How many anti-smoking commercials do you have to watch before it becomes clear that cigarettes are deadly? You already know the adverse side effects. Stroke, heart disease, asthma and lung cancer are just a few examples of what awaits the long-term smoker.
But did you know that smoking can also cause blindness? According to the American Lung Association, smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration which is the leading cause of blindness in adults over the age of 65. Smoking also increases the risk of cataracts and glaucoma. Not to mention smoking can decrease your lifespan by at least 10 years.
Besides the health risks, there are also social consequences related to smoking. It is becoming more and more challenging to find a place to smoke without someone silently judging you for invading their airspace. Restaurants, airplanes, and even bars are now smoke-free zones. Heaven forbid it's winter time, and the craving causes you to step outside into a blizzard just for that stress release!
Your friends and family have all given you advice. The patch, nicotine gum, vaping and the all-time classic, cold turkey. No doubt that these techniques have worked for some former smokers, but what happens if you tried it all and still haven't quit? What then?
Hypnosis: A Safe and Reliable Way to Quit
Before touting the benefits of hypnosis, I need first to explain what it can and what it can't do. There is a common misconception that hypnotists possess magical powers that enable them to control the minds of others. Hypnosis is a powerful tool that uses the power of the subconscious mind to change lifelong habits without adverse side effects. However, the client’s participation and effort are crucial to its success.
Hypnosis is a collaboration between the hypnotist and the client. Trust, rapport and a real desire to make positive changes are all necessary components of a successful session. I can't make you do anything you choose not to do. I can't make you stop smoking if the only reason you made an appointment is that your significant other "forced" you to come see me. You must truly want to quit to make progress. You don't need to "believe" in hypnosis, but you do need to participate in the process entirely.
Now that you understand what hypnosis can and can't do, let's discuss why hypnosis is reliable for smoke cessation. Smoking entails several different components. You have the physical craving, the behavior, stress and other potential emotional reasons for smoking. Although nicotine is a real physical craving, it will no longer be detectable in your blood after about three days. Once the nicotine is gone, physical cravings no longer exist and we can focus on changing the habit itself.
Hypnosis is also ideal for helping with the stress that causes some people to smoke in the first place.
Stressful events may trigger the urge to smoke, so we must address the emotional components as well. You can't prevent stress from ever occurring again, but you can develop strategies to manage these stressful events more productively without the crutch of cigarettes.
There may also be social reasons that prevent you from quitting. If all of your friends smoke, it may be challenging to let go of that particular connection. Smoking is apparently not the only reason that you have a bond with your friends and hypnosis helps your subconscious mind find other ways to connect with them. Maybe you started smoking as a way to rebel against your overbearing parents, which brought about feelings of anger, guilt or some other emotions. Hypnosis is unique because it gets to the root cause of the habit and prevents the craving for cigarettes to return.