#1 – Smoking Cessation: Identity & Physical Awareness
We have established that you are entirely ready to stop smoking cigarettes and start living life to the fullest. You already know that cigarettes are bad for you and that the long-term damage is not something you want to live with. We already know that you understand why you use to smoke in many different situations. What we are dealing with is not an attempt to convince you of anything. Rather, we are now dealing with something that is just a habit.
I am going to give you some suggestions that you will accept as absolute truth and incorporate into your life. They really aren’t suggestions, since we have established that you want a new life as a non-smoker. They are actually truths that you can live by from this point forward. These suggestions, or truths, will help you to end your smoking habit. In doing so, you will be able to manage any discomfort you may have anticipated and you will begin feeling healthy immediately. The suggestions that I am going to give are designed to take an old habit and replace it with a new manner of living, one that you are satisfied experiencing.
Awareness is one way to help end a habit. One of the reasons you have still smoked, up until this point, is your lack of awareness regarding smoking. So often, reaching for a cigarette and lighting it up has been an automatic process. I am suggesting that from this point forward, you are aware of your actions. In times of stress, instead of reaching for a cigarette, you simply inhale, exhale, and focus on your breathing for a few minutes. When you sit in your car or rest from your job, instead of lighting a cigarette, you will picture yourself accomplishing the goals you have for your life.
You know how to create mental pictures in your mind. You have been doing it your entire life. When you realize that this is the time that you would normally light a cigarette, you will pause and visualize yourself doing exactly what you want to, in life that is healthy.
You are not giving up something that is important to you in this endeavor. Rather, you are ending the coughing, pain, sickness, and social alienation that you feel. These difficult experiences are being replaced with healthy experiences like deep breaths and an amazing sense of well-being. At this point, you will forget about cigarettes as part of your life forever. It is as if you have never purchased a pack or lit a cigarette before.
From this point forward, identifying with the personality of a smoker is not something you do because you are a non-smoker. It is something you have chosen and something that powerfully defines your identity. Go deeper into hypnosis now, knowing that the sensations of relaxation and calm are sensations that you can use to help you manage what some label as withdrawal. Discomfort is not something you need to experience because the rewards of this life change are so powerful that you feel an incredible sense of well-being.
Relax more and go ten times deeper into hypnosis. Allow yourself to change the behaviors of the past in to new patterns of thinking and living. From this point forward, anytime you find an old cigarette or are tempted to borrow one from a friend, you will immediately crush the cigarette in two, between your fingers.
The accoutrements of smoking that lay around the house are no longer needed. Therefore, ashtrays, lighters, matches, and even items with cigarette company logos can be tossed in the trash. You desire to do this because the idea of smoking is foreign to you. You are no longer a smoker and so these strange objects are of no use to you, even if at one point in life you considered them to have value.
Because you have stopped smoking at this point, you feel a sense of wellness throughout your body. You can sense your heart beating slowly and you know it is working well to bring the life force through your being. In your mind, create a picture of the beating heart pumping healthy blood, and your lungs filling your cells with oxygen. Imagine the oxygen and energizing blood moving throughout your whole body.
Your body is a remarkable machine and even if you have suffered illness as a result of your smoking, your body has the ability to repair itself. The tickle in your throat and the shallow breaths give way to a body that is able to repair the years of damage done by smoking. Every part of your body will increasingly feel energized with a positive life force.
Even your skin begins to feel like the cells are rejuvenated. This is because the oxygen is able to flow unimpeded, providing nourishment to your whole body. It is effortless for you to stop smoking and it will not feel like a challenge to you. You know that you have the capacity to refrain from engaging in automatic behaviors like smoking. You also know that you have the ability choose new behaviors, like taking a walk or a deep breath. It is easy for you to live as a non-smoker because you enjoy the feeling of not being dominated by a cigarette company. You also enjoy the extra money that you now have.
