“ The one who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The one who walks alone is likely to find himself in places no one has ever been before. ”
~ Albert Einstein ~
© Pieter Harris. www.pieterharris.co.za
Free from smoking – the anxiety free way
In order for us to achieve the best results in therapy, it is crucial that you carefully study this article, as well as my article on hypnosis (which can be found on my website), as we will begin with hypnosis in our very first session.
1. Do you want to be free from smoking?
Would you like to become a part of the three million people worldwide, who break away from smoking each year, easily and effortlessly?
The ideas I share in this document will help you in your process of breaking free from smoking, just so much easier. Through hypnosis, it will take between two and three sessions to break free from smoking easily and forever.
When you are free from smoking, you will immediately start to:
- breathe in clean, fresh air;
- become more relaxed;
- feel more energetic;
- be and feel healthier;
- concentrate better;
- enjoy going to public places;
- have a better memory;
- feel and smell fresh;
- look better;
- have healthier teeth;
- feel less anxious and generally feeling better about yourself;
- feel more in control of your life;
- have more money for something special;
- have a happier and healthier family.
Great things will happen from the first few moments after being freed from smoking, which will continue for years to follow, as your body rapidly repairs itself.
Most stop-smoking programs use logical, conscious and rational approaches. The Free from smoking – the anxiety-free way, differs from most stop-smoking programs in the sense that a powerful program of hypnosis is used.
This means that we are not going to use replacement therapies such as medication, gum etc.
You can break free without:
- any withdrawal;
In Britain the use of hypnosis in stopping smoking is recognized by the British Medical Association as the most effective tool.
2. Make a decision
All you have to do is to make a decision. It would be so easy, even for you, to break free from smoking. The time to break free is now. There is never a better time.
With hypnotherapy, the only thing that is asked of you is the willingness to do so. You may think that it’s impossible, but it’s not. That’s why this program is there to help you. You need nothing more. The rest is easy and without any effort!
3. Why is it so hard to break free from smoking?
The answer here is that you believe that you are addicted to smoking. And this is the furthest from the truth. I will now address these perceptions:
3.1 Smoking is not an addiction
Contrary to what your government and tobacco companies would have you believe, smoking is absolutely not an addiction.
You are conditioned to believe that you are an addict, a victim without any choice. Your “caring” government and tobacco companies have already succeeded into conditioning you to believe that you are an addict. Pharmaceutical companies also jumped on the bandwagon and told you that you are trapped and that you need their magical drug.
Some research has claimed that nicotine is the most addictive drug known. Even when compared to something as addictive as heroin. It has been described as the fastest releasing drug in the world. However, this research does not tell us exactly what an addiction is and how it works. There are so many addictions, such as amongst others, gambling, buying addictions, the internet and so many more, where no substances are involved. Furthermore, we are not being told how much of the so-called addiction is psychological or physiological in nature. Dr. Hans Eysenck (1916-97) famous German psychologist, like many other researchers, insisted that smoking is not an addiction, because the term addiction has no scientific meaning. Interestingly enough, people who had to do away with their non-chemical addictions such as gambling, computer games etc. experience similar symptoms to smokers. When they quit, symptoms such as anger, anxiety, compulsions, cravings, feelings of deprivation, irritation, depression and panic occur – in short: feeling like a victim.
How can you ever become “addicted” to something that is toxic and bad to you? Your body can never become addicted to something that could potentially kill it. On the contrary, your body repairs itself within days. Its equilibrium and endorphins starts flowing automatically.
We are told that nicotine starts leaving our bodies, 40 minutes after the last cigarette before it has to be replaced. Otherwise so-called withdrawal symptoms will set in.
If nicotine is as addictive as many claim, how is it then possible that we can spend hours in a smoke free restaurant, have eight hours of uninterrupted sleep not having to get up every 40 minutes to replenish our nicotine levels? Not hijacking a plane on a sixteen hour flight? Not to have one cigarette for nine months during pregnancy, just to light up once the baby arrives.
Should it then be a nicotine addiction, and you really want to quit, Nicotine Replacement Therapies should surely be enough. This being the case, a pill, sticker or piece of gum, would surely seem sufficient. And you will never have the need to smoke ever again. Obviously not.
There is absolutely no proof of a cigarette being “mind-altering”. On the contrary, I have encountered a drug addict who will literally abuse any drug available to him at any given time. He is not smoking cigarettes at all, because he believes that a drug should at least do something and a cigarette absolutely did nothing for him at all. A cigarette never gave him any kind of a “kick” at all. And he is right.
