Tag Archives: quit smoking

Stop Smoking Using Hypnotherapy (and your imagination)

Deciding to quit smoking is not ever a punishment. Doing that for yourself is showing
that you love yourself and when you put that new frame around it, in NLP we call this
reframing, when you put that new frame around it, it makes it so much more palatable
to be able to take on that kind of a challenge. Actually, suddenly starts to seem
appealing to realise that when you do this, you’re doing yourself a massive favour. That
you are showing how much you care for yourself, by taking care of yourself in the best
possible way.

So that’s a really important thing to do too and for those of you who are can’t quite get
your head round that way of thinking yet and need a little bit more leverage so a bit
more of a push. Then the best thing I can suggest to you is this – if you think about
cigarettes and start to reduce the quality of the way in which you remember them,
because the chances are the way that you remember the taste of cigarette smoke is
much tastier than the way it tastes in real life. You have a much better memory of it
than how it actually tastes when you come to experience it. Think about the memory of
cigarettes and just start to reduce the quality of that memory and you can do this very
simply by distorting the colour, so perhaps draining the colour out and changing it to
black and white. You can do it by moving the image further away from you, by shrinking
that image down, by putting a frame around the image, by moving the image to a
different location within your field of vision so whatever it is that your eyes stare out to,
to imagine that image just move your eyes somewhere else and put the image over
there and you’ll notice that you start to feel very differently about it.

Now it might not mean that you absolutely hate it but it will certainly start to
reduce the power that the memory of cigarettes, such that you don’t feel quite as
compelled in the future to be drawn towards them.

Imagine yourself smoking a cigarette and realising that there isn’t just tobacco inside it,
but it is also stuffed with someones pubic hair. Just imagine that right now.

Imagine that cigarette that you loved. Not only has it got bits of the tobacco you used to
enjoy, but it’s also got somebody’s dirty hair in and you’ve been putting it in your
mouth, not knowing quite where it came from. Then it’s got wedged in one of your back
teeth and you cannot get it out and so you try to swallow to get rid of it, but only half
the hair goes down your throat and the other half is still in your mouth. How awful, so
you put your fingers in to try and reach for it to try and take that bit of hair out and try
and salvage whatever you can from the cigarette but as soon as you stick your fingers in
your mouth, it makes you start to gag.

Can you imagine that happening?

And I wonder how many of you now are thinking about the cigarettes that you used to
absolutely love and are not feeling quite as drawn to it as you used to? All that took was
just a couple of minutes and using your imagination. Imagine what a session of
hypnotherapy could do for you!

By Gemma Bailey

Giving up Bad Habits

If you have a particular habit or compulsion that you want to stop doing I want you to list all of the reasons why it is a good idea for you to stop having that habit vs all of the payoffs that you will get as a result of not doing it anymore. Pay particular attention to focusing on the positive elements of having that, rather than the negative stuff. Really focus on what you will get. There is a series of books by a guy called Allen Carr which you might be familiar with. He wrote lots and lots of books about giving up smoking and used to do so seminars as well to help people give up smoking or quit smoking as we should say and here’s why.

Allen Carr used to say we shouldn’t use the phrase ‘giving up’ when we’re talking about giving up smoking because you’re not actually giving up. It’s not about giving up, you are actually starting something new. The focus should always be on what you will gain. So really, we should be talking about ‘quitting smoking’ and ‘stopping smoking’ rather than ‘giving up’ because giving up already implies some kind of failure, doesn’t it?

When I deal with smokers I say to them ‘giving up smoking isn’t a punishment so if this is going to be a reward for yourself I want you to focus on the sorts of treats you’re going get in your life now and the sorts of rewards you are going to have, as a result of stopping smoking’.

So many people think it’s going to be so hard because of this and it’s going to be really difficult in these situations and so on and so forth and it makes it sound as if giving up smoking or quitting smoking is like a punishment for them. Well, it’s not. When you stop smoking that’s a brilliant thing. You’re doing the best thing for your body that you
possibly could ever do. So, you really want to be thinking about how this is going to be a reward for you from now on.

If you always view this habit or compulsion and stopping that habit or compulsion as an uphill struggle, then it will be. When my dad gave up smoking the first-time round, he did so because lots of other people in our family were giving up smoking and because my grandad had died from cancer smoking related.

I don’t think he really wanted to stop smoking at that time and I remember that when he did he had some terrible side effects. He had ulcers in his mouth. He literally looked like he’d been chewing on a piece of glass and he was moody and he found it so difficult.

Now the second-time round that he stopped smoking which is the most recent time was when the smoking ban came in in the U.K. for public places and there was one time he was in the pub, having a drink and wanted a cigarette and was trying to kind of drink and smoke and stand in the doorway and he got told off by the security guards who said ‘no you’re not allowed to do that. You are either inside or you’re outside’ and he
didn’t want to go outside in the cold and stand out there in the rain and stuff. He just said to himself ‘you know what I’m just going to stop you know this is silly, I’m just going to stop smoking’ and so he did and that really was all there is to it.

The smoking ban came in 2007 in the summer and he remained a non-smoker for the rest of his life which was up until 2014. It was an easy thing to do because he just thought ‘well I’ll just do it and that’s all there is to it’. Whereas in the past there were all the concerns about it’s going to be like this and it’s going to be hard work etc.

Think about any metaphors that you might be using to describe this habit that you have or more importantly how it would be to give up the habit that you have. There probably are some metaphors that come to mind – like ‘it’s going to be an uphill struggle’. ‘It just feels as if everything’s on top of me at the moment’. All those sorts of things are called ‘toxic metaphors’ because they are metaphors that tell us something about what you’re
thinking but in a very indirect story like way.

And also, they’re toxic because they’re not giving you a good internal representation. They’re not giving you a good internal focus. If you notice that you’ve got some of these going on then you need to start challenging them. We need to start thinking of some smart-arse answers to these metaphors so that when one of them pops up in your mind or somebody else might deliver one to your door, then you can think of something to say to give you a new internal representation.

So, if you’ve got something going on in your head about it being an uphill struggle then you can think well, do you know what, I’m very near the top now and soon I’ll be on top of the world. Something like that so that in your head, your mind starts picturing actually being on top of this problem, rather than struggling up the side of the problem. I hope that makes sense.

The Hypnotherapy and NLP Clinic provides Hypnotherapists and NLP coaches in Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Essex and Coventry to help with the management of stress, anxiety and depression.

For more information about our free consultations and sessions, contact us on 0203 6677294

By Gemma Bailey