Don't let faulty beliefs from sabotaging your success!
Understanding how your body works gives you the power to avoid developing faulty beliefs about your ability to remain a non-smoker that may cause you to relapse unnecessarily e.g. many people succumb to cigarettes again because they believe smoking is the only way they can cope with stress or keep their weight under control.
You've been feeding your body regular doses of poison for years, if not decades, and it's been doing a lot of compensatory work to keep you feeling normal in spite of it all. Luckily for you, your body has an amazing ability to rapidly recover from smoking and restore a natural balance - within just a few days to a few weeks - and this even after decades of daily poisoning!
How cool is that?
With hypnotherapy there's no need for withdrawal symptoms to set you back. By stopping smoking in hypnosis your recovery can be programmed to remain completely below your conscious awareness - so the chances are you won't experience any signs at all, in fact after hypnotherapy many people can't even remember what it was like to smoke!
Avoiding the weight gain trap
Cigarettes actually contain sugar. In addition to this the chemical effects of nicotine can prevent insulin from doing its job properly. This means that as a smoker you regularly have far higher blood sugar levels than you will as a non-smoker. This is actually very damaging to the body in the long run and why smoking contributes to health complications such as type 2 diabetes.
When you quit smoking your blood sugar levels will dip for about 3 days while your body re-adjusts.
Managing your weight as a non-smoker will always be addressed in your hypnotherapy session. However, understanding what's going on in your body will give you extra confidence and help put your mind at rest!
Why might I feel the need to eat more sweet foods?
The 3-day blood sugar dip can also cause a short-term spike in appetite for carbs or sweet foods because your body will initially seek to maintain the high blood sugar levels that it got used to while you were smoking. This only lasts for 3 days but if you do become aware of any temptation to indulge then it's vital that you don't start stuffing yourself with junk food!
Smoking raises blood sugar within 30 seconds, however it takes about 20 minutes from the first swallow of food for your blood sugar levels to rise after eating. Because it takes your body longer to deliver the same sense of reward, the danger is that we keep packing in more and more food within that 20-minute slot. But it doesn't make that feel-good moment arrive any quicker - it just increases your chances of gaining weight!
Understanding this mechanism will help you to avoid starting out with faulty compensatory eating habits that could lead to weight gain.
**Sipping fruit juice throughout each day for just 3 days will help overcome these temporary food cravings without resorting to over-eating**. If you like cranberry juice, you may help your body recover from smoking more quickly as it speeds up nicotine excretion.
I'm worried about brain fog
Your brain is fuelled by both sugar and oxygen and requires them to be in balance for optimal functioning. In the first few days after you stop smoking, your brain receives less sugar and more oxygen than usual. This temporary imbalance in brain fuel can lead to a sense of confusion, dizziness, slow thinking, poor concentration and memory - however it IS only temporary. If you were to experience any of these symptoms, just take it easy - don't expect too much of yourself for a few days.
Smoking is the only thing that calms me down!
Smoking actually does the very opposite! Nicotine raises your heart rate and blood pressure, creating a sense of anxiety at a physical level. So it makes you feel anxious, then tricks you into believing you need to smoke to restore the lost calmness (when it was really the nicotine that stole your calmness away in the first place!).
This is called the 'nicotine trick' and is part of the clever way nicotine (and the tobacco companies) keep you hooked - because the relief is only ever temporary. Your mind may then attach false meaning to the anxiety sensations so that it can seem as though external events are the problem, such as stress at work, relationship issues or everyday scenarios like standing in a long supermarket queue! Once you're past the recovery phase, your sense of natural calm will return.
Ex-smokers report feeling happier, calmer and less depressed than they did when they smoked!
Then why does smoking seem to relax me?
The false sense of ‘relaxation and calm’ while smoking is generated by the long slow breaths you take which slows the heart rate down again, and the immediate sense of mental pleasure and reward you get from dopamine release. Then there's the tendency to step outside of a stressful situation (such as work) in order to smoke and the act of lighting up that also provide a distraction from everyday stress.
If you've been using smoking to cope with anxiety you may feel afraid (or even terrified!) of not being able to cope as a non-smoker. It may be that smoking has been affording temporary relief from an underlying anxiety issue that needs to be addressed for you to feel confident of stopping smoking completely. We can help you completely overcome underlying anxiety in an additional hypnotherapy session. Don't hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs or find out more.
If you're particularly worried about anxiety, hypnotherapy is an ideal way to re-teach your brain how to stay calm and in control. We incorporate tailored anxiety reduction approaches into your hypnotherapy session and give you a handful of powerful yet easy-to-use techniques to take away that will minimise both cravings and anxiety (if you have any at all!) and help you to confidently handle whatever life brings your way.
Smoking to mask negative emotions
Some people smoke to mask overwhelming negative emotions. If this is you then your daily smoking routine may be quite haphazard and you find it quite easily to go for long periods without smoking while these feelings are at bay. When we feel down, upset or anxious about life events the brain seeks out ways to boost our feel good chemicals. Smoking artificially stimulates dopamine release in the brain which provides a temporary sense of relief, pleasure and reward, but it can never really solve the real issue. If you're smoking as a coping mechanism for dealing with overwhelming emotions, we can help you to resolve this pattern of responding in one additional therapy session, helping ensure you remain free of smoking in the future.
Reduce anxiety by watching your caffeine intake
Smoking speeds up the body's excretion of caffeine. So when you quit smoking, caffeine will be hanging around in your body for longer, increasing the likelihood of symptoms that you may interpret as increased anxiety or even panic, when really your body is just being chemically overstimulated. Coupled with the other symptoms of nicotine withdrawal, excess caffeine could lead you to feel that the anxiety of quitting smoking is just too much to handle! Reduce your caffeine intake when you quit and remind yourself that all that anxiety may be nothing more than a chemically-induced physical sensation that will soon pass.
What if I feel depressed?
Smoking triggers artificial dopamine release, giving you a pleasant chemical reward each time you smoke. It also raises serotonin levels in long term smokers. Gradually your brain grows accustomed to these higher dopamine and serotonin levels and reduces the quantities it produces naturally. So this is why some people feel a mood dip during the first few weeks after stopping smoking. This is temporary while your amazing brain works at re-establishing its own dopamine and serotonin production. There are many natural ways to stimulate your own dopamine and serotonin levels such taking regular exercise. If feelings of depression start getting in the way of everyday life, then do see your GP as soon as you can. If you've been prone to depression in the past, you may find the Human Givens approach to understanding and treating depression very enlightening:
Everyone around me smokes. How will I resist the cravings?!
During your session we incorporate hypnotic techniques that are designed to completely eradicate nicotine cravings. By altering how you feel towards smoking at a subconscious level, you simply lose all interest in it, no matter how many people are smoking in your face! Of course there are no guarantees - your body has a lot of tweaking and calibrating to do as it heals and recovers - but even if you were to experience some cravings after hypnotherapy, they are usually milder and much easier to handle.
To give you complete confidence, we always arm you with several easy-to-use therapy techniques to take away that will help reduce and control recovery signs instantly and naturally. Nobody has ever died of nicotine cravings, but millions of people do die from continuing to smoke!
Hypnosis? Yikes! Is it even safe?
Read our frequently asked questions about hypnosis and hypnotherapy here. Don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or concerns that we haven't covered!