For years, I’ve heard stories about people’s struggles with smoking cessation. People want an easy way to quit but it just does not exist. Unfortunately, most of the lay practitioners in hypnotism tend to sell a rather “magic wand” process which creates a false expectation for success.

It’s Not a Moral Failing That You Have Had a Tough Time Quitting!

The reality is that the habit of smoking is deeply rooted in the body’s neurochemical responses to nicotine, as well as patterns of coping with stress, and classical conditioning with the most mundane daily activities. If the person who smokes also drinks alcohol, then there is a dual problem. The same receptors in the brain are working in response to both the nicotine and the alcohol. 

In my smoking cessation program, I help my clients to understand themselves better, and teach them to take a multidimensional approach to their quit process. 

Multidimensional Approach

Smoking cessation must address the physical aspects of nicotine withdrawal, the mental aspects of classical conditioning with the myriad of daily smoking triggers, and the emotional aspect of coping with stress. Also, smokers need to learn how to re-label themselves as “non-smokers” and identify with healthy choices that match with that lifestyle.

Snacking Instead of Smoking

People are also afraid that when they quit smoking, they will also gain weight from over-eating (when snacking replaces smoking). My program helps people integrate the healthy habits that they want to live as non-smokers. 

Lifestyle Changes

Even if a person is using the patch, gum, or medication to take the edge off of nicotine withdrawal cravings, he or she still needs to learn how to cope with life differently. It’s all about making comprehensive lifestyle changes in order to live life as a non-smoker. 

by Diana Zilly, MS, MA, LPC, NBCFCH.  Diana is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Fellow in Clinical Hypnotherapy, and Adjunct Professor of Psychology at Joliet Junior College.

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