It is effortless to begin a new life because you have increased the number of people who are now attracted to you. More people are attracted to you, not only because of the physical changes of health, but also because people enjoy being with those who triumph over cigarette addiction. You are now seen as a strong person who makes healthy choices. These are the characteristics of a winner and you possess these characteristics.
In subsequent sessions, you find that you are able to go even deeper into trance and are able to take the concepts to heart and act upon your goals immediately, without hesitation. You no longer smoke; you breathe fresh air. You no longer automatically engage in self-destructive behaviors. You are aware of your options and implement new ways of managing stress. You find relaxation in activity rather than the stagnation of the past and you no longer associate cigarettes with drinking, sex, eating, driving, or social interaction.
Relax for a few moments, deep in trance. This is a special place you have created, a powerful state of being that you own. In this state, you have committed to a decision and have taken action to start a new life. You have the ability to retreat to this place in your mind when you are stressed or when confronted with a decision to smoke or not to smoke. You have the ability to come back exactly to this place and stand firm on your decision and new identity. Relax and enjoy this moment. Feel your body breathing slowly and your heart and lungs pumping oxygen and nourishment through every part of your body. It feels good. (Insert a long pause here to give the client a chance to integrate new lessons.)
You have undertaken a bold step today, one that you can be resolutely proud of. I am going to count from one to five. As I do, you will become more alert and energetic. You will feel a sense of serenity and accomplishment like you have never experienced before. From this point forward, through the rest of the day, you will be able to handle stressful situations with calmness. You will eat only appropriate amounts of food and will not feel as if anything is missing from life. Rather, you will experience having gained a new life.
One, becoming more awake…
Two, health and energy flow through every fiber and cell of your body….
Three, feeling more alert….
Four, you are almost awake, but feel calm….
Five, you are fully alert now….
You are fully awake, refreshed, and energized!
You know that every day and in every way, you are becoming better and better. Now, open your eyes and reorient to the room.
#2 – Smoking Cessation: Concerns about Weight Loss
It is entirely possible to quit smoking without weight gain, but one must increase physical activity to do so. Dietary changes are also helpful. It is also important to avoid alcohol, caffeine, and other drugs during the first few days. I suggest mapping out the hours of the first two or three days after you quit smoking in order to keep yourself busy and focused on healthy living and to ensure that you plan many activities you enjoy.
Some people fear weight gain after they become a non-smoker, but as you have already experienced through hypnosis, you have the ability to control your body. You have the ability to relax, slow down your heart rate and breathe slowly, smoothly, and rhythmically. You also have the ability to control your diet and increase your daily activities as a non-smoker. Although it is true that your body now needs more physical activity to burn calories than when you smoked, you find this is easy to accomplish. It is easy to accomplish this goal, because your body is now energized by oxygen, clean air, and restful sleep. It is not difficult for you to increase your activity level, go for a walk, or even go to the gym, because you now have the energy and stamina to do these things.
In the mornings, you will wake up refreshed, energetic, and ready to take on the challenges of the day. One of these challenges will be to exercise and burn calories through increased activities. However, this is not a difficult challenge to master because you have the desire to care for your body. You also know that you have total control over your body. This includes the food choices that you make. You know that if you wanted to, you could replace smoking with eating, but you also know this is not a choice conducive to your goals. So when you are hungry, you will simply eat enough to minimize the hunger, but not enough to feel gorged or overfull.
In restaurants and at home, you will eat until you are satisfied and then simply stop eating even if food remains on your plate. You do not have to eat everything on your plate; you can stop eating at anytime when you are satisfied. You also know that you have choices. Options such as leafy, natural foods appeal to you. Fresh fruits satisfy your cravings for sweets and breads made from rye or whole grain flours satisfy your needs for nourishment. You have the ability to give up impulses and to choose just a bite of desert. You can enjoy everything in moderation.
You want to do this because you know that it will help you to avoid weight gain and help you to feel good. Rather than processed or refined foods, you desire natural and whole foods that nourish the body and are simpler and more delicious than other choices. You have made the decision to eat right and to exercise daily and it is easy for you to take these actions.
