Does Hypnosis Work For Smoking?

Quit Smoking Hypnosis success rates after six months range from 20% to over 90%, depending on the hypnotherapist, technique, and ongoing support provided. Smoking is held in place by nicotine addiction, beliefs around smoking, and habits that form around it. Quit Smoking programs that address the three anchors that keep smokers smoking tend to have high success rates.

When we’re feeling trapped by smoking, it’s natural to wonder whether hypnosis will work to help us quit. Most of us have tried multiple methods of quitting, and been met with failure each time.

In order to appreciate how hypnosis can help with smoking, we first need to understand how smoking works.

How smoking works to keep us hooked

Smoking is held in place by what I refer to as the 3 anchors of smoking.

Anchor #1: Nicotine addiction

First we’re tempted to try a cigarette by any means. Maybe we do it because we think we’ll look cool. Perhaps we’re offered a smoke by a friend or relative.

Regardless of how it happens, we try that first cigarette.

And the interesting thing is that most people absolutely hate that first one.

Our body knows it’s bad for us, so we cough, we feel dizzy… maybe even worse.

But then after that first cigarette, something curious happens.

We start to feel a little bit out of sorts, unless we have another.

So we do. And another. And another.

The pattern snowballs, and before we know it, we’re a smoker.

And every time we don’t smoke, we start to feel a little strange. Unless something distracts us.

Anchor #2: Habits around smoking

We quickly discover that there are times when it’s easy to smoke, and times when it’s less easy.

When we’re not smoking, that feeling tends to grow, so that when we have our next cigarette, it seems like it feels good. In reality, all that’s happened is the bad feeling went away. Measured objectively, we actually feel worse than we would have if we had never smoked.

This process leads to us forming habits around smoking.

Every morning when we wake up, we have a cigarette with our breakfast.

We get in the car, and have a cigarette.

It’s break time at work, so we pop out for a cigarette.

When we don’t have a cigarette, we start to think about them. All the time. We keep a packet handy just in case, and may start to feel anxious if we don’t.

Each of us builds our own unique pattern of habits that allows us to fit smoking in with our lifestyle. These habits are physical habits that we perform, as well as thinking and emotional habits.

And because of that tiny sensation at the times when we don’t smoke, each time we smoke we get an emotional spike. This reinforces the habit.

Anchor #3: Our beliefs around smoking

Now these days everyone knows that smoking is bad for you. And we don’t like to feel stupid, so we start to make up reasons to explain why we smoke.

We notice a feeling of relaxation when we’re smoking, so we conclude that smoking helps us to relax. We notice that we can think more clearly when we smoke, so we conclude that smoking helps us to focus.

There’s about a dozen or so common reasons that most smokers tend to build around smoking.

If you’re a smoker, you can discover yours by doing nothing more than sitting down and asking yourself why you smoke. Or what you think it’s doing for you.

As it turns out, none of these reasons stands up to even the slightest bit of testing.

Why it seems so hard to quit smoking

When we’re caught inside smoking, it can seem impossible to quit.

This happens because the human brain has some significant limits. The important one to consider here is that we can only keep track of about 7 things at once. Any more than that, and things start to fall out of our awareness.

This is known as inattentional blindness, and the effect is so powerful that once all of our conscious awareness chunks are consumed, we can quite literally fail to see things that are right in front of us.

It’s also the key thing that makes hypnosis work.

If you’re a smoker, take a moment to think through your own smoking habits and reasons for smoking.

Most smokers have anywhere from 4 to 12 reasons for smoking, along with dozens of habits.

In order to quit smoking, we have to simultaneously overcome all of our smoking habits and beliefs.

And the truth is: Our brains don’t have the capacity to focus on that much stuff at once.

This is why it can seem impossible to quit.

We’re stuck inside the problem. We fix one part, and another part of smoking sucks us right back in.

And every time we light up even one cigarette, our entire smoking pattern reinstalls itself into our mind. Regardless of how long it’s been since we last smoked.

This leads to us thinking that we’ve failed completely and that it’s impossible to quit. In reality, we probably only missed one tiny thing.

Here’s where it gets cool: Once we know exactly how smoking works, it can be extraordinarily easy to step outside of it and become a non-smoker for life.

In a sense, all that’s really needed is a map. And a tiny bit of determination.

Myths about smoking and quitting

Before we get onto what’s needed to quit smoking, it’s important to go over some common myths that smokers tend to have around smoking.

