Can Hypnosis Help You to Quit Smoking?
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Gone are the days when hypnosis was seen as little more than a magician’s smoke and mirrors trick. In recent decades it has become respected in the scientific and clinical communities for its ability to reach and influence a patient’s subconscious mind. This in turn can address a person’s attitudes, beliefs and imaginative associations to many problems at their source. The result can be a change in one’s thinking and subsequent behavior. Among the many modern treatments available to people who want to quit smoking, hypnosis has proven to be one of the most effective – even more so than nicotine patches or gum.
Generally, hypnotism is used to help people work through their fears and relax and feel less stressed. This in itself can relate to a smoker’s struggles around quitting, because many people cite stress as one of their chief reasons for smoking in the first place. But hypnotism can do more than simply induce a state of relaxation. It can actually move you beyond the gates of your conscious mind – the place in the psyche where judgments are made – and into the subconscious mind where your underlying beliefs have a life of their own.
The subconscious mind responds to our conscious suggestions (or to the suggestions of a hypnotist) without question. Thus, if you’re able to envision yourself as being someone who never smokes then your subconscious will accept this vision as reality. Once your subconscious is convinced you will experience new impulses and thoughts arising in relation to smoking. It may no longer seem appealing or even natural to you. The results will vary from person to person, but some studies have estimated the success rate of hypnotism for quitting smoking as high as 66%.
The overarching aim will be to reprogram your beliefs about smoking and your mental associations to it. Nicotine patches and gums can provide your body with the chemical that it’s addicted to, but they can’t duplicate the ritual, or the feeling of actually smoking. Hypnosis can convince you that that act is not characteristic of you. It can convince you to literally see yourself as a person who does not smoke.
The state of hypnosis can be described as a delicate balance between relaxation and intense focus. You are not unconscious, but rather in a state of precise concentration. Your thoughts are directed towards a problem, but instead of focusing upon the problem itself your imagination is directed towards other ways in which you can think and behave. Solutions that you may never have considered will suddenly present themselves. There are some people who experience good results using self-hypnosis. This can be done via visualization or repeated verbal mantras, to mention two of the most popular methods. Other people prefer to leave the process in the hands of a professional hypnotist who understands what they’re struggling with and can help to reprogram their minds with regards to the problem.
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.