As you relax, focus again on your breathing. It is relaxed, smooth, and rhythmic. Focus on the muscles in your feet and legs and feel the energy level that is beginning to return to them. With every breath you take, a calm yet invigorating feeling comes over the muscles of your body. You can feel the energy spread across your back, chest, and into your upper torso. This energy is invigorating and makes you feel good.
Although you are still relaxed and calm, the energy spreads across your muscles and into your shoulders, neck, and the muscles of your face. As you begin to become aware of your surroundings, it is okay to open your eyes. Breathe slowly. Take a moment to reorient to the room around you. You are now awake. You are energized. You are ready to embark on the rest of your day with renewed hope.
#3 – Smoking Cessation: Visualization Awareness
In this place of perfect accomplishment, I am going to give you some suggestions. These suggestions will help you accomplish your goal of smoking cessation. Sometimes you may find the journey more difficult than at other times, but you know that from this point forward, you will be able to achieve your goals. Sometimes you will rest and note your progress and at other times you will climb higher towards your goal. However, you will always achieve your goals.
Change can be scary to us, but we know that making change is required for reaching our goals. Making change means giving up old habits, but gaining new experiences. I am going to suggest that we do something quite new, although it is no doubt something you have done in the past. I am going to propose that you see yourself in a new perspective, as others might have seen you or as you might have been seen in history.
The conscious mind and the subconscious mind see time differently. It is entirely possible to see yourself as you were in the past and as you are now. This is easily accomplished by simply visualizing yourself as you once were, at any time in your history. You can see yourself back at any point, from childhood through your adult world, with the images you create in the mind. The purpose of doing this is simple. It is so that when stressed, you can call on the experiences from your past that have worked to help you solve problems or manage stressors.
Likewise, it is possible to see yourself in the future. You do not need the specifics of time, date, location, and details to do this. You just need to see yourself with the right attitude and personality. You may not know what the future holds, but you can predict your reaction to stressors or difficulties because the positive attitudes that you hold today can be brought into the future.
The subconscious mind is powerful and at any time you can bring yourself instantly to a childish response or project yourself into the future and create new responses to life situations. This is possible because time is measured differently in the subconscious. There are no clocks in the subconscious, just as there are no rules that say we must hold on to old ideas or unhealthy patterns of eating. You also have the ability to mentally step outside of your body and observe yourself engaging in the activities of life.
You can see yourself as an observer, facing choices and doing what is good for yourself. This process will allow you to remove emotional responses that are self-defeating and to substitute new patterns of behavior that are good for you. Perhaps there was a time in the past when you didn’t smoke. It may have been for a week, a couple of years, an hour while on a plane, or visiting a non-smoking friend. You can imagine these times in your mind and see yourself experiencing success. You also have the ability to look into the future and see yourself with new patterns of living, choosing to breathe fresh air and live life as a non-smoker. You have the ability to mentally step away from emotionally difficult situations. Just like taking a break on a mountain plateau, you can separate your immediate behavioral response from the responses of the past.
From this point forward, you will respond to challenges by drawing on your past successes. You will perceive yourself as you have been in the past when successful, or as you will be in the future when successful. In fact, the future can be “now” in the subconscious and you can see yourself not smoking, beautiful, and healthy. In your mind, you can create pictures of your fortitude and conviction to stop smoking and start living and you can see yourself now, as you are in the future. You have no physical limitations to success and your body will tell you when it needs nourishment and exercise. It is at these points that you can see yourself as others view you and you can encourage yourself to make healthy choices.
Dreams are another way of seeing yourself outside of the usual limitations of time and space. If you have ever woken up and been disoriented as to what room you were in, you have experienced this. At that moment, you must see yourself outside of yourself to reorient to your location. Looking at yourself from one mirror into another mirror, like at the beauty salon or the barber shop, is another way of seeing yourself in a new perspective. When you see yourself from new perspectives, you are able to make changes and choices that are good for you. You are able to see the interrelated patterns that are self-defeating and replace them with new patterns of behavior.
