Your Solutions for Stopping Smoking are Unique for You
Have you tried giving up smoking on your own? If you are reading this it probably didn't work. You are not alone. Only around 1 person in 20 to 30 people succeed without help.
This is about how I can help you but also why other approaches haven't worked for you. Basically most ways people try to give up address the wrong things. Smoking isn't the problem, it's why and how you do it that is. If you truly smoked because you enjoyed it, as some people say, then you would not let yourself be distracted while doing it. Try the exercise below to see how and why you smoke and if you can really give total attention to smoking. Most people who say they like smoking enjoy the first 2 or 3 breaths, then spend the rest of the time smoking without paying attention to it. Those first breaths aren't really about smoking, especially if you are doing it when stressed. They are about managing the emotional reasons you smoke, managing the stress by changing your focus away from the sources of stress.
If you truly enjoy the smoking it wouldn't be unhealthy.
Controversial right! Here are the reasons -
- You would only do it to celebrate so you'd do it rarely maybe once or twice a week or a day. You wouldn't do it to escape stress.
- You wouldn't want it to become habituated or acclimatised so it became ordinary. You'd keep it special.
- And you'd do it alone so you could give the joy of it your fullest attention, though sharing a cigarette with someone might be fun. But if smoking was the focus for you it would either be a quiet sharing or smoking would be the point of the conversations.
Here are the positive health benefits gained from giving up
- Within 20 minutes after quitting, blood pressure and heart rate decrease
- Within 12 hours, carbon monoxide levels in the blood decrease to normal
- Within 48 hours, nerve endings and sense of smell and taste both start recovering
- Within 3 months, circulation and lung function improve
- Within 9 months, there are decreases in cough and shortness of breath
- Within 1 year, the risk of coronary heart disease is cut in half
- Within 5 years, the risk of stroke falls to the same as a non-smoker, and the risks of many cancers (mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, cervix) decrease significantly
- Within 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is cut in half,and the risks of larynx and pancreas cancers decrease
- Within 15 years, the risk of coronary heart disease drops to the level of a non-smoker; lowered risk for developing COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Here the financial benefits
According to the "I quit" website if you are smoking a pack a day you are spending somewhere between $18 & $30 a day on smoking that's $7,700 a year. Of course different brands cost different amounts, and most people have cut back due to the cost and the bans on smoking in work and social places. But lets say you are still on a pack a day, that's the same cost as your car per year and is a great holiday in Europe for you alone and a trip for your whole family to Bali.
What Happens When We Meet?
Here's a testimonial for Quitting Smoking.
Hypnosis, NLP and mindfulness will help you stop smoking. I've included a podcast from one of my teachers below to explain.
It talks about how important addressing the reasons that drive your smoking habit beyond the act itself and the nicotine addiction.
We will meet a minimum of 3 times to ensure the process is working to be permanent.
Session 1. In this first session we do a history, and find out what giving up will mean to you, then put in place the processes through hypnosis. You will be given homework. These sessions are about empowering you to take control of yourself. If you can give up smoking imagine all the other things you can do.
Session 2 & 3. In these sessions we check how everything is going what has worked and what needs tweaking to improve, deepen the processes.
Factors Affecting Success
Your beliefs, expectations and attitudes are significant. Again this is where hypnosis, NLP and various therapies can help. An ironic example is when a person feels bad about smoking but smokes to alleviate feeling bad. Hypnosis can help break this cycle. BUT more importantly NLP Hypnosis can teach you that you are stronger and have much more control over how your mind and body works than you think.
- Identifying yourself as a 'non-smoker' or 'don't smoke' once you've stopped is very powerful. You are saying to yourself and others every time smoking comes up that you are positively free of the habit, not struggling with it by saying you are 'quitting', 'trying' or an 'ex-smoker', which keep the habit alive in your mind.
Believe it or not melanin (the dark pigment in skin that is part of sun tans and racial difference and also effects your sleep cycles) affects addiction to nicotine, because there is an affinity in your body between the two. This makes it harder for some people to give up nicotine, though, of course, smoking is not the only source of the chemical.
As you would know there is a social aspects to smoking. This is also where hypnosis, NLP, mindfulness and various therapies can help. There are different sides to it.
- Your affect on your friends. Your friends may be less likely to light up. The feelings of pressure they feel might lead to the second social affect.
Your friends' affects on you. You may face pressure from your friends and family who don't want you to change because they find it disruptive. They might use humour, for example, to persuade you to continue smoking. Sometimes it's not that friends are the problem but your own associations and expectations which are the source of pressure. For example, socialising used to always involve drinking and smoking. Cravings are easier to control when your environment doesn't support the habit, but giving up socialising isn't realistic though considering how and where you do it might be. If you've stopped smoking and have close relationships with active smokers it can be harder to stick with it. In small groups it's easier to defuse any pressure to smoke.
