certain strength product. Then over the coming months, the amount of nicotine contained in the product lessens. It is hoped that you’re gradually weaned off nicotine over a period of several months.
So let’s compare that to a person who has sought help for alcohol dependency. Perhaps they’ve been drinking a litre of spirits a day. Is the advice they receive to switch to a bottle of red wine, then a few months later switch to beer and a few months after then switch to alcohol-free beer?
No of course not, because giving you smaller and smaller amounts of the chemical you have become to rely on seldom works. It’s also a long-drawn-out process, which is reliant on willpower as much as anything.
When either using willpower or nicotine replacement products there is often the sense that you are denying yourself something that you want. By taking part in smoking hypnosis your mindset is completely changed to that of a non-smoker.
It’s very rare that after a few days you will even think about smoking. So it has the benefit that you’re not denying yourself something because you don’t recognise that you enjoyed it or were reliant on it.
Why we smoke – the habit explained
As well as a very intelligent part of your mind that knows smoking is a deadly habit, you have a very simple primitive part. This is where your smoking habit lies. This is the original part of our brain. Its job is to look out for and keep us safe from danger. It can, however, often get things wrong.
This primitive part of our brain has mistakenly formed the opinion that smoking reduces stress. When you smoke there is a physiological response. Your heart rate and breathing rate rise and the brain recognises this as a stress response so it looks out for danger. There obviously isn’t any.
Approximately 45 minutes after having a cigarette you’ll start to get nicotine withdrawal pangs and you’ll start to become edgy. So you have a cigarette and these pangs are relieved. Your primitive brain then associates the reliving of these withdrawal pangs with smoking. So an incorrect pattern is made in your brain. This then forms your unconscious smoking habit.
Your simple primitive brain thinks that smoking helps to relieve stress. All it has done of cause is relieve that mild nicotine withdrawal that your last cigarette caused. Not one of the 4,000 chemicals in cigarette smoke is a relaxant. There are plenty of stressors though. So by continuing to smoke you are actually increasing your stress levels not reducing them.
There is no logical or intellectual reason for you to smoke. You do not need me to tell you it’s expensive, it’s now seen as being unsociable, it makes your clothes and breath smell and increases your likelihood of dying. There is not one intelligent reason why you smoke. Your intellectual mind is 100% aware of this but while your primitive mind is in charge, the message isn’t getting through.
How does hypnosis to quit smoking work?
Let’s compare your brain to an organisation to help me explain how hypnotherapy to stop smoking works.
Your intellectual brain is the CEO, the big Boss, this is the part of your brain that knows without a doubt that smoking is a deadly habit that has absolutely no benefit to you. Your amygdala is the Health and Safety Officer, they’re in charge of your primitive brain.
It’s important to remember that your primitive brain mistakenly thinks that smoking is good for you as it lowers your stress response. This part of your brain that deals with your survival is said to have the intelligence of a 5-year-old child. It’s fully convinced that smoking is helping you o remove stress from your life.
In the middle of these 2 areas is the cingulate gyrus, this is your P.A. It’s constantly sending out messages to all the different parts of your brain including your intellectual brain and your primitive brain. It will decide what information is important for the Boss to know.
In the case of smoking your Health and Safety Officer has put up such a strong argument as to why you should carry on smoking that your P.A just accepts it and doesn’t feel the need to raise the issue with the Boss. They’re far too busy doing other important things to be interrupted.
What happens during stop smoking hypnosis?
Metaphorically, when you are relaxed during hypnosis, your Health and Safety Officer disappears to have an extended tea break and your CEO takes the opportunity to get in a round of golf. During hypnosis, your intellectual brain and primitive brain calm down their activity. Your brain waves change allowing other areas of your brain to become receptive to positive suggestions for change.
Your P.A becomes incredibly busy and receptive to new information. It’s during stop smoking hypnosis that your P.A gets the very clear message that smoking is a deadly habit, that will eventually kill you and you need to stop it now.
When you come back to full consciousness and everyone returns from their breaks, the P.A effectively tells your Health and Safety Officer that they’re not listening to their nonsense anymore. They inform the Boss that as of this moment they’re back in charge of health matters. As we know the Boss is already fully aware that there is absolutely no benefit to be had by carrying on smoking. This makes stopping relatively easy.
You’ll probably still have a few withdrawal pangs for the first couple of days but then when the Boss is firmly back in charge it doesn’t even enter your mind. You’ve completely changed your mindset to that of a non-smoker.
What are the benefits of online hypnotherapy?
The actual online hypnotherapy sessions follow the same format as if we were meeting face to face. The only difference is that all our communication is done via the Zoom platform. This makes it a particularly safe form of therapy that can take place from anywhere in the world providing there is a reliable internet connection. You will receive the same structured session and excellent level of service that you would during face to face therapy.
All parts of the hypnotherapy process can take place via Zoom. A vast majority of our time together is spent in conversation, therefore we just need a method of communication where we can see and hear each other.
By not having to make travel arrangements my clients find they are better able to fit the session into a busy day. They find it safer, more convenient and they enjoy being able to relax in familiar surroundings.
You can find out more about the benefits of online hypnotherapy here.
What is the quitting smoking timeline?
Smoking releases thousands of harmful chemicals into your body damaging your heart, lungs and other body structures.
Fortunately, the positive effects of stopping smoking are very fast. Within 20 minutes of having a cigarette, your body will try to achieve homeostasis. The quitting smoking timeline identifies the health benefits to your body after your last cigarette. The quitting smoking timeline can be found here.
Why I have great success with hypnotherapy clients who want to stop smoking
The main reason is that I genuinely want you to be successful in stopping smoking. I was in your situation for 15 years. Had I not had hypnotherapy I’d probably still be smoking today. I can understand the battle that’s going on inside your head and can fully emphasise with you.
I’ve therefore developed a comprehensive plan to help you stop smoking for good.
A week before your stop smoking appointment you will be provided with a ‘Guided Relaxation Download’. This will help to begin the process of reducing the anxiety that years of smoking have built up. It will also give you an opportunity to get used to my voice which will make it much easier for you to go into a relaxed trance during our session.
You will also be given a simple yet effective way to start to increase your serotonin levels that will have been reduced throughout your time smoking. This can help you to think even more positively about your life as a non-smoker.
In addition, you will also be provided with an ‘Understanding Your Mind’ download to listen to. This will go into more detail about how your brain has been working against you and why your previous attempts to stop smoking have been unsuccessful. Its main purpose is to educate you, in order that you fully understand you are not addicted to a substance, you just have an unhealthy habit. It is easier to permanently change a habit than an addiction.
Finally, you will receive a copy of my ‘How to stop the time bomb’ stop smoking guide. It contains a 7-day step by step process to help fully prepare you for our appointment together. I believe that by following the guide you will greatly increase your chances of success and that you will be in a great position to enjoy the rest of your years living smoke-free.
If you would like to find out more about how I can help you to live a life free from your smoking habit, then please get in touch using my contact form. I look forward to helping you quit smoking permanently.
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