Tag Archives: Smoking Habit

Break Your Bad Habits

Having just looked at a list of bad habits posted on the internet, I can honestly say that whilst they are habitual repetitive behaviours, many of them are also disgusting. One site listed nail biting, throat clearing, lying, interrupting, chewing the end of a pen, smoking and swearing in its top 20 list of bad habits. And that’s not to mention knuckle-cracking and thumb-sucking.

Habits are formed when behaviour is consistently repeated. Eventually, it becomes an unconscious behaviour, that is, you can do it without thinking about it. In just the way your unconscious controls your blinking, breathing and walking without you having to remember to make it happen, it also takes over responsibility for activating the habit.

In a sense, the levels of competency go some way to explaining how this unconscious activity is created:

  • Unconscious Incompetence- Not knowing about it and not doing it. (Ignorant)
  • Conscious Incompetence- Knowing what needs to be done but unable to do it, lack of skill required.
  • Conscious Competence- Knowing what needs to be done and having to think about how to do it, in order to do it.
  • Unconscious Competence- Knowing what you need to do, and being able to do it without consciously thinking about how it is done.

We can see by looking at the levels of competency process, how a positive behaviour such as learning to drive, for example, is taken through the above stages so that it shifts from conscious activity, into an unconscious one. The problem with this process is that the unconscious mind will not distinguish between a good habit and a bad one. When learning to drive, this is generally a beneficial habit to master, and biting your nails for example is not.

However, the unconscious simply responds to the programming it is given. It does make a distinction about whether it is right for you or not. The more times you repeat the behaviour, the more hard-wired the behaviour becomes, good or bad.

This means that in order to break a bad habit, its automatic function of it needs to be bought back into the awareness of the conscious mind, in order to give the conscious a choice about whether to continue with the action. This could be enough for some to break their pattern, yet for others, even though when they are conscious of the habit, may continue to pursue it. For example, many people who smoke and know that they should give up, are aware of the cigarettes they light up and inhale. Worse than that, they are even conscious of what they are doing to their depleting immune system as they do it- and still they continue- why?!

The answer is that they get some sort of a payoff. An opportunity to be destructive and release some tension by biting your nails, or a moment to drift off and take a break from the busyness of work when having a fag. In the great scheme of things, it’s important to note that these payoffs are of course only temporary. They only alleviate pressures for a short amount of time and usually come with a downside, such as ultimately damaging your health, the way you look, the way you feel, or the way people respond to you.

NLP techniques are great for helping to get “leverage” for applying pain to the unwanted problem and pleasure to the solution. Anchoring techniques can provide an instant desired state to relieve tension for example so that it is no longer achieved by performing the habit. Hypnosis can be used to reprogram the unconscious part of the mind, linking unsavoury feelings to unwanted behaviour (for example feeling sick if you go to put your fingers in your mouth to bite your nails) and forming new habits to deal with stressful/ boredom situations in a new empowering way.

To book a free initial consultation with a licensed Practitioner in NLP, Hypnotherapy and Hypnosis, Please contact us at 0203 6677294.


By Gemma Bailey

Quit Smoking

The benefits of stopping smoking are endless, so I will not even bother trying to list them! You will, of course, be generally much healthier, and of course, much more empowered when you are no longer at the mercy of a little white stick. In my hypnotherapy practice, I am dedicated to ensuring that you give up smoking with ease and speed. This is why I offer two choices to my clients who are interested in quitting smoking as well as a free consultation.

When you make the decision to use Hypnotherapy to help you quit smoking, I will initially want to make sure that you are completely motivated to do so and that you want to give up smoking for all the right reasons. For example, one of my clients said that he really enjoyed smoking but that his wife hated it and that he wanted to stop smoking for her. Fortunately, I identified this man’s lack of motivation to achieve the goal for himself. If I’d have carried out the hypnotherapy there is little chance that it would have been successful due to the fact that the client didn’t have the desire to want to quit smoking.

In my practice, I use a range of different hypnotherapy techniques to assist my clients so that they are able to stop smoking. Here are some example of how I do it:

Away from techniques- There are of course many off-putting facts about the negative impact smoking has on the mind and body. When your mind is overloaded with this information you will feel compelled to move away from smoking forever.

Moving towards techniques- I also have lots of information about the positive impact quitting smoking and remaining a non-smoker has. I am keen to help you set goals for the future that wouldn’t have been attainable whilst you were a smoker. Now that you are a non-smoker you can explore new ways to relax, to exercise and to spend your money.

Metaphors- I believe that if you can lay back and enjoy the experience of quitting smoking, then you should! That’s why I use tailor-made metaphors, which give very specific instructions to your subconscious mind and suggestions to give up smoking. However, consciously, you don’t even need to listen, you can just lay back and relax.

Empowering alternatives- Wouldn’t it be fantastic to know that you can, not only give up smoking but that you can also look forward to doing something really and truly meaningful to do instead. Such as spending time with your family, which, no doubt, if you didn’t quit smoking, an early grave would have prevented that opportunity.

Anchoring- As well as a qualified hypnotherapist I am also a qualified NLP Master Practitioner. This means that throughout your intervention there is a strong chance that I will also use some NLP techniques. One such NLP techniques is called anchoring. This allows the hypnotherapist to create for you, a really powerful positive resource that you can fire off at will, should you find yourself tempted by cigarettes.

Compared to all other methods, research suggests that Hypnotherapy can improve the chances of quitting smoking and remaining a non-smoker. Hypnotherapy works in several ways, including:

Reducing the anxiety associated with stopping smoking
Helping people to find the motivations for stopping
Installing coping mechanisms
Re-evaluate unconscious beliefs and behaviours associated to smoking
Installing positive beliefs so that weight gain is not inevitable.

I have successfully helped many people to quit smoking throughout my years of practice as a hypnotherapist. Few of those people have required follow up sessions, many quit after just one session.

Quit Smoking (1 session only required) with 6 months of free support.

Book a free consultation now, via my contact details below.

I still do not smoke and it’s the start of something great!

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