- Interestingly many people find it harder to refuse a cigarette from an acquaintance. Sometimes being polite, when someone offers you a smoke, can sometimes be more of a problem then your friends. Actually people were 77% more likely to conform to non-friends, while close friends are usually easier to say no to or to get support from.
If you suffer with major depressive disorders you maybe less successful at quitting smoking than non-depressed smokers. But again quitting can help you realise you are stronger and more capable than you think which may not stop you feeling depressed but it can change your relationship with the illness.
Relapse (resuming smoking after quitting) can affect your self esteem and your willingness to continue with a program for quitting. 2 things to consider.
As the ad on TV in Sydney demonstrates, almost no one quits successfully first time. Each attempt teaches you something about what works and doesn't work for you. Ask any of your friends, still smoking and those who have successfully quit and you'll hear stories of their many attempts.
Psychological methods like hypnosis, NLP and other therapies can help prevent these relapses and the consequences.Nicotine-replacement may help some who relapse to smoking.
If you have children you might be affected by considering the effect and example you are teaching them. Do you want your children to grow up with a parent who is controlled by an external substance, who needs to reach outside for a drug for help to manage themselves when things get tough or overwhelming, stressful. Not only that but there are the possibilities of children suffering from illnesses in the future from passive smoking.
Keith Livingston from http://www.hypnosis101.com/ I listen to him because he is smart and knowledgeable about hypnosis and NLP, but he is American so sometimes a bit pushy. And though his blog is generous with information if you want to learn about these subjects it is designed to sell his courses as well as convince you hypnosis works and how it works. Just as this blog is here to help you decide if what I do is the right choice for you.
In this podcast he talks about the complexities of quiting smoking. He also talks about performance hypnosis and does some exercises that are used to demo suggestions.
Traditional approaches, like patches, for stopping smoking focus on smoking. It is better to think of smoking as a symptom of other issues. Traditional hypnotherapists run standard scripts that seek to make you hate smoking, feel sick, uncomfortable irritated by smoking. To learn to smoke most people had to get through a fair bit of discomfort, coughing, even dizziness to do it. If you are reading this and exploring how to give up you are already feeling discomfort, even hate with smoking for various reasons. If discomfort was going to work you wouldn't have started and you would have already stopped it.
There are lots of reasons you smoke that are not necessarily about smoking itself, not least of which is that you feel powerless in the face of the habit. You may have heard that the addiction is to the nicotine there are receptors in the brain for it, that release various hormones like endophines which mean it has a complex affect on you alternatively stimulating and relaxing, affecting concentration, memory and perception. All these you can easily make happen with a deeper understand of how your mind body works. As Keith Livingston says only 15% of people stop smoking with nicotene replacement. If the health message you see in ads and on packaging were going to work you would have already given up.
Exercise: The Reasons You Smoke
The reasons you smoke are not so simple. It is unlikely to be just one reason. Any successful help for you has to address them all.
Here's an exercise to try at home or somewhere you are alone with a little time on your hands:
Step 1: Don't smoke until you are really hanging out for one.
Step 2: Write down what hanging out desperate for a cigarette feels like. If you are only a social smokers say no for a while when you would ordinarily just accept one. Note the feelings and write them down later.
Step 3: Then smoke. For one whole cigarette do nothing but smoke, no conversation, no phones or TV or music, no distractions. Give your total attention to smoking. Feel the whole process of it in detail, the breathing, the posture, the way your feelings change as you do it. (this is mindfulness applied to smoking.)
Step 4: Now write this all down including the feelings after you've finished smoking.
Questions for during the exercise: During this process be brutally honest with yourself. Here are some questions to consider as you do it.
- Go back over your thinking as the pressure builds for the smoke. what is the first impulse?
- Was it visualisation or a voice inside you?
- What order did the thinking happen in? Like: was it a feeling then a voice or visualisation or vice versa?
- As your mood changed during the smoking, what was the order and what senses were involved hearing a voice, visualising and or feeling?
- How do these interact? Does the feeling come first or a voice or vision?
- What role does smell and taste have in the experience?
- What role does what you were doing before you decide on having a smoke?
- What role does the social interactions have on smoking?
- How are you breathing before, at the beginning of smoking and as it progresses?
You are doing this for yourself, if you come to see me for help you could bring with you but it's not necessary.
Cochran Collaboration or Organisation is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organization consisting of a group of more than 37,000 volunteers in more than 130 countries.
* in case you are the person who needs to know the source of percentage of people who succeed in quitting without help comes from here via wikipedia - Rigotti, Nancy A. (Oct 17, 2012). "Strategies to help a smoker who is struggling to quit". JAMA 308 (15): 1573–1580. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13043. ISSN 1538-3598. PMID 23073954. Retrieved 2015-05-09.