The Best Way to Stop Smoking

When thinking about the best way to stop smoking, consider this. Any real and lasting change involves a change in our unconscious mind. Why? Because simply put; that which is conditioned into us 'sticks'! That which is done repeatedly is passed onto and taken over by our unconscious mind. And so, whatever method you choose; whatever way you do it, the best way to stop smoking is a way that makes the necessary changes at an unconscious level.


"Any real and lasting change involves a change in our unconscious mind"


In fact, if I may be so bold, I'm going to say that; any time, anyone has ever permanently stopped smoking, it's because enough impact got through to their unconscious perceptions. From then the stopping became inevitable. However, until your unconscious mind understands that it's safe and good to let go of certain choices, it will keep all systems going. And, if you try to stop smoking without making these changes, it will be a battle of wills.


The Roles of the Mind

Iceberg metaphor for the conscious and unconscious minds

The conscious and unconscious minds work co-operatively and yet they have different functions. Your conscious mind handles short-term memory, rational thinking and decision making. However, your unconscious mind handles a huge deal more. All the physiological functions of your body are regulated by your unconscious mind. Your blood pressure, pulse, body temperature, breathing, and a vast array of other chemical balances and functions. All are taken care of, under the bonnet as such, usually out of your conscious awareness. Your conscious mind has very limited processing capacity and you can only hold a few thought simultaneously. Your unconscious processing power is vastly superior.

This is again why the best way to stop smoking is to direct our efforts towards change at an unconscious level. Your unconscious mind really holds the keys, where the conscious mind stands somewhat immobilized. Your unconscious mind stores and drives your habits, beliefs, and associations related to smoking. And these are what holds the whole thing in place.


Practice makes permanent! Well, almost…

You and I both know that whatever we practice starts to feel more natural and easy. That is; WHATEVER we practice. It's true for all things, including smoking. What at first was a conscious decision becomes a given. The first few times you smoked, you would have been conscious of how you should hold the cigarette, how deeply you should draw in and even perhaps the positioning of your lips as you blew out.

However, in the same way, your smoking habits have, as you know, become exactly that….habits. Automated responses conditioned over time. If these were consciously guided responses then the whole thing of stopping would be very simple for you and you probably would have stopped already. However, because they are conditioned in, they are under the control of your unconscious mind. Your unconscious mind doesn't just give up conditioned patterns at the drop of a hat. It trusts that there is a good reason you originally trained it to do these things. And so, it takes a little re-training for it to learn that it's ok to stop them.


Captain and Crew

Sometimes a metaphor is used to describe the roles of the conscious and unconscious minds. It's like the conscious mind is the captain of a great ship and the crew is represented by the unconscious mind. The captain is needed to make the decisions about where the ship goes and the route it takes. The crew is there to do all the nitty-gritty of making the ship sail and drive the thing according to those instructions.

The key thing is the communication between captain and crew. When you want to change course, it's not quite so simple as the captain standing up and making a quick speech. Your unconscious mind receives instruction, as mentioned, in the form of conditioning. It has been conditioned to 'sail you ship' in a certain way and it will take some re-conditioning to sail it differently. This being said, there are known ways to get this re-conditioning effectively done. And Hypnotherapy is an effective way of communicating with the unconscious mind and laying down clear instructions for it to follow.

Captaina and Crew metaphor for the Conscious and Unconscious minds


The best way to stop smoking might be with Hypnotherapy

James Brannan with client -  showing that hypnotherapy might be the best way to stop smoking

You know that you've smoked for a period of time, maybe years, perhaps decades. Your unconscious mind has been conditioned to maintain the processes you've taught it. Your smoking behaviors have become habits and your unconscious mind also stores an array of associations that trigger off a desire to smoke. With a coffee or tea, at certain times of day, in certain places, with some people, before or after meals or certain activities. These are all unconsciously held processes and must be dealt with as such. And, if we only approach your Captain without instructing 'the Crew', you'd likely get only temporary results.


Hypnotherapy provides a way to stop smoking by which the unconscious mind receives instructions. Imagine the captain gets too involved in tasks meant for the crew. He could slow things down and stop the ship sailing well. Hypnotherapy allows the captain to do their job and then get out of the way while the crew does theirs. In a state of Hypnosis, the conscious mind is quietened (as such) and moves aside. This allows a more direct stream of communication to get through to the unconscious mind. Your Hypnotherapist will gently adjust the old associations and enable your unconscious mind to learn for itself what's best for your future. Your unconscious mind will soon begin to see smoking for what it is….something that can start to be associated with your past.


Final word:

In conclusion; the best way to stop smoking is to…

1. DECIDE….that you are going to stop

2. RECOGNISE…that you are doing it for yourself rather than to please others

3. Find a specialist who can help you make the needed unconscious changes


Make your decision that you want to free yourself from smoking. Realise that you have more reasons to stop then continue and that by stopping you are not losing anything. Instead, you are gaining; better health, more money in your wallet, greater energy and vitality and other things that only you know. Stopping smoking might be the best thing you ever did for yourself!


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Article: How Hypnotherapy helps you to Stop Smoking...from James Brannan (the best way to stop smoking)