By Julia Ferré, Clinical Hypnotherapist
“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times,” says Mark Twain. Yes, quitting is easy. It is the quitting for good that is hard. Most people quit and then something happens and they start all over again. The obstacles are so difficult—having to change habits, having to deal with withdrawals—and the smoking creates so many problems—health issues, doctor’s orders, family’s concerns, and society’s shaming.
What if it were easier to quit? What if the procedure were so effective that it was effortless? What if there were no weight gain, no withdrawal, and no shaming? What if you could stop when you wanted and on your own terms? And what about when you do succeed—and you could brag about the wonderful method that worked for you?
What do Ellen DeGeneres, Matt Damon, and Ben Affleck have in common? They used hypnosis to quit smoking. If they can do it, so can the average smoker. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 42 million people in the United States smoke (see http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/data), and even though many people try to quit each year, only a small percentage are permanently successful.
Hypnosis actually has a good success rate with quitting smoking. Check out these stats (https://www.asch.com.au/publications):
- Cold turkey 3 percent success rate,
- Patch 16 percent success rate,
- Hypnosis 53 percent success rate.
Here are two realistic reasons that hypnosis is successful. The first is that hypnosis is a deeply positive process that strengthens you internally. In hypnosis, you relax the body and the conscious mind. In doing so, you activate the subconscious mind, which is the intuitive, wise part of your mind. Your subconscious mind is the part of your mind that dreams at night and solves problems. It holds beliefs and emotions. During hypnosis, it is possible to uncover beliefs about smoking, resolve emotions that trigger the habit, learn to manage stress, and help break the addiction.
The second reason that hypnosis is successful is that hypnosis is proactive. While many people think hypnosis is a passive state in which a person does what the practitioner says, this isn’t true. The subconscious mind can’t be tricked into doing something you don’t want to do. I can’t put you into trance and “make” you quit smoking, just like I can’t “make” you into a vegetarian. You have to want these things. This is why belief is so important in helping you quit. In hypnosis, you are actually engaged to think, to understand, and to be motivated to help yourself. You will want to stop and you will want to be successful.
Many hypnotherapists can help you quit smoking. To find one to help you, consider these three points:
- Invest in yourself. When you decide to quit, you are declaring that you want the best for yourself. Make that investment tangible. Go for it completely. Don’t be afraid to spend the money on quitting as in the long run, you will save money on cigarettes. Understand that free or no-cost methods have little investment and low success rates.
- Enlist the help of a practitioner who demonstrates respect and care. While statistics show that counseling helps, it is important to work with someone you are comfortable with. Rapport matters.
- Follow through. Take the time to be thorough. Smokers usually don’t become addicted overnight. Quitting can take steps too, although not as much time to kick the habit as it does to install it.
It is possible to quit smoking for good! Let 2016 be a year of health for you!
Julia Ferré, CHT, is a clinical hypnotherapist specializing in smoking cessation. Julia has been involved in the field of health and wellness since 1981, beginning when she quit smoking cigarettes. She offers the Kick Butt Smoking Cessation Clinic as an ongoing program in 2016. This four-week program includes four group hypnosis sessions and one private hypnosis session with more than10 hours of instruction and 15 mini-hypnosis sessions. Cost is $150 per person, the price of smoking a pack a day for a month. Contact her at www.JuliaFerre.com, 530-864-5053, or firstname.lastname@example.org.