When I was a smoker, if I didn’t already have a cigarette in my hand, I would soon have one as soon as I saw someone else smoking, either at home, in the pub or on the TV. The first few times I tried stopping, I fell at this hurdle after a very short period of time, and I also struggled when I had a cup of tea or an alcoholic drink or was waiting for a bus, and indeed in any situation where I was used to having a cigarette. I was watching an old episode of “Friends” last week, and Chandler, an ex-smoker, was helping Joey (a non-smoker) to smoke realistically for an acting audition. After Joey had coughed and spluttered a couple of times, Chandler took the cigarette from him to show him how to hold it and relax with it “like it was part of you, like it is something that has been missing from your hand for too long, and then you inhale deeply like this and – Oh My God” he exclaimed, and continued to smoke the rest of the cigarette with a blissful look on his face. I laughed and laughed as I recognised these sentiments, and I have to confess to feeling it with him – but nothing more.
Since Hypnotherapy helped me to stop, I have never been seriously tempted to smoke again. I can see (and smell) other people smoking and feel nothing, even when spending the afternoon with a chain-smoking friend, when in the past we would sit and smoke together for hours. The first rock concert I went to as a non-smoker was an eye-opener. I had expected to give in, and who could blame me if I did, I thought to myself – but all I fancied as I looked at the smokers was a cup of tea! Which is odd, because I had stopped drinking tea 5 years previously in an attempt to give up smoking! (and I didn’t even have that cup of tea). If ever I feel nostalgic about being a smoker, the feeling soon passes – it is simply a passing thought and doesn’t take hold.
Of course there was a struggle for a couple of weeks, but as time went by, the longer I remained “stopped” the easier it became.
The Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy session provides useful information about how our brains respond to nicotine, and also how 98% of addiction is psychological. It is the psychological response that Hypnotherapy helps with. Nicotine leaves your body after 48 hours, and after that it’s purely your inner chimp taunting you. I will explain what I mean by that during the session, and also how it will play tricks on you to tempt you, and present you with all sorts of propaganda to convince you to have a cigarette.
If you really want to stop smoking you can. Hypnotherapy supports you in your intention, providing you with an added level of support, and useful information to refer to. Having information helps you recognise what you are going through for what it is, and identify your cravings as propaganda presented by your primitive brain (or inner chimp).
During the session we talk about your relationship with cigarettes, learn how the brain works, discuss the myths about nicotine addiction, and conclude with a half hour hypnosis session to reinforce your intention.
Unfortunately I cannot simply hypnotise you to stop smoking or offer you any guarantees – if only it were that easy! What I can do however is make it a lot easier for you.