In today's society smokers are becoming an extinct species. Most public places such as restaurants, clubs and workplaces are making it more difficult for people to smoke. For those who live in areas were the climate isn't always a nice balmy temperature, smoking can be downright uncomfortable in inclement weather.
All excuses are not equal
For many, smoking is a habit that is deeply ingrained within the sub-conscious mind. We as humans have been blessed with a mind that allows us to have free will but sometimes free will ends up being dictated by our sub-conscious mind...that part of our mind that learns things such as driving a car, writing, walking...and then does these things automatically without our needing to think about doing them each time we need to. In many cases it isn't the nicotine that smokers are addicted to, it is the habitual aspects that our sub-conscious mind automatically trigger in certain situations or during certain emotional periods that often derails our attempts to quit smoking.
Addicted smokers will often not be able to start their day without having a cigarette almost immediately upon rising. They also often cannot go without a cigarette for any length of time and things such as flights, restaurants, or other smoke free environments are often avoided simply because they can't light up. The habitual smoker is someone who doesn't need to have a cigarette first thing but give them a coffee and often they will light up. Put them in the drivers seat of a car and those who smoke in their car will need to light up. They finish a meal...they need a cigarette. A drink? A cigarette. Yet put these same individuals on a plane, in a movie theater or an area where smoking isn't allowed and they can easily go without a cigarette. Habitual smoking is the most common reason for having difficulty in quitting because the sub-conscious mind recalls all of these triggers and continues to recall them even when you have quit. This is why those who have quit may find that even years later they will come up against a situation or an event that triggers a memory of smoking and suddenly they crave for a cigarette. The sub-conscious rarely forgets what it knows.
Some myths about quitting
There are a number of myths associated with quitting smoking and some of them are born out only due to the way in which people actually attempt to quit smoking. Some of these myths include:
** Weight gain : There is some truth to the matter that when we quit smoking our bodies will begin to crave sweets but that doesn't mean that we must fill that craving with things like donuts, pies, ice cream, etc. Fresh fruits, fruit smoothies, etc. are just as satisfying yet not nearly as caloric filled. The body will tend to gain between 4-6 pounds due to the metabolism slowing down but this is easily lost once diet, exercise and a return to activities that you may have been putting off due to smoking, are again taken up.
**Illness : There is a period of about 2-4 days when the body will begin to expel the toxins that have accumulated within it and during this time it may feel that there is a higher susceptibility to illness. This isn't the case but it is obvious that the longer you have smoked, the more work your body has to do in order to clear the lungs and body from these toxins and it's possible to feel the effects of this. Colds or fatigue/dizziness etc., are usually very short lived and are far less difficult to deal with than such illnesses or diseases as emphysema or more serious illnesses. It is a good idea to take in plenty of water - at least 8 glasses of 8 oz a day for the first week or so. This will allow the body to dispel the toxins more quickly. Increasing the ingestion of vitamins and minerals through a supplement as well as including a Vitamin B complex is also recommended but prior to doing this, consulting with your medical Doctor is always recommended. These will help in clearing the body as well as addressing any stress that might be involved due to quitting or to dealing with everyday stresses in life.
** Fatigue: There is a tendency for the body to slow down when quitting smoking and the metabolism can result in fatigue as well as difficulty concentrating. This is often very short lived for those who do experience it and it is simply your body's way of saying, "Take time to recuperate...you've been smoking "x" number of years therefore it will take a few days to adjust to the about face of no longer having nicotine or carcinogens entering the body." Rest is a very recuperative medicine and should not be ignored or denied.
** Irritability: Some people do tend to become irritable but this is often due to the withdrawal symptoms which are usually gone within 3 days after quitting. However, there are some methods of quitting smoking that do alleviate this so well that quitting is practically stress, irritability and weight gain free!
**Stress/anxiety Relief: This is one of the biggest myths about smoking. Many people use this excuse when it comes to supporting their reason for being unable to quit. Smoking relieves stress, calms them, allows them to regroup and take time to make better decisions, etc. There is no truth to any of these. What happens when we smoke is that we draw in not just smoke but oxygen...it is this deep breathing in and then exhaling that causes our body to automatically relax. You cannot be tense/stressed or anxious while doing this because your body can not be stressed and calm at the same time and deep breaths trigger calmness.
A Drug-free, stress-free way to kick the habit - Hypnosis!
The first thing that smokers need to know is that motivation is the key to your success. Without motivation or without the desire to quit smoking, there is little chance that your attempts to quit will lead you to successfully become a non-smoker regardless of the method you use to try and quit. The sub-conscious mind is a tough little fellow and when the habit of smoking is ingrained it's hard to overcome those "automatic" actions such as reaching for a cigarette, lighting one after a meal or after getting in or out of the car (depending on whether you smoke in the vehicle or not). Your sub-conscious mind is a little saboteur and it knows that even though your conscious mind may be logically telling you "time to quit or else..." your sub-conscious is going on the "known" habit and the actions it relates to smoking and it continues to carry those actions related to smoking out. This usually means you end up self-sabotaged and end up staying a smoker for much longer than you want to simply because you incorrectly believe that it is near impossible to quit smoking. Mistakenly people believe they just can't quit because the body "craves" it or they psychologically crave and need to smoke in order to deal with stress or difficulties in their life. This is probably one of the biggest myths associated with quitting smoking.
