Is hypnosis voodoo or woo woo, or a viable tool to help you stop smoking?
The more we understand about the mind, the more we realize how powerful our beliefs and thoughts are. Tools like hypnosis and meditation, which once seemed like whacky, woo woo practices, are now working their way into the mainstream. Doctors, CEOS, sports teams, and anyone who wants a mental edge, are all utilizing hypnosis to gain more control over their minds.
Twenty years ago, I was asked by my prospective stop smoking and weight loss clients if they were going to leave my office barking like a dog after their hypnosis session. But now, most clients aren’t afraid of the process. In fact, they’re actually excited about the potential power a hypnosis session will give them over smoking.
I want to take a few minutes to explain hypnosis to you, and how it can be used to help people become happy healthy non-smokers.
You’ve probably tried a lot of different ways to stop smoking. Maybe patches, gum, or even one of the available medications. I have seen many people over the years and helped them stop smoking, and I’m a former pack and a half a day smoker myself. So believe me, I’ve tried and seen everything.
Back when I smoked, there wasn’t stop smoking medications or e-cigarettes. I stopped over 23 years ago and I stopped with hypnosis. I used hypnosis to quit smoking before I became a hypnotherapist, and now it’s my life’s work to help people stop smoking. It’s my passion and my mission. I really believe that it’s not just about stopping smoking. It’s about opening a powerful door to your transformation into being your best self.
If you’ve tried all of the other things and found that they weren’t successful for you, it really isn’t your fault. A lot of why we continue to smoke is really not the physical aspect of it. You might be addicted to nicotine, that’s true, but the physical withdrawal from nicotine is a pretty mild process.
When I smoked, I would put the patch on, but I still wanted to smoke. Even though I was getting all the nicotine I needed. You’ve probably noticed that yourself. I have clients who are very heavy smokers and work jobs where they spend 24-48 hours every week not smoking because their job demands that they don’t smoke for that length of time. They’re actually withdrawn from nicotine by the time they finish a shift. And they’re fine. But it’s the mental aspect of smoking that really drives us.
12% of our mind is the critical, analytical, willpower part of the mind. That’s the part of the mind that wants to quit smoking. That’s the logical brain. It’s the part of the brain that says you should stop, it isn’t healthy, it’s expensive, it smells, and my family doesn’t like it.
When we try to quit smoking, that’s how much of our brain is on board. And that part of the brain gets worn down very quickly in everyday life, but especially when we’re trying to quit. We wake up with a fair amount of willpower, and that’s usually when we decide to stop smoking and throw away our cigarettes. But by the end of the day, we’re pulling our pack of cigarettes out of the trash.
The other 88% of the brain wants to keep right on smoking. This is the part of the mind that is responsible for many things, but also the belief system. It believes that you need smoking to drive the car, to relieve stress, or that smoking comforts you.
It’s also responsible for your identity. And we see ourselves as smokers, so when we’re trying not to smoke, it’s like we are fighting against our identity. It’s also the part of the brain that perceives smoking as a reward. I’m sure you can identify with that. Your cigarettes become a reward system for you as you go throughout your day.
The repetitive pattern of smoking, the habit of it, is in your subconscious brain. Once we’re wired to smoke a certain amount of cigarettes a day, the mind demands that this pattern be repeated over and over, and therefore we structure our day around our cigarettes and smoking.
The deeper part of the brain that is the protector of us also feels threatened when we try not to smoke. When we’re trying to quit smoking, that’s what can cause you to feel panicked. It activates a fight or flight response. It’s not actually a physical withdrawal from nicotine, it’s a panic state that comes from this part of the brain because it thinks we’re taking away something we need to live.
When it comes to stopping smoking, you can see that there’s very powerful stuff happening in the subconscious mind.
Everything you process from birth throughout your 20’s gets imprinted into your subconscious mind. When you get into your late 20’s and early 30’s your brain is fully developed and you begin to develop a critical filter. This filter is essential because it helps our brain to determine what stays and what doesn’t.
We have millions of pieces of information coming to our brains every second. This filter sorts out the stuff that’s basically like junk mail. If we already have a belief system in place, that’s how the information is filtered out. It’s almost impossible to shift this perspective and system unless you know some mind tricks to help that along.
Hypnosis is just a really relaxed mind state, that most people can enter. Hypnosis is honestly self-hypnosis, the practitioner is just giving the cues and the instructions. During a hypnosis session, the critical filter becomes relaxed so that we can start to give suggestions to the deeper subconscious mind and get that subconscious mind to shift. It allows that part of the mind to see that you’re making a decision to stop smoking and replace smoking with healthier options.
It’s not just about someone telling you that you aren’t going to smoke. It’s about making the decision to become a non-smoker, changing your identity and altering how you see yourself and the world so that you can begin living your non-smoking life. It gets your whole mind aligned and on board.
Throughout my 20 years of experience in helping people become non-smokers, I have learned that it’s just as important to help them become prepared and then using hypnosis to get the entire mind aligned with the decision to become a non-smoker. And to continue to support them after the hypnosis session in developing their non-smoking life.
It’s a wonderful journey, becoming a non-smoker. It isn’t just about taking away the cigarettes and it’s not a place of shame. It’s a powerful and amazing decision and a journey of transformation. When you come at it from that place, you’re coming from a place of power, and it can be easy and amazing.
If you’re ready to learn more about the mental steps to stop smoking and hypnosis, click here to access my free training video, the 3 Mental Steps to Stop Smoking Permanently.