Now, picture yourself from birth to the present and move forward into the future. It is easy to see that you already possess the experiences and knowledge necessary to make healthy choices and deal with life stressors. In this position, you can reframe your current experiences and use your attitudes and personality strengths to grow and mature in ways that you did not know were possible. From this vantage point, embrace yourself as a person and love and respect yourself and your body. See yourself without cravings for nicotine and able to be satisfied with deep breaths of life. See yourself choosing to sit in the non-smoking section and wearing clean clothes without burns or smells of cigarette smoke. From this vantage point, see yourself taking a break or enjoying relaxation without cigarettes, perhaps by taking a walk or by simply choosing to be calm. You are no longer bound by the tradition of ritual that once enslaved your character. Rather, old patterns have given way to new patterns of stress relief and social interaction.
See yourself using self-hypnosis as a very powerful and safe resource. Its effectiveness increases as you let part of yourself be projected beyond your usual body limitations so that you can give yourself suggestions much more effectively. Again and again, you are accepting the suggestion that you do not smoke and choose to breathe fresh, clean air. See yourself being increasingly happy with new life and showing approval of what you do.
In a few seconds, you can come back to the room and feel wide awake and relaxed. Begin to mentally reorient to the room. Sense rejuvenation and feel energetic and relaxed. I am going to count from one up to five. With each number, you will become more alert and more awake, feeling refreshed from this experience. With each number, your confidence will increase and you will be able to apply the skills you have learned to see yourself in a new light. Like climbing a mountain, your goals are within reach and with each number, you will be one step closer to reaching your goals.
One, reorienting to the room…
Two, feeling refreshed…
Three, feeling unrestricted and happy…
Four, more awake and more refreshed…
Five, totally awake and totally energized…
Six, open your eyes, take a moment to reorient to the room, and enjoy the feelings of wellness you now experience.
#4 – Smoking Cessation: Stress Management
Pay attention to my voice. From this point forward, the suggestions I give to you will be accepted as absolute truth. You will take action on these suggestions and implement them into your life. Sleep deeply at this point, enjoying hypnosis. You are now a non-smoker and there is no room in your life for the habit of smoking. When you are stressed, tired, angry, or upset, you can choose to go directly to this place in your mind and quiet the difficulties of the day. To you, smoking has been a coping strategy and this coping strategy has worked in the short term to bring you positive rewards. However, these positive rewards can be achieved in other ways. You can take a break from your work without smoking, by simply choosing to go for a short walk. You can interact with other people without being in a smoke-hole. You can manage stress by breathing deeply and even by simply eating healthy foods and sleeping enough at night.
In fact, the rush from a cigarette has probably been a source of energy for you, but now you can derive your energy by getting enough rest and even by taking a short nap in the afternoon. Fatigue and tiredness are ways your body tells you to care for itself and the drug of nicotine negatively impacts patterns of rest. From this point forward, you will choose to benefit fully from your sleep by not smoking. Smoking is gone from your thoughts and is replaced by healthy thoughts of total rest, relaxation, and calm.
Many people fear that they will become grumpy when they quit smoking or be unable to control their anger. As people are basically good, we tend to believe the things we are told. We are trusting, and so when we are told a myth such as “you will be grumpy when you quit smoking” we tend to act in accordance with these beliefs. We expect to be edgy, grumpy, or easily irritated because that is what we have been told. But we have been told something that is not an absolute truth.
You are in control, not only of whether or not you light a cigarette, but also of how you feel. You could choose to be edgy and grumpy if you wanted to, just like you could open your eyes right now if you wanted to. But hypnosis feels so good you simply don’t care to open your eyes at this point and so you leave them closed. Likewise, the health and the happiness of being a non-smoker are so wonderful that instead of choosing to be grumpy, you deal with the irritants and stressors of life with acceptance.