For those who are motivated however, any method chosen to assist in quitting can be successful if approached in the right way and with the right mindset. It is the level of success that hypnosis is known to have however, that makes it a method of choice for many who prefer to stay away from medications or who do not wish to use only willpower to successfully become smoke free.
Hypnosis is a non-drug, non invasive and completely holistic, serene and positive way to quit smoking. It is also between 66-69% effective which is a success rate that leads all other quit smoking techniques.
To visit a Hypnotherapist or use a hypnosis mp3?
Hypnotherapists are becoming more well known as therapists who can assist people with numerous personal development aspects including quitting smoking. A hypnotherapy session will usually run between $80 and $125 an hour and some sessions can be one time sessions such as helping individuals who need to feel comfortable in front of groups for public speaking, who need confidence to deal with a certain situation such as studying or taking an exam either written or oral, or who simply wish to enjoy a little more self confidence. Smoking cessation sessions can run anywhere from $80 a session to $300-400 for several sessions. Much depends upon where the Hypnotherapist is located, how long they have been in practice and how successfully their clients have achieved a smoke-free lifestyle.
There are hypnosis programs that are available on the Internet ... some of which are quite good and some of which are based on many more sessions than may be necessary. There are some programs which are free and others which run from $12 to upwards of $100 or more. It is your responsibility to investigate the quitting process you wish to use, but when it comes to hypnosis and smoking cessation, being comfortable with not only whom you are dealing with but also how much they are charging you, is important.
My personal success story
Hypnosis was very successful in my case. After smoking for almost 9 years I decided it was time to quit. I was tired of waking in the morning and one of the first things I'd do was grab a coffee and cigarette. I was tired of getting bronchitis when I had a cold and I was also tired of smelling like a chimney.
I have been a Certified Hypnotist (CH) since September 2009 and from there I decided I wanted to become a Clinical Hypnotherapist (CHt) specializing in Smoking Cessation, Weight loss and Pain Management. I'm currently certified for Smoking Cessation and Weight loss with Pain Management certification expected to be achieved by May 2010. The one thing I knew I needed was a solid education from a reputable learning institution. I chose to become a Distance Education student with Hypnosis Motivation Institute in California. They also offer the opportunity for me to attend the school at any time and take part in classes there which I hope to do.
I further realized that if I was to be a Hypnotherapist who was helping others, I should be walking the walk not just talking the talk. As soon as I became a certified Smoking Cessation Specialist I knew that I would be judged by clients if I continued to smoke while they attempted to quit. Besides, it was time to quit.
Quitting using hypnosis was, for me, as simple as one, two, three. My first session did a great deal to curb my need for cigarettes. I did a re-hypnosis three days later and as of October 1, 2009 I have been smoke free and May 1st, 2010 will be my 7th month anniversary as a non-smoker and have not desired a cigarette since.
After being a non-smoker you begin to discover the taste of foods, the smells around you and in many cases, when you are out on the town you will easily be able to pick out those around you who are still smokers. This should bring a smile to your face knowing that you no longer have to face that demon of quitting...because with hypnosis, you are free and enjoying the freedom!
I encourage anyone who is hoping to quit smoking, to at least investigate hypnosis...it's absolutely not the cluck like a chicken kind of entertainment it conjures up for most people. That is saved only for Stage hypnotists. Hypnotherapy today is fast becoming a highly respected profession that is sought out by those who wish to improve some area of their life and do so with ease, with positiveness and without drugs.
If you or someone you know is hoping to quit smoking, I suggest seeking out a Certified Hypnotherapist or investigate a well respected online hypnosis mp3 site which offers mp3s produced by reputable certified Hypnotists/Hypnotherapists. You'll find quitting will be not only pretty stress free but perhaps so enjoyable and simple that you'll wish you had thought of investigating hypnosis sooner! Best of luck to all who wish to quit smoking no matter what method you choose - you are doing something wonderful for not only yourself but your loved ones who want to see you enjoying many wonderful years with them.
Update On Jul 13, 2010: We are heading towards our 10th month of being Smoke free! There are a few others in the house that are still trying to quit smoking but who have not yet tried hypnosis despite my recommendations. They have tried willpower, the patch, pills, gum...eventually they'll realize that it's time to try Hypnosis!
An aside note, I obtained my Pain Management certification in Hypnosis right on schedule and hope to be fully certified in Advanced Hypnotherapy by August. Thanks to hypnosis I no longer have to worry about running to the store every few days for cigarettes! Best gift anyone who smokes can give themselves and those they love - the gift of quitting.