Myth #1: You have to want to quit

Have you ever been totally unaware that something even existed, and then seen an ad, and immediately wanted the thing? Of course you have! These days, everyone has.

The truth is that what we want is easy to change. Therefore, you don’t have to want to quit in order to do so.

Myth #2: If I quit, I’ll gain weight

Weight gain or loss comes down to balance. Ultimately, so long as the energy we consume matches the energy we expend, we won’t gain or lose weight.

Now nicotine has been known to modify the rate of metabolism. This means if we don’t pay attention to our body when we quit, we can end up eating more than we need to.

So it may be necessary to modify our diet after we quit.

It’s also the case that nicotine cravings can feel a bit like hunger.

This is easy to overcome. When you know how.

Myth #3: Smoking helps me to relax

When we inhale nicotine into our lungs, we receive a short, sharp spike in stress. This is easily measured with the heart rate monitor on many phones. Naturally, those stress levels start to fall as soon as we stop inhaling.

The end result is that when we smoke, we have a series of very short, sharp stress spikes, followed by relatively long periods of coming down from the stress. It feels like we’re relaxing.

Here’s the thing though: When we measure our stress levels while we smoke, what we discover is that our overall stress level when we’ve finished the cigarette is significantly higher than it was before we started.

Because of the structure of the pattern, it feels like we’re relaxing even though we’re becoming more stressed.

Myth #4: Smoking makes me feel confident

If you’re a smoker, think back to your very first cigarette. It was quite an achievement getting through it. When we achieve success like that, we feel confident.

This feeds into our system and our brain attaches that feeling of confidence to cigarettes. Smoking does not cause us to feel confidence. It just reminds us of a time when we were.

Myth #5: Smoking helps me to concentrate

When we smoke, the nicotine messes up our brain a little. It becomes adapted to having nicotine and if we take away the nicotine supply, we can experience minor difficulties with concentration and focus.

It takes about 3 weeks after we quit smoking for our brain to repair that damage.

The good news is that there are plenty of tools that can enhance concentration and focus enough that we don’t even notice it.

Rather than smoking helping us to concentrate, it’s actually the cause of us being unable to.

Myth #6: I need smoking to take a break

Really?

So then how do non-smokers do it?

Myth #7: Smoking gives me time to think

Let me ask you this: How much are we thinking when we’re automatically lighting that cigarette and putting it into our mouth?

Other myths

There are a few other myths that smokers can tend to believe about smoking. None of them are true.

At the end of the day: Smoking does nothing for us and we don’t need it.

Everything we believe about smoking that might be good can be easily demonstrated to be an illusion caused by the way that smoking works. It just takes a tiny bit of effort to work through them all, one by one.

What do you need to quit smoking for life?

In order to quit smoking for life, it is necessary to systematically overcome each of the three anchors that holds it in place.

You need a tool to overcome any nicotine cravings that might occur. These are easy to come by. When you use patches, gum or some other nicotine replacement product, those provide a crude version of this tool. There are other ways.

You need to systematically work through all of your excuses for smoking, and come up with reasons for why each of them just isn’t true.

You need to systematically work through all of your smoking habits, whether physical, thinking, or emotional, and consciously choose to do something else.

And you need something to keep you on track for at least the 3 weeks that it takes for your brain to repair itself from the damage caused by nicotine.

Luckily, each of these is easy to do, when you know how.

Hypnosis works for smoking because it can be used to help with overcoming each of these three anchors. And it can help keep us on track while our brain repairs the nicotine damage.

Can you be hypnotized to quit smoking?

This is where it gets interesting. I’ve been through a lot of hypnosis and hypnotherapy trainings. Some of them cover the structure of smoking in detail, while others don’t.

There are courses where you’re taught to simply hypnotize someone, then tell them that they don’t smoke. I find it unlikely that this would have a very high rate of success. My suspicion is that this form of hypnosis works for smoking because the marketing used by hypnotists following this method attracts exactly those people for whom it would be effective.

There are courses where you’re taught to hypnotize someone, and then give them lots of suggestions that they don’t smoke. This probably has a slightly higher rate of success.

And then there are courses that go into depth on how smoking works and what to do to dismantle every part of it. Some of these claim that there are 6 things holding smoking in place, while others claim there are 3 things. That’s the 3 anchors I outlined earlier. And still other courses claim that all you have to do is understand that it’s an addiction and get rid of the reasons.

