If you are like most smokers, you have probably bought into the idea that nicotine is what is keeping you smoking. If you have thought about it even more, you may realize, that it is also the habit component that has kept you smoking. But there is something much deeper than both of these things that is actually keeping you smoking. It is your unconscious mind. I’m sure will agree that what I’m about to share with you here makes a lot of sense.
The client’s I see often beat themselves up for smoking, or feel guilty when they have unsuccessfully tried to quit. However you really should not give yourself a hard time. Why? Because smoking cigarettes is mostly out of your conscious control, it is done by a part of your mind that you do not have direct access to in your every day life.
You may have all the conscious reasons in the world why you should quit, but it still just does not seem to do the trick. This is because your conscious mind is not responsible for your smoking habit. If it was, every single person would simply DECIDE to quit cold turkey. The fact that so many people are not able to quit cold turkey shows that there must be something else that is keeping you using cigarettes. It is your unconscious mind.
If you were asked to explain your mind, you would probably explain aspects of your conscious mind. It is comprised of everything you are aware of at this very moment. It is what you use to make all your decisions. It is what you use when you are visualizing something, it is responsible for your impulse control and your concept of time. As much as we would like to think it is our conscious mind that rules our habits, it simply is not. If it were, you would have woken up one morning and would have just made the decision to quit. The fact that this does not happen for many smokers shows there must be some other part of you that is keeping you using cigarettes and this is the unconscious part of your mind.
The unconscious part of the mind has two roles to play in your life, one is to make your life easier, and the other is to protect you, both physically and emotionally. It makes your life easier by taking over all those things you do, which when you first learned to do them, were very much in your conscious mind. However, through time and repetition, you no longer need to think about that thing anymore, such as driving your car, riding a push bike etc. It is your ‘automatic pilot’.
The other function of your unconscious mind is to protect you, both physically and emotionally. The physical protection is obvious. When you touch a hot stove you do not have to think about instantly moving your hand, you just do it. That is an unconscious reaction. The emotional protection element of the unconscious mind is however, what is really keeping you smoking.
Think back to your very first puff of a cigarette. If you are like most people, it was probably a pretty disgusting experience. You probably hated the taste, the smell and the coughing. However, on an emotional level, you would have been saying the complete opposite to yourself. You were probably getting all those positive emotional benefits that are very important to a teenager, saying things to yourself like; “gee, aren’t I cool, look at me, don’t I look older? I fit in, I’m accepted by my peers, the people I look up to smoke, I’m such a rebel, who isn’t smoking? I don’t want to be a nerd or a goodie two shoes” etc.
When your unconscious mind comes across a new experience, like your first cigarette, it has one simple decision to make. “Is this good or bad for me? This smoking thing, should keep it up or not?” Your unconscious is there to serve you and it wants to make a decision that it believes is good for you. So, in that moment you tricked your unconscious mind into thinking that smoking cigarettes is a good, emotionally positive thing for you. So it made that decision and it will hang onto that decision for the rest of your life.
The simple truth is that no patch, pill or medication will ever address and effectively tap into this deep part of your psyche that is ultimately responsible for most of your wakeful behaviors. Most traditional treatments attempt to replace nicotine in your body assuming that the entire reason you are smoking is because of an addiction to nicotine. However, if smoking was all about nicotine addiction, then it would stand to logic that the nicotine patch would work without fail 100% of the time. Chances are you have already tried the patch, most smokers have, and it failed. This shows there has to be something else drawing you to cigarettes. This ‘something else’, is your unconscious mind.
This is also the reason for the internal ‘tug of war’ many people report when trying to quit. ‘Part of me wants to smoke, part of me wants to quit’. Of course, the conscious part of your mind wants to quit. However until you can get the bigger, more powerful part of your mind on board to quit, it will forever be sending you messages of wanting to smoke that can easily sabotage any conscious efforts to quit.
Imagine sitting in a movie theatre, hating what you are watching, screaming at the screen for it to change to another movie. This obviously would not work, you need to go into the projection room, where the picture is coming from and change the reel. Trying to break the smoking habit with conscious will power alone, is like trying to change the reel in the projection room, by screaming at the screen, it just will not work.
Hypnosis is a completely safe, relaxing, enjoyable and powerful way to ‘change the smoking reel’ of your unconscious mind. It is a way to tap into that part of the mind that is really responsible for your smoking habit and enable to realize that although the old smoking reel had it’s purpose in the past, it is NOT beneficial to you anymore. Hypnosis quickly and effectively plants the seeds for a new healthy reel which is what your entire body and mind really wants and it can do this in as little as one 60 minute session.