Hypnosis and Quitting Smoking

Quitting smoking can be difficult. Hypnosis is one tool promoted to help people stop the unhealthy habit of smoking. But does it really work?

Understanding Hypnosis

Hypnosis is a process where a skilled individual is able to lull a person into a state of total relaxation. The person is so relaxed that they become open to suggestion since there are no extra thoughts in the way. Basically, the hypnotist disrupts old patterns of thinking enough to replace them with better suggestions.

When hypnosis is used to help smokers quit their habit, the hypnotist helps the individual reach a state of total calm through specialized visualization and breathing techniques. Then the hypnotist plants ideas in the patient's mind to make smoking as unappealing as possible. It could be thoughts about the hazards of smoking. Or it could be a list of the benefits of quitting.

Is It a Cure?

Hypnosis will not make a smoker instantly never again want a cigarette again in their lives. It's meant to change a thought pattern to help a smoker fight temptation. But the smoker still needs to create a new lifestyle for herself and resist temptation.

Its Effectiveness

Hypnosis can work, but only under certain conditions. First you need to be able to trust the hypnotist enough to allow him into your mind. Not everyone can be hypnotized, unlike sensationalized stories of hypnotizing in movies, books and television shows. You also need to have a strong desire to quit smoking. Hypnosis works best when used as part of an overall stop-smoking plan including finding alternative ways to relax that don't involve basically sucking on smoking tube of paper-wrapped nicotine and tar.

Do-it-yourself Hypnosis

Hypnosis when used to stop smoking is done to break a habit by changing thought patterns. There are many resources available claiming to help you hypnotize yourself into stopping smoking. But the question is, if you've tried everything else, will simply repeating to yourself specific keywords be enough to be successful? Probably not.

Self-hypnosis can work in conjunction with true hypnosis by a professional. The desire to stop smoking has to be planted deep in your subconscious by the professional. It can be used to help strengthen your resolve after the professional hypnosis session. To do this, first come up with several reasons why you want to quit smoking. Keep them short and simple. Create a quiet, warm and relaxing environment for yourself to make it easier for your subconscious to accept what you're saying. Repeat your pre-created mantras for 15 minutes a day. Eventually your brain will internalize these suggestions and you'll be able to quit smoking. But you need to have the strong desire to quit first and you must be willing to do the work necessary to make your wants a reality.