How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Quit Smoking

14 January 2022

How Hypnotherapy Can Help You Quit Smoking

It’s the start of a new year and perhaps you’ve decided to take the bull by the horns and finally quit smoking. New year, new you, right? Excellent!

It’s well-documented that smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable disease but like anything with addictive properties – in this case nicotine – it can be incredibly difficult to kick the habit. But why?

Why is smoking such a tough habit to break?

The primary reason why quitting smoking is so difficult is because of the physical symptoms nicotine withdrawal causes by. Nicotine spreads quickly through your body and reaches your brain within seconds. There, it releases dopamine which hits your reward centres and causes pleasant feelings.

These feelings wear off after just a few minutes, leaving you feeling irritable and, more often than not, causing you to take another puff. The longer you go without a nicotine hit, the worse the negative feelings may become. These unpleasant feelings and irritability are what causes you to continue smoking. It’s a vicious circle and can quickly lead to nicotine dependence and a smoking dependency.

By deciding to stop, you’ve taken the first step. Now you need to settle on a suitable method. There are plenty of tried and tested ways to consider, but a method that is gaining momentum worldwide is hypnotherapy.

A Brief Overview of Hypnotherapy

Hypnotherapy uses the act of hypnosis to treat certain psychological or physical issues or disorders. You enter an altered state of awareness during which you’re conscious yet deeply relaxed. In this state, your mind is more open to suggestions and new ideas, and your therapist can subtly and positively manipulate the way you react to stressors.

The mind is a complex thing and hypnotherapy isn’t a quick-fix. To achieve the desired result with lasting effects, you need several sessions with a qualified hypnotherapist. The goal is to target the triggers associated with the issue, and break the cycle of negative thought patterns that lead to a continued negative reaction.

How Can Hypnotherapy Help With Smoking?

Through hypnotherapy, you change your mindset and attitude towards smoking and ultimately lose your craving for the feelings it generates. Although hypnotherapy is a proven technique for coping with and managing various issues, we must mention that not everyone undergoes hypnosis successfully. Only those patients who are consciously and subconsciously open to the process will be able to access the deep state of relaxation required for it to take effect.

During your sessions, the therapist will target your smoking triggers, the things that cause you to light up. There are several reasons why people smoke, but these are some of the most common:

  • Coping with stressful situations
  • Through boredom
  • Loneliness
  • To fit in with others
  • To avoid eating

Your therapist guides you into a state of physical and mental relaxation called a hypnotic trance. Although you remain awake, you become incredibly relaxed to the point that your conscious mind drifts off. However, you remain in control and aware of what’s happening throughout the session.

There are several ways in which your therapist can get you to adjust your mindset around smoking. One popular method is called the Spiegel Technique and encourages you to concentrate on three main ideas:

  • Smoking is poisonous to your physical wellbeing
  • You can’t live without your body
  • You must respect and protect your body to have as long a life as possible

When you’re under hypnosis your therapist may plant other ideas designed to make you turn your nose up when you next crave a cigarette. These include likening cigarette smoke to something that you find particularly distasteful, or suggesting that smoking makes you feel physically ill. He may use repetition, visualisation, mental imagery and verbal cues to reinforce these ideas.

They don’t only focus on negative suggestions, though, and may emphasise the benefits and advantages of not smoking. Something simple like how not smoking can save you money may have the best effect on the right person. The ideas a therapist suggests depends largely on you and what triggers you to smoke.

The goal of your sessions is ultimately for these thoughts and ideas to be at the forefront whenever you have the urge to light up.

Why Use Hypnotherapy Over Other Cessation Methods

There are several methods or remedies like nicotine patches, oral medication or herbal supplements that you can use in your efforts to stop smoking. So, what makes hypnotherapy a good option?

It’s a safe treatment

Hypnotherapy has become more accepted as a method of treating smoking and other addictions, mainly due to the acknowledgement that you are conscious throughout the session and capable of stopping it at any stage. It’s also much less invasive than using medication.

It’s a complementary treatment

You can combine hypnotherapy with other methods to stop smoking, such as nicotine patches or acupuncture. If your smoking habit is particularly entrenched, cognitive-behavioural therapy or CBT can be used very effectively in conjunction with hypnotherapy.

There are no side-effects

Hypnotherapy is an all-natural treatment and doesn’t rely on any synthetic substances or pharmaceuticals. You may feel a little tired after a session, but shouldn’t experience any side effects like nausea or pain that may be related to other cessation treatments.

In Closing

Hypnotherapy can only succeed if you want it to. If you’re sceptical about its efficacy, or uncertain about its safety, you may you struggle to reach the deep state of relaxation required to make it work. But if you’re committed to kicking your smoking dependency, and you enter into hypnotherapy with an open mind, determination and patience, you can add your name to list of hypnotherapy success stories.

 

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