Your so-called addiction is merely psychological, and there is no other explanation therefore. All that happens to the so-called addicts, is that they start viewing themselves as victims, “the addicted” and start looking for something or someone else to blame.
Your government, wealthy cigarette and pharmaceutical companies will abuse and take financial advantage of the fact that you believe yourself to be a helpless addict. These so-called withdrawal symptoms seem to be so realistic that it might easily be confused with actual withdrawal. These withdrawals are nothing but anxiety, as I will explain later.
Assuming nicotine is not the addiction… the question remains: What is?
3.2 Your government benefits from your smoking.
Your government places countless messages on cigarette boxes warning you against the dangers of smoking.
The same government benefits from your smoking by earning millions of revenues. Every year, with every budget, the smoker is taxed more and more. And the poor smokers continue to fill the government’s purse.
Do they really want you to quit? Do they really want to deprive themselves of your tax money if you should choose to quit and stop buying cigarettes?
3.3 Smoking is not a habit
Surely it follows that if smoking is not an addiction, it must be a habit. Smoking can never be a habit. A “so-called” habit is when you repeat a certain behaviour over and over, despite the negative consequences. However! It remains your choice each time when you light up a cigarette. This becomes an unconscious choice when you light up for the umpteenth time. You start thinking that it is a habit, but it is remains a choice, even if it becomes an unconscious one. And now it is called an “addiction”.
You are always in control. You always have a choice to smoke or not.
3.4 Smoking has no benefits
Maybe you smoke because you believe you are addicted, and you cannot stop. Or perhaps you believe that smoking has certain benefits for you. Let us now look at the deceptions of the so-called benefits of smoking:
3.4.1 Smoking relaxes me
Most smokers believe that a cigarette relaxes them. A cigarette does not relax you. On the contrary, it actually causes more stress!
One of two things might happen… or both:
- You light up a cigarette, and your subconscious registers smoke. Smoke in any form is dangerous to humans as they can die from smoke inhalation. Smoke (i.e. any form of polluted air) is unnatural to humans and animals. When you smoke a cigarette, your system responds in the same way as if you were exposed to a terrifying experience. The automatic defence system that we know as the fight-or-flight response, is activated. When this happens, your body is instantly ready to use maximum force and effort in order to get away from possible danger or to fight it. Your heartbeat increases and your breathing becomes faster in order to pump blood to the important muscles and your brain. Adrenaline and noradrenaline go through your system to build muscle strength to the ultimate. Your brain needs additional oxygen to increase its ability to rationalise the situation and to respond in a way that would be best for you to survive the crisis. Resulting in increased tension.
- In addition to the fight-or-flight response, there is also the freeze response. After not having smoked for a day and then lighting up a cigarette, you might experience that tipsy feeling. This feeling can be confused as being a state of relaxation, but actually it is a severely traumatic reaction where you freeze, as some people sometimes do in traumatic circumstances. It acts like the governor of a fast car. In the event of your car’s revolutions running to high, the governor will come into play, seize the engine until such time you either change gears or decrease speed.
In the long run, the heart of a smoker only works so much harder. It takes up to 10,000 extra beats per day as it fiercely battles to pump blood through the body, because of blocked and narrowed arteries. This increases the risk of heart disease and strokes.
Your digestive system is deemed unnecessary when you prepare yourself to fight or to run away from danger. It shuts down within seconds, and the ability to digest food and absorb nutrients shuts down, as well.
Your body remains in a heightened state of awareness, and your immune system becomes suppressed. If you continue smoking, the enzymes produced cannot be utilized as they were intended, and now live in the tissues as toxins.
Smoking keeps your heart rate artificially elevated. It will be worth it to check your pulse before and after a cigarette.
Within an hour or two after the last cigarette, you will experience physical symptoms that you can attribute to the absence of nicotine. Your heart rate decreases, you feel anxious and tense, and experience “cravings” for nicotine, all of which are relieved by lighting up the next cigarette.
But there is a third thing that can happen:
3. You believe that smoking relaxes you. You believe you can’t relax without it.
Ironically, taking that deep breath when smoking is what relaxes you.
Not the nicotine.
