Brought to you by LaMar's Donuts
Monday, March 26, 2012
Why does anyone still smoke? Just about everywhere you go nowadays you see signs that clearly state that smoking is not allowed. Yet despite all of the sanctions, taxes, peer pressure, and with over 440,000 deaths every year in the US, there remain millions of hardcore tobacco users who just don’t seem to want or be able to stop this habit.
Clearly, the fact tobacco products cause cancers of the lung, esophagus, larynx, and oral cavity should motivate any sane person to immediately stop smoking cigars, cigarettes, chewing tobacco and smoking pipes. However, there are still those who display a false bravado as they claim that you cannot live forever. Others seem to have developed a mindless habit that requires them to have tobacco problems. Some tell me that they smoke due to stress or boredom. Others say that it is part of their need to socialize as they often enjoy the camaraderie of their fellow smokers. I’ve even had one person tell me that she smokes because she considers it the only thing that she “does for herself.” Truly, this is very sad – especially as, like many of my clients, I have lost more than one relative in the past few years due to smoking-related illnesses.
Regardless, people do finally make it to my office for appointments regarding their desire to stop smoking or using smokeless tobacco. As part of the session I always ask them what motivated them to stop now. Obviously, they have been very well aware of the health issues for quite some time. They are also very well aware of the social stigma that smokers increasingly receive from non-smokers, the exorbitant monthly costs, and the fact that they smell like a stale ashtray. Yes, they know all of this without me ever mentioning it. This still is rarely enough to get them to change their ways. It seems that somehow finally realizing that they will not be around to see their children or grand children grow up is normally the most important motivation that gets a hardened tobacco user to finally seek help.
Once this or another transformational motivation is realized by the tobacco user, they almost always try to do it on their own. Many succeed this way – at least for awhile. When they finally give up and make an appointment, I just about always notice a few things that clearly tell me why they failed. What I notice is that they constantly keep referring to their efforts as “trying to quit.” Ironically, the word trying implies failure and in modern society the word ‘quitting’ just about always symbolizes a lack of success. Together these two concepts are not what a person who wants to change their life needs to have in their vocabulary.
Add to this the fact that negative self-talk increases a poor self-image – especially once clients see themselves as failures – and that they follow a defective strategy. The problem is that they are focusing on the wrong thing. The more that you think about what you don’t want, the stronger you make it in your mind. The late Canadian psychologist called this “use it or loose it.” What he found is that when you repeat a certain thought pattern, it becomes increasingly hardwired in your brain. So, the more that you think about your smoking habit, the stronger it becomes. I sometimes call this phenomenon, “Feeding the weeds and complaining about them.” What is needed is completely different strategy.
To successfully kick the smoking habit – which 90% of my clients actually do after one session – they want to lose the hold that tobacco has on them. As Hebb would say, they want to lose it. By ignoring their smoking habit, the associated neural networks in their brains simply begin to wither through disuse. However, this is only first part of the story. To make this work, they need to have a replacement. Yes, they need to literally grow a new set of extremely strong neural pathways. This is what I call the “substitution effect.”
To start moving down this more productive pathway, I ask my clients a very simple question. “If this was three months from now and I was to run into at the mall, at your place of work, or at church, how would your life have changed since you stopped smoking?” I may also say, “What will I notice that is different about you?” The problem here is that they too often go back to their tradition of negativity and start by saying things like, “I won’t be as sick” or “I won’t stink as bad.” I immediately check this tendency and get them to re-phrase their comments in the positive such as, “I am healthy” and “I smell good.” However, that is not enough. In order to get their brain and to respond more efficiently, I want them to turn up the volume. Therefore, I am not happy until I hear them say, “My health is fantastic” and “I smell great!” What I am looking for is six to ten statements that I can use later during a hypnosis session.
Although once I get a person to stop obsessing about the negative and begin committing to a newer, better version themselves, I feel that most of the healing has already taken place. Nevertheless, a formal hypnosis session – which generally lasts about 15 minutes – is a great way to intensify the transformative process. This is because it is one of the best ways to reduce neurological resistance to change – which is part of our personality that maintains stability in our lives – and compels the largely reactive mind and body to change. Once a client has experienced this in my office, I teach them a very simple self-hypnosis routine, which I strongly encourage them to use at least once a day for as long as they can.
I look at smoking as a habit not much different than the multitude of behavioral patterns that rule our lives. Some of these patterns – which are also the basis of our personality – have either out-lived their usefulness and/or represent a threat to our lives and the safety of others. As such they need to be released so that their influence no longer rules our lives. I do this by helping clients move from negativity, failure, and their obsession with there destructive habits as they quickly move toward a better life. I have found that it is not about trying or quitting. Rather, it is all about starting a life of their dreams.
Keywords: hypnosis, hypnotherapy, smoking, guit smoking, smoking cessation.
Visit It's Your Life with Tim Brunson
There currently are no approved comments for this blog article. To join the discussion click here.
Monday, March 2, 2015 - Are You Reaching for the Right Pain Medication?
