Take 4 Giant Steps... & Stop Smoking
Few people know that the underling addiction to all addiction is sugar and how the body responds to it. Manage this first and smoking cessation is much easier. Add interactive self hypnosis and the smoker can certainly be home free.\n
To cease smoking is the easiest thing I ever did; I ought to know because I've done it a thousand times," said Mark Twain. If you and Mark Twain have walked down the same road, it may be time for you to look at a new way to get ready to stop, as well as to really stamp out this unhealthy habit once and for all. For many smokers, getting ready to stop is the biggest step of all.
There certainly is no shortage of non-smokers or reformed smokers telling of the numerous reasons why someone should not light up, and sometimes the telling can get out and out nasty. The smoker often wonders why such a bad thing could be so enjoyable, and just as often, how one can enjoy some- thing that is so destructive. The other side of the coin is why someone would do something so destructive when there is no enjoyment whatsoever.
What does this really say about the inner self, the ability to act intelligently, and to be in control of one's self. How about self-respect, and self-value? What does this say about the responsibility to oneself and family? Now, besides the detrimental physical manifestations caused by smoking, the smoker is left to deal with his inner essence and soul, which appears on the surface, to be out to destroy as well.
It helps the smoker to understand that there are several physical components to this addiction besides the nicotine, and when these are managed holistically, the smoker can be in charge of his health and well-being once again! A person smokes to alter physical feelings in the body. These feel ings are actually body sensations caused by the thought pro cesses, emotions and stored stress. The act of smoking hypnotizes the person, assisting in the release of the stress chemicals. It becomes obvious, therefore, that new ways of releasing the stress chemicals must be put in place before the nicotine is removed, making the transition to non-smoking smoother.
Addressing the fear of non-smoking
I have never met a smoker who wasn't experiencing some level of fear when approaching the idea of quitting, and this is very understandable. The cigarette, or other smoking vehicle is actually perceived as a stress reducer, and for most smokers this is their only stress reducer. Unfortunately, while it does appear to reduce stress in the beginning, it is a very dangerous choice, and because of the mind/ body reaction to the over 4000 chemicals, there is a powerful re bound stress reaction from smoking.
As mentioned earlier, before the smoking devise can be re moved, the smoker needs some new and effective stress management tools. It is important for the smoker to learn how his body works in response to stress, and the part the smoking plays in reducing stress. It is easy to recognize when the person smokes, the mind/body goes into a hypnotic trance. The person is often unaware of the actual smoking, and before awareness hits, the cigarette is finished. Watch the eyes of any smoker, and you can easily see the trance state.
The mind is lost in the thought processes, and often very vivid pictures are played while the smoke dances in and out f the lungs. It is important for the smoker to learn how to effect this state without smoking. This is done by teaching the participant how to slow the brain waves consciously, thereby slowing down the production of stress chemicals, as the over-active mind slows as well. It takes only 1/200th of a second to effect this biochemical change in the mind/body. Actually, this is much quicker than lighting up.
Getting the nutrition in line for high-level functioning
I've met hundreds of smokers, but I have yet to meet a smoker who has great nutritional habits. The common pitfalls are no breakfast, or a one high in sugars, caffeine and other high-glycemic foods. The lunch is often just as sporadic, and grazing is a common habit. Favorite foods usually fall into the category of being highly refined, and beverages are often high in caffeine, artificial sweeteners, or alcoholic.
It helps if we understand that there is an underlying link to most addictions, and that is the addiction to sugar. It becomes very important for the smoker to be educated about this phenomena. If a person does not eat sufficiently for his lean body mass, and/or if there is a family history of ad dictions, adult onset diabetes, heart disease, certain can- cers, high blood pressure, and other circulatory diseases, that person may be very sensitive to high-glycemic foods. This over-sensitivity presents itself with uncomfortable body sensations which feel stressful. The smoker answers this biochemical feeling with lighting up a cigarette, in an attempt to stop the stress reaction.
Learning to quiet the mind and emotions
Once the fear of non-smoking is understood, and the food is in order, the smoker is already feeling better, and most likely not smoking quite so often. This usually comes as a surprise, because the smoker has never felt this level of calmness before.
The emotional states we experience are actually chemical re actions in the mind/body brought forward by thoughts. They end up in body sensations, but all originated in the thought process in the form of images. When we learn to notice our frequent "emotional visitors", especially on lower levels, we can learn to release them, thereby causing a chemical change in our biochemistry. The act of self-awareness, fol lowed by choice puts us in control of our mind/body pro cesses. For most people, this is a completely new beginning, and breaks the hopeless-helpless cycle. We call these tools mindfulness, awareness, and insight meditative practices. They are extremely valuable in helping us learn to decrease stress hormones, and produce healing hormones. This is the basis of mind/body healing, not just for the smoker, but for everyone, with or without an actual disease process.
Learning the power of imagery, imaginology, visualization and self-hypnotic technique
We all have the power to access our subconscious mind. We do it all the time. The aforementioned techniques allow us to direct the images, instead of receiving them randomly, like an out of control computer. Once the mind is quiet, we can place images and suggestions directly into the subconscious. For those looking to stop smoking, these images should be based on the particular beliefs, and needs of the individual smoker. For some, health is a big issue, but for others this may not be so. It is important for the mind to really see the problem, and the goal completely finished.
The mind words backwards, and when it is well focused on the goal, and understands the problem very clearly, it will assist in designing the action steps for achievement. There are many tools and techniques for imaging, and deepening the hypnotic trance. They are easy to learn, and very natural for the mind/body. The body wants to be healthy. It is looking for homeostasis, or balance. When we engage the en tire system in working towards health, expect the very best.
Elizabeth Bohorquez, RN is a Clinical Medical Hypnotist, President and