3.4.2 Smoking enhances my concentration
Smokers believe that smoking makes them concentrate. Even long after smokers quit, they still believe that they need a cigarette to focus. On the contrary the focus of a smoker is much weaker as compared to that of a non-smoker. The progressive blockage of your arteries, deprives your brain of oxygen. The thinking ability of a smoker is reduced by as much as 23%. Research has shown that smokers have a lower IQ, because their brains are polluted, and not used to its full capacity.
3.4.3 Smoking improves self-confidence
The older generation may still remember smoking advertisements. Heroic figures that enjoy all the pleasures of the rich and famous. They portray self-confidence and success. Always surrounded by attractive men and beautiful women. Smokers were portrayed as glamorous, sophisticated and elegant. They symbolized everything that everyone else desired: confident, alluring, irresistible…with a touch of danger.
In reality, smoking offers you no self-confidence. It causes you to be a dependent and weak person held hostage by a cigarette.
3.4.4 Smoking helps with boredom
You smoke because you are bored. How much more productive could you have occupied your time?
Allen Carr rightfully states that there is nothing interesting to a cigarette.
Smoking has indeed never made a single thing more interesting!
There is no such thing as withdrawal
Withdrawal symptoms simply do not exist. It cannot be, because this addiction does not exist. It is only an uncertain, empty feeling as described by Allen Carr.
Those so-called withdrawal symptoms are merely symptoms of anxiety.
These symptoms are nothing more than:
– mood swings;
– problems with concentration;
– excessive eating;
– lack of sleep;
– obsession with smoking.
These are all simply symptoms of anxiety and depression, and have nothing to do with actual physical withdrawal. The good news is that your body is not going through a process of withdrawal, but is rather in a state of anxiety or depression which is the beginning of the healing process. As soon as the healing starts, the symptoms will dissipate.
You probably will experience symptoms of anxiety such as sweating, palpitations, sweating and trembling. You might also experience intermittent episodes of depression. These too shall pass.
3.5 It takes no willpower
There is no need to change your life.
Willpower is never everlasting. It’s like hanging onto a branch. Eventually your arms will become exhausted and your body will give in. Your body is simply not designed for this. Your body is programmed to react spontaneously, not having to focus on breathing, digestion etc. It simply needs reprogramming.
You will break free from smoking without any effort or willpower. Nothing will change, except for having a more joyful life.
3.6 You do not have to quit
Smoking is neither illegal nor forbidden. There is no reason why you should quit. Ultimately it remains your choice. Smoking has killed, or contributed to the deaths of many, but it is also true that many have succumbed to it. Many smokers die young, and others live long lives.
Nobody likes to be told what to do. Especially not if you are dictating to yourself. How many times have you been told what you should/should not do, just to realize that you did the exact opposite purely out of principle? It makes you become rebellious and actually encourages you to smoke.
The harder you try not to think about that cigarette, the more you do. And the more desirable that cigarette becomes.
Rather think of the joy of kicking that cigarette’s “butt” and focus on the absolute liberation you will experience. To break away from smoking, does not mean you give up your right to smoke. It is precisely this feeling of “I have” and “I cannot” that causes feelings of deprivation. And these feelings cause feelings of anger, resentment, loss, frustration and self-pity because you may feel that you have something that you want, and you are not entitled to.
3.7 To be free from smoking is no big deal.
Some authors emphasize that quitting smoking is a life altering day. You have to shout it out to the world. However, it will only cause you more stress and make you feel that you need to meet expectations. This causes anxiety.
There is no such thing as the perfect day to quit. That day might be tomorrow…who knows?
At the same token, your last cigarette is not a big ordeal. It is merely another cigarette. Every time you put out a cigarette, you have actually stopped smoking. It is not so much about putting out the last cigarette, as much as it is about lighting up one ever again.
3.8 You will not crave a cigarette
Have you ever heard the stories such as “nicotine takes seven years to leave your system.” Or: “I quit smoking 30 years ago and I still crave a cigarette every day.” Statements like these will cause any ex-smoker to grab the first cigarette at hand. Confirming the misconception that smoking is addictive.
Cravings last only about one to three minutes. After that it only exists in your mind. There is no such thing as a physical craving.
Allen Carr calls a craving nothing but an empty insecure feeling. Carr was spot on by using the word insecure. The so-called deprivation is not so much a craving, as it is a feeling of anxiety, stress or even a form of depression.
The truth is that after you put out your last cigarette, your body begins to heal itself.
3.9 You do not have to change your life
The bad news is that you will not feel like your life is going to be changed radically as the great gurus love to tell you. You will indeed be healthier, breathe easier, have more energy etc, etc, etc, without even noticing it.
