Do you smoke?
No one actually smokes. Unless they are on fire. People smoke cigarettes though, I’ll give you that. Whilst this may seem a pedantic thing to say it’s worth considering for a moment. It’s really important for a therapist to help separate a person’s behaviour from a person’s core identity. Smoking cigarettes is not who you are, it’s something you do. When you stop smoking after one of my hypnosis sessions, that behaviour becomes irrelevant. When I was a baby I used to wet the bed. I wouldn’t describe myself as a bed wetter now though.
Let’s think for a moment about the difference between behaviour and belief (Hypnosis is good for changing both, by the way).
Behaviours are something that we have learnt to do. To use chopsticks or drive a car. You learnt to smoke- you weren’t born a cigarette smoker.
A belief is something that you consider true and important. Cigarettes help me with stress. When I smoke I get a break from everyone. It’s good to smoke after a meal or when I have a drink.
When you started smoking you were probably young and carefree. Then you got a bit older and your beliefs started to change. Smoking is nasty, it turns out. Who knew? So the next question is this- how do you stop?
Try telling a 20-year-old it’s expensive and that it’ll kill you. Young people feel invincible. Try saying that it makes you smell and you’re setting a terrible example. They’d roll their eyes.
Most people start smoking when they are young and who cares about those things when you’re young? I certainly didn’t. Then time goes by and we change. We have kids, we get out of breath going up the stairs and it’s costing thousands of pounds a year.
A good hypnotist works with your reasons for starting smoking and helps you to understand that you can let all of that go. To stop smoking for good we hard wire all of the benefits you’ll feel when you give up.
When you think about it now, there are lots of things you used to believe that you don’t do any more. Let’s drop the out of date smoking beliefs.
Then we rehearse new behaviours. When you used to smoke, now you do other things instead. Hypnosis for smoking cessation is all about giving you control.
You may have created beliefs about smoking that you don’t know how to change on your own. Things like, smoking helps me manage stress or if I stopped smoking I’d miss my breaks or put on weight. I’ve met dozens of people who smoke to give them the excuse to leave a room full of people. The there is the urban myths! Smoking is as addictive as heroin. No. It’s not.
And what about believing that you can never stop? How do we change that belief? We replace it with a belief that is better. The new belief over powers the old one and it disappears. If you want to stop smoking for good then you must have a good reason. To save money? To be healthier? Because you’re scared of dying? It’s called the benefits approach. You imagine just how incredible you will feel, how amazing you’ll look when you stop smoking. Then we wire it in to your sub conscious mind and rehearse it. We create a new belief and we make it an attractive one!
A ‘toward strategy’ is change based on the desire for something better. An ‘away from strategy’ is wanting to escape something bad. They are both useful and personally, I like to work with both. Towards is best though. If you’d like to have hypnotherapy to lose weight then the best way is to imagine how things will be when you have already achieved your goal. The good feelings that go hand in hand with looking great make for a powerful motivation. Hearing the compliments of friends and family. When we engage all of the senses and create a new belief, the changes start to happen themselves. In hypnosis we create a new reality and we install it into your deep structure thinking.
Is it easy to stop smoking or lose weight with hypnotherapy? The more you want to change the easier it is.I will say this- nothing is guaranteed and nothing is easy. Does having hypnosis give you the best possible chance to stop smoking? Yes.
We work together as a team. This is your commitment- you pay and turn up for the sessions. You commit to the ideas and instructions I give you. You use your imagination and work hard. What do I do? I teach you new ways to understand yourself and to help you connect you with the resources you need. I help you to let go of old beliefs and create new powerful ones.
Hypnosis isn’t magic, but it’s close.