Your brain and subconscious trick you into believing that smoking is enjoyable.
In reality, it isn’t. The illusion that you need and enjoy cigarettes keeps you trapped in a cycle of addiction. Because cigarette smoking is such an emotionally compulsive habit, it is necessary to dispel some myths around it. We will also consider some alternatives to quit smoking , for example hypnosis.
- The belief that you need willpower to quit. Believing that smoking relaxes you, helps you concentrate, relieves stress and even boredom are powerful reasons to make smokers scared to quit.
- The belief that you choose to smoke. Not true – you are psychologically and physically addicted, and you smoke because you have failed to quit.
- The belief that you will suffer terrible physical withdrawal symptoms. But nicotine withdrawal is what you have suffered since taking your first puff. Every time you light up, it is because the nicotine withdrawal causes enough discomfort for you to reach for a smoke.
- The belief that it’s difficult to quit. Once you realise that you’re not giving up anything, but gaining a whole lot instead, you will be able to give up without feelings of doom. When this penny drops, you may even become elated at giving up.
Quitting smoking is an intensely personal decision. Nobody can take a step towards quitting on your behalf. Once your mind is made up, the next decision is what method to use.
A little help
Various methods are available to help you on your way. Of these, hypnotherapy is regarded as one of the most effective methods.
Studies have shown a success rate of around 90%. One of the largest studies to date has found that hypnosis is three times as effective as nicotine replacement therapies (patches, gum, sprays and vaping) and 15 times as effective as willpower (the least effective way to quit).
Smoking is a deep-seated emotional compulsion, and that is why trying to quit using willpower usually sets you up for failure. Hypnotherapy, on the other hand, guides you into a state of deep relaxation and while in this state, you can reach your subconscious to re-programme your mindset, changing it from being that of a smoker to that of a non-smoker.
It is important that you consult a qualified hypnotherapist who is registered with the South African Institute of Hypnotherapy (SAIH). Going through the process with an unqualified or inexperienced hypnotherapist will cost you money and may in fact do more harm than good.
Success in packing in the habit will reward you with freedom from the nicotine trap, more energy, and a fresh mouth and cleaner teeth, not to mention the obvious health benefits and financial savings.
By LINDA CILLIERS