When you analyze the courses that claim there are 6 things holding smoking in place, it turns out that there are only 3. They’ve just split them out into 6 to make it easier to apply. I’m a physicist, so I like simple. 3 is simpler than 6. And it’s quite clear that there’s more than just 1 thing.

So does hypnosis work for smoking? Yes! You don’t have to look far to find a former smoker who quit with hypnosis.

Is it guaranteed to work? Nope! Nothing is ever guaranteed in life.

Does hypnosis have a high rate of success at helping people to quit smoking? The evidence suggests that it does.

How much does quit smoking hypnosis cost?

So how much does quit smoking hypnosis cost? It depends on where you are in the world, and who you get to do it.

A lot of hypnotists offer one-session quit smoking hypnosis. They claim that it works.

Others like me offer 2 or 3 session quit smoking programs. We claim it works too. The advantage is that with a program we can check up on you, and get you through that 3 weeks where your brain is repairing the nicotine damage.

And my quit smoking program is delivered through online video calls, so you can be anywhere in the world so long as you have internet.

You have support.

Naturally, the more comprehensive the program, the more you’ll need to invest.

And it really is an investment.

The cost of not quitting

You know how much you spend on cigarettes each week. It’s probably a lot.

You can easily do the math to work out how much you spend on cigarettes in a year. It’s a lot more.

When you quit smoking for life, the constant ongoing expense of buying cigarettes goes away.

So quitting smoking really is an investment.

Like all investments, there’s a risk that it won’t work.

Here’s the thing though: Once you properly appreciate how smoking works to keep us hooked, it’s quite easy to see that quitting for life is just a matter of not giving up on quitting.

Usually quit smoking hypnosis works on the first try.

Sometimes it takes more.

So long as you don’t give up, you will quit.

I explain this to my customers in their first quit smoking session.

And I also explain that it’s a process. If they find themselves smoking in the future, all they have to do is get hold of me and we’ll book them back in.

Where I live in New Zealand, it’s over $30 for a pack of cigarettes. If you smoke a pack a day, that’s over $200 a week. Or $10000 a year.

Even if you had to go through the quit smoking program every 3 months for the rest of your life to remain a non-smoker, it would still be a lot cheaper than smoking.

Quitting smoking is a process

Here’s the thing about smoking: When we light up a cigarette after having quit, the entire smoking pattern is rebuilt. So it feels like we’ve failed. In reality, there was probably just one tiny thing that was overlooked. All that’s needed to quit again is to figure out that one tiny thing, and run the process again.

And it’s even better than that. Each time we run the process, your brain learns the pattern and can automatically apply it to other things that might have been missed.

Just like all other learning, you might not get it right the first time. Or the second. But by the time you’ve been through it a few times, you’ll have it down.

Sooner or later we run out of things that we’ve missed.

Now most people quit on their very first session.

I can’t tell you how much quit smoking sessions will cost, because it’s different everywhere in the world. I’ve seen prices ranging from $200 to $3000. I’ve heard of higher.

And the reality is that if you knew with absolute certainty that it would work, you’d pay that $3000.

The issue is doubt.

You might have doubts about quitting

I appreciate that you’re probably skeptical. So I’ve packaged up my entire program into a book. It’s in a PDF so you can download it and get started right away.

Inside The Quit Smoking Formula, I’ve included the parts of my quit smoking program that are easy to do with self-hypnosis, along with instructions on how to do it. I’ve designed it from the ground up with the intention that if you’re a smoker and want to quit, all you have to do is read the book and do the exercises, and you’ll quit.

The Quit Smoking Formula book cover

Naturally, there are no guarantees.

Since you’re probably not a quit smoking specialist, you might have to run through it a few times to get it right. Just like everything else you’ve ever learnt.

We humans learn by doing. Mistakes are expected the first few times. We tend to make fewer mistakes when we have a guide showing us the way.

And here’s the thing: It’s a book. If it doesn’t work, all you have to do is figure out why, and run the process again.

It’s usually easy to spot the reason we started up again.

The truth is that the only way you will quit is through taking action. So if you’re tired of all the coughing and wheezing…

If you’d like to live a long and healthy life…

And especially if you want to be certain you can quit smoking and become a non-smoker for the rest of your life…

Go check out The Quit Smoking Formula right now!

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