Many smokers who want to give up the habit, go through the stop-smoking hypnosis method and try to discard the addiction in that way. What exactly does this method entail and is it really successful in doing what it claims to? The following sections deal with this theory.
He crossed the road and looked up at the hoarding. He saw the same guy he’d seen everyday. The same guy who bent over and clutched at his heart. The diagram of the black soot filled in his lungs, in the background. Every single day he saw it. And for a moment the cigarette in his hand almost fell to the ground. Every single day he thought he’d give it up. And then he thought―tomorrow.
Thousands and thousands of anti-smoking stimuli hit our psyche every day. They try and drive the point home about the bad effects of smoking. And every time a smoker sees the hoarding or the ad, he thinks the same thing―tomorrow. Tomorrow I shall give it up. But does that happen? Many try to follow the varied tips that have been formulated to help a person give up smoking. It works for some, not for others. One of the more recent theories that has come forth is that of stop-smoking hypnosis. What is it all about and does it work? Let us shed some light on the same in the following sections.
What is Stop-smoking Hypnosis?
Before getting into the details about the workings of this method, it is important to know what hypnosis means and how it works.
Hypnosis is a state of the mind by which the mind becomes completely relaxed and calm. There are no external stimuli affecting it and the mind is in an altered state. Contrary to popular belief, the person does not go into a trance when he is under hypnosis, he is well aware of his surroundings and what is happening to him. Yet he is in a highly heightened state of consciousness. When the mind is in this calm state, it becomes possible to ‘suggest’ something to the mind with the motive of change.
How is hypnotism related to the concept of ‘Stop smoking’? Hypnosis works on two principles―one, it alters the relationship that has been drawn into seeking pleasure from a smoke. And two―it alters the conditioned response that has been developed with a particular habit and smoking. To explain further, a conditioned response gets programmed into our minds when we begin to crave for a smoke while doing some other activity. For example, a person might light up a smoke every time he reads a book, or he might smoke everyday at 3 p.m. Over time, the brain gets programmed in such a way that as soon as it is 3 p.m., the person wants to smoke. This is the feeling that the program is aimed towards altering. The other factor being, to alter the very reason why a person smokes. For example, a person starts smoking when he is tensed because he feels that smoking will help―over time, that is what he starts depending on.
How the person started smoking is of little relevance when compared to what smoking has become for him. So when other quitting methods fail to bring about any successful results, the hypnosis method is sought.
How it Works
A hypnotherapist focuses on the psychological aspects rather than the physical aspects to bring about change. In hypnosis, the subconscious mind (where all the memories are stored) of a person takes over. And it is to this part of the mind that the suggestions are made. This state is achieved through breathing techniques and other similar methods. The hypnotherapist gives positive suggestions to your mind that could range from―why smoking is bad, or how giving it up will benefit you, how you are in a state where you are discarding cigarettes, how it is not affecting you at all, that there are no withdrawal symptoms, that you have the power to say no to cigarettes, and other similar suggestions. This directly makes a mark on your subconscious mind and therefore the chances of success are more.
Does it Work?
Hypnosis does work. But it is important that people understand that it is not a magic pill. You cannot undergo one session and expect that you’ll be cured. The success of this hypnosis is a subjective matter. It depends on a number of factors like, the need for the person to quit, the drive to want it to work, and others such as these. Every person is different in their approach and that is why the rate of success for hypnosis is different for different people.
Also, for some, hypnotherapy only works on a one to one basis, because it requires an environment that has zero distractions. This is sometimes difficult in a group session. For some, a single session might never be enough, they might require more.
Self-hypnosis is also an alternate approach that you can look into. The power of the brain is so potent and strong that it can really do whatever it sets its mind to. Therefore, self-hypnosis, though might seem difficult, has worked for many. All one needs to do is go into a relaxed state of mind―through meditation or by listening to soothing music―and then give yourself the same auto suggestions that a hypnotherapist would give you in a session. Hypnosis has shown to work in not only combating and altering smoking habits, but a number of other disorders as well like, anger management, sexual disorders, eating disorders, obesity, and pain.
The power of the subconscious mind has a lot of potential. It only needs to be tapped effectively. Stop-smoking hypnosis aims to use this method to deal with the problem at the basic level. It works for most. Do you want it to work for you, or do you want to pass by the hoarding with a cigarette between your lips and a ‘tomorrow’ in your mind? You decide.