The craving for nicotine is nestled deep in the subconscious mind. It kicks into high gear whenever a person has a cup of coffee, feels stressed or experiences some other trigger. Even without a trigger, the craving is always right there in the background, building itself up and reaching maximum intensity just in time for your coffee break.
That is what makes smoking such a hard habit to quit: Your body wants the nicotine and your mind likes the release that comes with that first glorious puff of a newly lit cigarette.
Every serial quitter wishes that there was a magical way to yank the habit right out of their mind and their psyche — hypnosis aims to do just that.
What exactly is hypnosis?
The state of hypnosis is one of relaxation and laser-like focus. It is a trance-like state in which a person tunes out everything except the idea or object of their focus.
That said, a person who is under hypnosis remains alert and aware of their surroundings, so there is no way a hypnotist can make a person act against their will.
How does it help a person to quit smoking?
When a person is under hypnosis, they become more open to suggestions and ideas that replace and fight the urge to smoke. The below goes over how a hypnotherapist can help a person to begin the process of quitting.
During the first visit, the hypnotherapist asks the patient about their smoking habit and the reason they want to quit. They will explain how hypnosis works and take their patient through the process.
Next, the hypnotherapist will guide the patient through breathing exercises and other relaxation techniques. As a result, the patient will relax and detach themselves from the part of the brain that is responsible for inhibitions and conscious behavior.
Once the patient is in a relaxed (or trance) state, the hypnotist will suggest ideas and imagery that will make smoking undesirable. They may create an association between cigarette smoke and exhaust fumes. They may also create a link between smoking and ill health.
The hypnotist will then guide the patient out of the trance state. When the patient is no longer hypnotized, the hypnotist will teach the patient how to perform self-hypnosis in order to reinforce the suggestions created in the patient’s mind.
For the hypnosis to be successful, the suggestions placed in a person’s mind will need to be reinforced, such that they become a permanent part of the subconscious. This means that a person needs to see a hypnotherapist for several sessions and do self-hypnosis in between sessions. These hypnotic suggestions are what will replace the habit.
Spiegel’s method of hypnotic suggestion for smokers
This popular method has been used on smokers since the ‘70s. To perform Spiegel’s method, a hypnotherapist suggests three things to a patient that is under hypnosis:
- Smoking is simply inhaling poison into the body
- The body will be killed by poison
- A person needs their body to live
By embedding these ideas into a patient’s subconscious, the hypnotist makes sure that a person has a bad visceral reaction to the idea of cigarettes and smoking.
Find a good hypnotherapist for results
Take the time to find a licensed and certified hypnotist. Do your homework and get referrals from your doctor or a friend who have successfully quit smoking. Remember, a good hypnotherapist will help you with the use of both hypnosis and other behavioral modification tools.
Ready to quit smoking?
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