Hypnotherapy together with NLP can help someone stop smoking effectively and the results are long lasting. The processes used will reprogram the mind on different levels to resist the cravings both physically and mentally.
Having an understanding of what is happening inside the body to trigger the cravings is essential to beating them and making sure they never come back. If you have the desire to stop smoking the information below can put you in a commanding position and it can also help you realise that the craving to smoke is not your fault it is your body trying to do its best for you.
We are all equipped with natural survival systems that regulate many things that are necessary in life such as food and drink. Once we have consumed these things these systems then give us the feeling we have been satisfied. We have another set of systems that cause us to worry about things. Such as did we leave the oven on or did we close the windows before we left the house.
These systems also cause us to want to achieve in life so we set ourselves a goal. When we have reached that goal and perfected it it becomes normal and the great sense of achievement diminishes. The systems then provoke a new feeling of wanting to do more.
These systems are natural, powerful and positive. They are there to drive all of us forward with the need to live a motivated life both physically and mentally. Unfortunately nicotine can fool these systems into thinking that it is essential for life and so they add it to their list of things that are vital and have to be consumed.
In our bodies we have a chemical called Dopamine. It does a lot of things in our bodies and in relation to the systems we are discussing here it is the motivation chemical. It makes us feel we have to have specific things. This chemical also tells the brain when we have had something that is important for life and is a really good reward. The part of the brain that receives this message is the part that is involved in choice and it sends a message to the Limbic system using a chemical called Glutamate that says ‘remember this’. The brain then records that moment as a trigger for how to get something that is essential for life.
Serotonin is the chemical that kicks in when we have had enough of whatever it is Dopamine is telling us we need. Serotonin is very important because if we didn’t have it we would never stop consuming these things.
Nicotine fools these systems by artificially stimulating the production of Dopamine. Large levels are produced very quickly which makes the brain register it as ‘extremely essential for life’ and ‘this provides a great reward’. When this is happening the brain is recording its current environment and setting up triggers which in turn lead to cravings.
When we decide to stop smoking the systems work against us and this is when we have a battle with our bodies. There is a system that checks our bloodstream to be sure everything is at the correct level. When the level of Nicotine drops an alarm goes off and the Dopamine is released to prompt the desire to smoke. The conscious mind feels the push to have a cigarette but refuses and so the Nicotine level drops even more. Deep down inside the mind there is a part that thinks something essential for life is missing and accelerates the production of Dopamine so the cravings get even more powerful.
Here we have a battle between the conscious mind and the automatic systems of the body. There is a part of the brain that will get involved at this point and be a go-between. It looks back in the memory to see if it can find a time when one of the two systems is proven to be doing the right thing. This is when it will find that smoking is a great reward and side with the automatic systems and unfortunately more Dopamine is produced making the craving for a cigarette almost unbearable.
Emotional triggers also exist to lead someone to have a cigarette. These are also very powerful. People will say ‘I smoke when I’m unhappy’, ‘I smoke when I’m happy’, ‘I smoke when I’m stressed’ or ‘I smoke when I’m bored’.
The fantastic thing about hypnotherapy is that the emotional side of the mind can be addressed so well as the hypnosis bypasses the conscious mind and gets to the core of the emotional part. I have seen amazing results many times in dealing with emotional issues and in areas not just related to smoking.
I offer a free 30 minute consultation. If you would like to stop smoking then contact me and we can start on the road to a smoke free you.
Credit to Cathy Simmons for information in her chapter in the Hypnotherapy Handbook