Monday, April 7, 2014 - Why most leaders fail
Monday, April 7, 2014 - In defense of liberalism
Monday, April 7, 2014 - Lessons from the Dachau Death Camp
Monday, April 7, 2014 - Why art will transform Anniston
Wednesday, January 8, 2014 - Jim Epik -- It's Your Life, Friday, 8 AM CST
Wednesday, December 4, 2013 - Dangerous Dogs
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - Never give up – Lessons from a mouse
Thursday, November 7, 2013 - Tom North – It’s Your Life Guest – 8 a.m. CST, November 8
Wednesday, October 30, 2013 - Dilshad Dayani – Guest Friday on It’s Your Life
Tuesday, October 15, 2013 - Dr. Hillary Chollet - Guest - It's Your Life, Friday, Oct 18
Wednesday, October 9, 2013 - Leah Carey --It's Your Life guest Oct 11, 2015
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 - Living with dogs
Tuesday, October 1, 2013 - David Reddick -- It's Your Life, October 4
Tuesday, September 24, 2013 - Froswa Booker-Drew – It’s Your Life Guest, Sep 27, 8 AM
Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - Jim Stevens, It’s Your Life guest, Friday, September 20.
Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - Donna Mae DePola is my guest this week on It’s Your Life
Tuesday, September 3, 2013 - Christine Clifford guest this Friday (Sep 6) on It's Your Life
Monday, August 26, 2013 - Alexandra Chauran, It's Your Life guest, Friday, Aug 30
Monday, August 26, 2013 - Homelessness in NE Alabama
Monday, August 19, 2013 - Chris Vaca – It’s Your Life guest Friday, August 23
Monday, August 12, 2013 - Katy Larsen -- Guest 8 a.m. Friday, It's Your Life
Monday, August 5, 2013 - Pat San Pedro – Guest on It’s Your Life, Friday August 9
Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - Successful Failures
Monday, July 29, 2013 - Rita Flegel, Guest on It’s Your Life, Friday, August 2
Monday, July 22, 2013 - Anna McCarthy, It’s Your Life guest, July 26
Sunday, July 21, 2013 - College football banned in Alabama?
Saturday, July 20, 2013 - What we know about the Zimmerman – Martin case
Monday, July 15, 2013 - Suzanne Casamento -- It's Your Life - July 19
Friday, July 12, 2013 - The US education scam
Tuesday, July 9, 2013 - Attracting the love of your life
Friday, May 17, 2013 - For those who struggle
Friday, May 10, 2013 - Technology redefining our humanity
Thursday, May 9, 2013 - Terrorism makes us do dumb things
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - This is a bunch of bull
Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - Schools, education, and creativity
Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - The arts and high school drop out rates
Saturday, May 4, 2013 - Are we predictable?
Saturday, March 23, 2013 - Increasing your protection against hackers
Friday, March 22, 2013 - The computer hacker next door
Thursday, March 21, 2013 - U R hacking my computers!
Thursday, March 14, 2013 - Living in an illiterate nation
Thursday, March 14, 2013 - New Pope good for Christianity and the world
Friday, November 16, 2012 - Help with stress
Saturday, November 3, 2012 - My Batteries Unlimited Experience
Thursday, July 26, 2012 - Everyone needs self-promotion
Friday, July 13, 2012 - Law enforcement and community transformation
Thursday, July 5, 2012 - Surviving your mid-life crisis
Friday, June 29, 2012 - Mind over matter in medicine
Thursday, June 21, 2012 - Career changes later in life
Thursday, June 14, 2012 - From tragedy to empowerment
Thursday, June 7, 2012 - Change your focus, change your brain
Thursday, May 31, 2012 - Lessons about life from those who are dying
Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Surviving a mindless marriage
Thursday, May 17, 2012 - The impact of the mind on breast cancer survival
Thursday, May 10, 2012 - Providing Chiropractic care to the Hispanic population
Thursday, May 3, 2012 - Dating and lasting romantic relationships
Thursday, April 26, 2012 - Using relaxation to increase concentration
Monday, April 16, 2012 - “It’s Your Life” on WDNG
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 - US Real estate wrap up for March 2012
Saturday, April 7, 2012 - Medical care: When the risk is greater than car accidents and gunshots
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Affecting insomnia without the use of pills
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Common sense economics
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - A psychotherapist as an enabler
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Irritable Bowel Syndrome and mental health
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Playing good-cop or bad-cop as part of effective parenting
Wednesday, March 28, 2012 - Do Professional Certifications REALLY Matter?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - Can Financial Incentives Motivate Older Adults to Achieve Fitness Goals?
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - Teaching manners to kids and the development of empathy
Tuesday, March 27, 2012 - You vs your co-worker: How to win disputes at work
Monday, March 26, 2012 - The challenge of smoking cessation
Wednesday, March 21, 2012 - Existing home sales drop in February
Tuesday, March 13, 2012 - Hypnotherapy and fibromyalgia
Monday, March 12, 2012 - US Real estate wrap up for February 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012 - February unemployment did not drop
Sunday, February 26, 2012 - Hypnosis for Weight Loss
Tuesday, February 21, 2012 - The Politics of Stupidity
Friday, February 10, 2012 - A simple formula for change and transformation
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 - Greed is not Always Good
Sunday, February 5, 2012 - Stopping smoking habits can be difficult
Saturday, February 4, 2012 - Calhoun County’s Vulnerability to Federal Handouts