When I ask patients why they started smoking, the most common response is peer pressure. Young people, especially in their teens, associate smoking with being sophisticated and mature.
In their haste to grow up, teenagers aspiring to be an adult start to smoke.
Most people when describing their first cigarette talk about feeling sick, dizzy, coughing etc. These are the body’s way of saying “STOP!”. However the young smoker persists through fear of being isolated by their friends.
Does this sound familiar?
Their body eventually accepts the smoke and gradually backs off from giving warning signs. The smoker feels they can now “handle smoking”. In fact damage is still being done, it’s just that their mind is now telling their body to ignore it.
With repetition, the subconscious can be fooled into thinking that smoking is necessary for survival – like food and water. When the nicotine levels drop, the subconscious begins to signal that it needs more. This is when cravings occur.
Many smokers claim that smoking helps them relax. This is not strictly true. Nicotine raises blood pressure, and the carbon monoxide decreases the blood’s ability to absorb oxygen. This has the effect of making you feel less relaxed, as your heart beats faster.
The craving of the unconscious mind to replenish nicotine levels is unpleasant. This unpleasantness can be removed by having a cigarette, creating the illusion that it helps relaxation.
This is what can be described as a “vicious circle”, which hypnotherapy can help with. Hypnotherapy tells your subconscious mind there is no benefit to smoking. You no longer want to look “mature and cool” and smoking is not needed for your survival. Once your subconscious knows this, it’s far easier to quit for good.
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