The good news is that your life does not have to change. You simply quit smoking – it’s not like you are turning your life inside out. You do not have to avoid the bar around the corner and you don’t have to avoid the wild parties and smoking friends. You can’t avoid these situations anyway, and our old friend “whatever you resist, persists” once again comes into play. That is hopelessly too much effort!
3.10 You will NOT get fat after quitting smoking
If it is left up to willpower you will replace smoking with other things and the you will get fat. Assuming food is what fattens you. This is not the case. It’s negative emotions such as stress and depression, rather than food that brings on fat.
It is however true that your taste sensations will be restored after breaking free from smoking. Everything will smell and taste better. You do not have to limit your intake, but actually enjoy it even more.
3.11 You do not have to avoid alcohol
You don’t have to quit drinking or start counting your drinks.
When using willpower to quit smoking, the reduction in alcohol intake will only make you more (less?) vunerable to the onslaught of cigarettes and those smokers who are jealous of the fact that you could break free.
Your taste sensation is now returning, making every drink more pleasant, every bite more tasteful without the numbing effect that cigarettes have on your taste buds.
3.12 You do not have to be liberated from smoking artificially
There are many Nicotine replacement therapies including medications, patches, gums, nasal sprays, tablets, e-cigarettes and inhalers etc. to aid you in the process of quitting smoking.
However, research has shown that there is only a 10% success rate with these therapies. You do not need nicotine. You do not have to replace it. You are not addicted to nicotine. Ultimately you are not the victim of nicotine. The solution is simple. Many authors have disagreed with these methods of quitting since it’s been proven that it increases your heart beat and adrenaline levels. You might experience symptoms of nausea and anxiety, whilst costing you a lot of money. Even so, it is a hell of a lot better than smoking (the 10% of times these methods actually work)!
You know by now that nicotine is not addictive.
3.13 It does not have to be complicated
You make it much harder on yourself because you make yourself believe that you are sacrificing something. You only make it worse for yourself if you do the following:
- Cutting down on smoking
In this process of breaking free, we do not want to cut down. Firstly it sounds like too much effort and makes you look forward to the next cigarette so much more. It makes that next cigarette look so much more pleasant and irresistible and makes you want to continue smoking. You want to inhale so much deeper. During this process we want to continue smoking for as long as possible, until we reach the point where we are prepared to put it down forever. We refuse to let a cigarette become an award at all.
- Smoking lighter cigarettes
With regards to the previous statement, smoking lighter cigarettes will only make you want to inhale deeper. There is no such thing as a lighter cigarette. Lighter cigarettes have the same tar content than other cigarettes. The density of the filter is just less than that of any other cigarette. It causes you to inhale much deeper to obtain the same effect. Ironically it is making it harder for the “lighter” smoker to give up smoking, like the smoker who smokes “less”. They have to inhale deeper and smoke more often to get the same effect. Research has also shown that your chances of smoking related diseases are no less with so-called “lighter” cigarettes.
- The longer you’ve been a smoker, the harder it gets
There are few things that could be further from the truth. The longer you smoke, the easier it becomes to break away from it. After a long time of smoking, you are more weary of the effects and consequences thereof. Younger people may find it harder to quit, as they are not as aware of the harmful effects, such as people who smoke less or lighter cigarettes.
- The more expensive it becomes, the greater the chance that you will quit
This is simply not true. People would rather cut back on other expenses than on their cigarettes. The need for food is trumped by the need for a cigarette. It is part of fixed expenses. Since it is not an addiction, nor about nicotine, it has been proven in England that more and more people started making use of other substances, e.g. to roll cigarettes, merely to save money. This once again reaffirms the misconception that there is more to it than purely an addiction to nicotine.
3.14 But I have tried so many times….
You have tried on several occasions to break away from smoking. Every time without success. It convinced you that you are a victim, and that it is impossible to break free. The average smoker tries between five to seven times to quit smoking. Extremely discouraging. You know it’s because you have faulted or became a victim, but you still have the option of making your own decision. You can indeed be completely free from smoking with the first attempt.
4. What you can do
Not only will hypnosis help you to be free from smoking, but you will also learn to do self-hypnosis for further assistance during this process. The essence of hypnosis is relaxation, and the essence thereof is teaching yourself to breathe. And while you are relaxed, you can alter your thoughts. And this is what hypnotherapy offers you.