Quitting smoking can be a challenge. But it’s one of the best decisions you can make for your health. Smoking is a deadly habit and it’s a leading cause of cancer. It also may cause heart attacks, lung disease, strokes, and other health problems, including bone fractures and cataracts.
You may have tried nicotine lozenges, chewing gum, patches, counseling, and other smoking cessation methods which did not help you get rid of the habit, don’t give up, you can still quit smoking by hypnosis!
What Is Hypnosis?
Hypnosis is defined as an altered state of awareness in which you appear to be asleep or in a trance. Hypnosis could be used to treat physical or psychological issues. For example, it is used to control pain. It also helps in a wide range of other conditions such as speech disorders, weight issues, and addiction problems.
Some people trust that when you are hypnotized, you relax and concentrate more, and are more willing to listen to suggestions — such as giving up smoking through hypnosis.
Even though you seem to be in a trance during hypnosis, you are not unconscious – you are still aware of your surroundings, and you cannot be made to do anything against your will. In fact, brain tests performed on patients during hypnotherapy sessions have shown a high level of neurological activity.
Hypnosis for Smokers
During hypnosis for smoking cessation, a client is often asked to imagine unpleasant outcomes from smoking. For example, the hypnotherapist might suggest that cigarette smoke smells like truck exhaust, or that smoking will leave the patient’s mouth feeling extremely parched.
Spiegel’s method is one popular smoking cessation hypnosis technique that focuses on three main ideas:
- Smoking poisons the body
- You need your body to live
- You should respect your body and protect it (to the extent you’d like to live)
The hypnotherapist teaches the smoker self-hypnosis, and then asks him or her to repeat these affirmations anytime the desire to smoke occurs.
The Mental Trap: Why You Can’t Quit Smoking
Nicotine is such a hard habit to kick because of a physical and mental addiction. The physical addiction – which can cause withdrawal symptoms – acts as a roadblock for quitting.
Nicotine withdrawal causes:
- Aches and pains
- Sore throat
- Mental sluggishness
How you can quit smoking by hypnosis: An Overview
One theory of why hypnosis works for nicotine addiction: It provides us the ability to reframe our top-down thoughts.
When you experience stimuli that may cause a craving, the mind already has associations in place that influence the response. You feel stress. The stress triggers thoughts of smoking as a stress reliever. And you react.
But hypnosis helps you get to a frame of mind in which you alter these negative thought processes.
How? Well, during hypnosis, you following relaxation and breathing techniques to reach a trance-like state. This frame of mind is similar to daydreaming; you’re aware, but at the same time, the mind is disconnected.
While in the trance-state, your mind is much more open to suggestions. It’s detached from the critical, conscious mind – the part of the mind that’s constantly looking for reasons to stay a smoker.
Therefore, a hypnotherapist can provide you with more positive suggestions that “stick.” In other words, you’re setting up roadblocks for the automatic, top-down processes that are keeping the addiction in place. So when you experience a smoking trigger, the mind doesn’t automatically react – it slows down and “listens” to this new information you’ve provided.
Research Review: Stop Smoking with Hypnosis
We’ve touched on the theory of hypnosis for smoking cessation. But we haven’t yet answered a question that’s on your mind: Can hypnosis really help you quit smoking?
The short answer is yes. Some compelling research has found that hypnosis can be an effective tool for helping you quit – with quit rates that easily beat more traditional methods.
Yet, the consensus seems to be that, like with any smoking cessation program, you have to want the results. Hypnotherapy is not the best option if:
- You feel like you should quit, but really would rather not
- You aren’t ready to quit
- You want to quit for someone else
But if you’re ready, hypnosis can be a powerful tool. A classic hypnosis study looked at the use of hypnotherapy for a range of conditions. The study found that hypnotherapy takes an average of just six hypnotherapy sessions to make long-lasting change, while psychoanalysis takes 600. Plus, hypnosis was highly effective; after 6 sessions 93 percent of participants, while the psychoanalysis group had just a 38 percent recovery rate.
How to Improve the Outcome of Your Hypnotherapy Session
Adopt a Positive Attitude and Be Open To Whatever Happens
A key part of the effectiveness of hypnotherapy stems from the acceptance that your mind has about the process. Your subconscious mind is vast and deep, and hypnotherapy works to tap into this, but you can make a decision in the conscious mind to consciously choose to get the most from this.
You might be afraid about the process of hypnosis and be worried that you are going to ‘get in your own way’ and not get the most from your session. But just for this session, decide that you are going to adopt whatever is suggested. Decide that you are going to relax entirely, and give it all the best go you can.
Remember, you are doing this for yourself. You are doing this because you want to stop smoking. So even if you have doubts, you’ve made the choice. So, give it everything you have.
Listen to your hypnotherapist
During your session, you are going to have your mind wandering. This is natural. But while it’s a relaxing session, this is also a time to do some work with your goals and your mind. So listen to the instructions and suggestions so that the changes can happen in your mind.
Do Your Homework
You will have a recording to reinforce the session. While it’s not obligatory to listen to this session, you will find that reinforcing your session with this recording can be particularly helpful.
Say Anything That Is On Your Mind
Your unconscious mind is a deep place, and you will often have thoughts that just appear out of nowhere. During your session, you might judge these thoughts or think they are silly, but I encourage you to say whatever you want during your session. If you do not like something, let me know. If you don’t understand something, speak up!
I am never going to judge you, and I am never going to make you feel embarrassed. Your thoughts are your own and they are valid, so please feel free to speak whatever comes into your mind during your session – because you never know how helpful it can be.
Pick a Good Time For You
A key part of your hypnotherapy session is relaxation. So it’s important to choose a session time which is going to be good for your relaxing. If you know that mornings are busy, perhaps an afternoon session might work better for you.
Similarly, be sure to arrive with plenty of time to relax prior to your appointment so that you are not stressed or worried when you come in. Of course, if you are feeling anxious or stressed, this is not going to mean that hypnotherapy does not work for you.
Book a hypnotherapy session
If you’re ready to give it a go and try if hypnosis would help you quit smoking – book a hypnotherapy session with Paulina.
Is hypnotherapy safe?
Watch the video and find out what Marisa Peer has to say