There are a few practical tips that you might find helpful either before or after a course of hypnosis. Some people find that being aware of these can make the process even easier. And remember – everyone’s different – some people just stop and never look back, while others need a bit more time.
1. Change your viewpoint – instead of thinking about quitting smoking which implies you’ll be losing something, realise that you will be gaining so, so much.
2. Get ready for change – Becoming a non-smoker is all about changing patterns and routines, and noticing what’s going on in your thoughts. For example, you tell yourself it relaxes you – it doesn’t. The only thing that is being relaxed is the urge to smoke.
3. Always be prepared – Try to think ahead and purposefully avoid patterns that will lead to a cigarette, for example, if you smoked in the car think ahead and don’t keep a packet there; if you smoked after a meal then think ahead and be prepared with something different.
Remember your own personal smoking triggers and plan for them. Plan ahead and think through all that you will be doing in the day – be aware of any potential threats to your quitting, for example, going to the shop where you used to buy cigarettes (picture yourself dealing with this and coming away with the cash you’ve saved instead); or when you’re out with friends who smoke (again plan what you’ll say and do if you’re offered a cigarette).
4. Be aware – To begin with, you might think about cigarettes a lot but that’s natural. Just be aware of the fact you will. Let the thoughts come and go. Don’t try to deny them. You might have loads of these thoughts to begin with or you might not – everyone’s different. Let your thoughts have a moan – and remember it’s only the nicotine wanting your attention. Then show them the door. This will get easier over time. To help, make sure you keep your mind and body occupied. Keep active. Go for a walk.
5. Water - Always have a bottle of water with you. Take sips whenever you want to knowing that water is good for you and it’s helping you to flush out toxins from your body.
6. Fruit and veg snacks - Have plenty of fruit and veg to hand and again eat these when the thoughts about cigarettes come into your mind.
7. Life will still happen - Remember that life won’t suddenly turn into a bed of roses just because you’ve escaped from the smoking habit. Stuff happens. But over time you’ll notice that you deal with all the rubbish in a much calmer way – the bills will still arrive, cars will still break down, and you’ll still get caught in the rain every so often. But you’ll find yourself dealing with these unexpected events in a much calmer way. You’ll feel more in control.
8. Deal with cravings for what they are - Cravings usually don’t last very long – minutes at a time (up to 20 minutes at the most) and for only 2 to 3 weeks. If you can hold out for those first few minutes, then the craving tends to disappear, especially if you purposefully start to engage with another activity.
Every time you get the urge to smoke put this in perspective of being smoke-free for the rest of your life and all looks good.
9. Exercise – Exercise as a diversion tactic works incredibly well. Not only that but you’ll be gaining by increased levels of fitness at the same time. No need to go mad though – even a gentle stroll round the block can work wonders.
10. Breathe deeply – your breathing helps to relax you. If you learn how to breathe deeply into your diaphragm any feelings of agitation soon dissipate.
And then hypnosis can add that extra powerful dimension into the equation too, making success much more of a possibility.
I offer ‘Quit 4 Life - hypnotherapy to stop smoking’ sessions at Central England Holistic Therapy Centre in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Please get in touch if you’d like to find out more:
07733 839 591 - firstname.lastname@example.org - or fill in the contact form.
*** Always remember, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice from your GP before embarking on a course of hypnotherapy to stop smoking.