I am an Accredited Practitioner of the Central Register of Stop Smoking Therapists and I am fully committed to helping my clients throughout the whole process of stopping smoking.
Quick facts -
* Each cigarette you smoke takes 11 minutes off your life
* Every 15 cigarettes you smoke causes a mutation in your body
* By Smoking a cigarette you put 300 times more carbon monoxide in your body than you would by putting your mouth over a car exhaust for the same amount of time.
If you went to someone's house and they offered you some food and on it was a list of poisons would you eat it? The answer is hopefully no! Eating all the chemicals would actually be kinder to your body because your stomach has a natural protective barrier. Your lungs do not!
So why with all this information we have available do people STILL smoke. Well smokers believe it has a calming effect. I will tell you now the most important thing you will learn from reading this... SMOKING DOES NOT CALM YOU DOWN. Nicotine is a stimulant. It makes your heart beat 8 times faster than that of a non smoker. It is like smoking a stick of adrenaline. Smokers as a group are more agitated, anxious and depressed because they are constantly trying to calm themselves down from the hit of adrenaline... how do they do this? They have another cigarette ! Or they smoke because they are bored.. why are smokers so bored? Because they have been on a heightened sense of reality.
------Smokers believe the threat cigarettes pose is low and also their ability to cope with the stress or their emotions are low. ------
Let's deal with the threat of cigarettes first.... We all have known a smoker who has justified their actions by knowing someone who smoked right up until they were 80. These people are actually the exception not the rule. Who knows they could have maybe lived until 90! Disease and cancer are happening right now to the very people who thought it could not happen to them. For those who claim they could get run over by a bus tomorrow so they may as well enjoy life.... getting run over by a bus is quick (sorry to be graphic but it is true). Lung cancer is actually the kindest of all smoke related illnesses... usually they are very distressing and degenerative. This is painful not only for the patient but all their loved ones and the frustrating thing is it could have been SO easily prevented.
Now let's look at smokers inability to cope with stressful situations. The truth here is smokers don't actually want a cigarette they want to feel RELAXED! Feeling relaxed from cigarettes is a fake relaxation. It is like constantly having your engine being revved up and just playing the music louder so you can't hear it. If people have smoked for a while they actually forget what it is like to feel completely relaxed and live without the unsettled feeling of wanting a cigarette. Our bodies have their own natural inner resources for helping us deal with stress, we can just forget to use them. This is why when smokers try and quit with no assistance they feel stressed ,anxious and agitated because they have used cigarettes to calm them down and have no other resources or ways to deal with this. This is also why relapse can be high if we don't put other techniques in place.
Stopping smoking can bring around the same feeling as being on anti depressants as mental health improves dramatically as soon as a few days after quitting.
Some more positives -
20 minutes after stopping smoking your heart rate begins to return to normal
2 hours after quitting your blood circulation improves, your hands and feet may begin to feel warm
12 hours after quitting the carbon monoxide is lower and you have more oxygen is your body
24 hours after quitting your risk of heart disease is significantly lowered
48 hours after quitting your nerve endings re grow and you will start to taste and smell things normally
3 days after quitting the nicotine is completely out of your body
2-3 weeks after quitting your body begins to repair itself and your lungs will be significantly clearer
1 year after quitting your risk of heart disease and cancers is half that of a smokers
5-15 years after quitting your risk of all the side effects are that of a non smokers
So how do you stop smoking?
There is little evidence to suggest that nicotine is actually as addictive as people think. Smoking becomes more of a mental relationship. If nicotine was so addictive, smokers would not be able to get on a long haul flight, be able to sit and watch a film or sleep through the night without it. There may be a mild adjustment period but this is not like coming off a drug like heroin, there will be no painful physical side effects. When smokers realise they are not 'giving up' anything only being free from a vicious cycle they just notice their body immediately starting to feel calmer and more energised.
It is important not to fight urges to smoke. The more we resist something the more we want to it! I teach mindfulness techniques of noticing the feeling, letting it be there and then noticing it leaving. Feelings and thoughts don't stay with us for long if we do not act on them. I also teach assertiveness. To stop smoking you need to be assertive. Not only with yourself but with others too. Being assertive is empowering and can give people great confidence. Many find it too tempting when out with their friends who smoke but it has been proven that once one person quits within 1 - 2 years it is very likely that the whole group will have given up.
To stop smoking there will also need to be some coping skills in place for when the old triggers arise. By integrating CBT (cognitive behaviour therapy) with hypnotherapy, methods such as thought stopping and really powerful relaxation techniques can really be embedded within the subconscious mind. These methods can also identify and increase motivation. Everyone is different and has different motivations. Many want to quit for their children; children of smokers are 3 times more likely to start smoking themselves so this is a very strong factor for many.
Is it the right time for someone to stop smoking?
If your motivation is low or you are going through a difficult time then any attempts to stop smoking will probably be unsuccessful. If on a scale of 1-10 your motivation is 7 or above (this would be if you knew you could do it!) and in the next 6 weeks you have nothing life changing coming up then the answer would be yes... this is the right time to make changes and to get back control over your health and life.
Hypnotherapy is one of the only forms of therapy targeted to tackle this addiction. This is a subject I am very passionate about and have gone to great lengths to put together the most beneficial, effective programme.
The price of the programme is £400 - much less than a lifetime of cigarettes. This includes two follow ups if needed (very rarely) within 6 months.
This price is higher than my normal sessions because it can take up to two hours for the first session and then an hour in the follow up session. The high price also shows a commitment to the process. If you have been to me in the past for a stop smoking session and wish to return please do get in touch.
A week before the initial meeting you will be sent a list of questions and a few tasks to do prior to the session.