Acceptance is the answer to all of your problems today. You are in control of your emotions and can choose to respond to any difficulties with acceptance. You can choose to remain calm, happy, and content, even on the first and second day of becoming smoke-free.
Withdrawal is a process people fear when they quit smoking, but you have the ability to manage this withdrawal. As a result, you do not need to feel any physical discomfort and can manage the withdrawal symptoms with ease. During the first few days of your new smoke-free life, drink plenty of water. In fact, drink eight glasses of refreshing water each day. When you feel gastrointestinal changes, because nicotine affects the digestive system, you can take physical control over these changes by relaxing your muscles and managing any discomfort. Your body is a wonderful machine. The mind and the body are not separate and what the mind can conceive, the body can achieve.
Imagine you are outside on a beautiful summer day. The warm sun is beating down on you and there isn’t a cloud is in the sky. As you feel the sun’s rays on you, you can sense the warmth in your body and you feel the sensation of being hot. As easily as you can imagine this heat, you can imagine yourself cooling down. Imagine that on this hot day, a cool breeze comes along. This cool breeze gives way to clouds overhead and a cooling rain. As you stand in the rain, you become wet and cold and your body might even begin to feel uncomfortable as the temperature outside sinks and the darkness comes upon you.
Do you see how easy it is to control your physical responses to hot and cold? You also have the ability to create comfort and let go of the pain of discomfort with your mind, if you feel it. It is easy to control your emotions, physical responses, and even your desires. All you have to do to manage difficulty is decide on what you want to feel instead and then allow yourself to feel the positive emotions or physical response.
Pay attention to the way you feel now; calm, serene, and deep in hypnosis. Allow yourself to go ten times deeper at this point, continuing to make progress towards your new life. Your heart rate is slow and your breathing is smooth and rhythmic. You are calm now, even without a cigarette, so you know that it is possible to relax without a cigarette. In fact, it is easy to do.
Smoking is gone from your thoughts, replaced instead with ideas of pleasure related to the many new opportunities you have as a non-smoker. Withdrawal is not something to fear because you have learned how to control your emotions and your body with hypnosis. These are skills that you can practice anywhere and at anytime. It is important to begin to use your body now that you are a non-smoker. To this point, you have not used your body to its fullest because it has been sick and poisoned with cigarettes. Now you are able to use it. You will walk each day and exercise, increasing your activity level. It will feel good to exercise and will help you to avoid any temporary weight gain. As a matter of fact, using your body will actually prevent any weight gain and you will feel rewarded by using your body in the way it was meant to be.
I am going to ask you to take five very slow breaths. Breathe in as I ask you to and exhale as I ask you to. With each clean breath of fresh air, you will note how wonderful it feels. There is no smoke in the air. There is nothing to keep you from feeling good.
One, breathe in and let the air fill your lungs. Now, breathe out…
Two, again breathe in, slowly and smoothly. Exhale…
Three, breathe in and note the tremendous desire you have to enjoy the clean air. And out…
Four, inhale. This breath gives you a wonderful feeling inside. And out…
Five, again, inhale. You are a non-smoker. Your desire to smoke is replaced with a desire to breathe in life. And exhale…
I am going to allow you a few moments to relax. Keep your eyes closed and simply relax. This is a wonderful place of serenity and these skills are wonderful tools for helping you to experience a new life.
The suggestions in this session have been designed to teach you skills and provide relaxation. You can practice them at any time during the day. You can control your physical and emotional responses at your will and you find it easy to breathe life rather than to smoke. In your mind and with your eyes closed, begin to reorient yourself to the room you are in.
In a moment, I am going to count from one to three. As I do, you will awaken fully. You feel refreshed, energetic, and better than you have felt in a long time because you have been taking these suggestions to heart.
One, you are becoming more energetic and reoriented to the room…
Two, you are fully awake, feeling calm and satisfied…
Three, you are now reoriented and you can open your eyes…
Take another deep breath and go about your day experiencing success and contentment.
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