Quit Smoking without Giving Up?

When practicing hypnotherapy in Newcastle, Northumberland and Carlisle, one of the most frequent requests I receive is to help someone give up smoking.  Not to quit smoking, or stop smoking, but to give up.  And this implies having to make a sacrifice.

It’s a bit like shopping.  I was at the supermarket the other week.  As usual, I was shopping on ‘auto pilot’.  I had my standard list, and I knew where everything was so I went about my business.  But this time, for ‘marketing reasons’, they’d changed the layout of the shop.  The aisles where laid out differently, where I usually found my breakfast cereal now had tinned vegetables.  But even though I’m a person of habit, I soon found my way around again and in a short time had completed my weekly shop.  Now I know this happens from time to time, and I also know I can easily change my shopping habits – you never know, I might even try a new supermarket next time!

Many people in the North East and Cumbria find all sorts of reasons for smoking.  Pleasure, self confidence, enjoyment, relaxation, a boost.  And they fear that in quitting they will be giving up these things.  But when I ask them about it further they find out these reasons aren’t really true.  They realise that when they actually think about it, there’s nothing pleasurable or enjoyable about it really.  How can smoking provide both relaxation and a boost, both opposite things?

For many, it’s just a habit – something we ‘just do’ automatically.  And habits can be very easy to change.  We’re in the habit of driving on the left in Britain.  And when we travel abroad we slip easily into driving on the right.  So things we do automatically can be changed.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing.  When smokers are asked if, knowing what they know now, would they have ever started smoking in the first place they all say “No!”.    Would they want their young children or grandchildren to smoke?  “No!”. So it can’t be that good then.  So the real question isn’t for what reason do you smoke, but rather why did you ever start smoking in the first place?  Think about it, if you now know you’d rather never have started, how do you feel about that reason for starting all that time ago, now?

Many of the smokers I see in hypnotherapy say they feel like they have a tight band around their chest that stops them breathing.  They have a compulsion to smoke that eats away at them, and if they can’t get a cigarette they’ll move heaven and earth to get one.  Talk about real willpower – the lengths some people go to continue to feel so bad!  Have you ever been on your feet all day, your feet ache and you’re tired?  Your feet feel as if they’ve swollen up and your shoes are too tight.  Your toes, heels and soles are uncomfortable and you’ve had enough.  How enjoyable is it to finally get the weight off your feet, maybe to finally sit down, maybe even have a foot massage and a warm bath.  And this can be like the relief when you quit smoking.  The stress and strain of having to smoke finally disappears – how good will you feel then?  Just like your young children or grandchildren do now – and they feel that good all the time  – and they don’t smoke.

So, you’ve got nothing to give up.  All you have to do is decide to quit.  Stop smoking and enjoy the release.  And I understand that it’s not always as simple as that for you, but that’s where hypnotherapy can help.   And hypnotherapy can be like the foot massage and warm bath – the help that really makes the difference for you.

Offering clinical hypnotherapy in the North East of England and the Borders of Scotland, Performing Excellence offers performance coaching and change work in all areas of your life to help you perform at your best.  If you’d like further information on how I can help you contact me at-

Email kim@performingexcellence.co.uk

Telephone 07980 127832


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