If you’re reading this article, you’re probably aware of how bad smoking cigarettes is for your health. You likely want to quit, but quitting smoking can be a mental and physical challenge. To stop smoking, you have to break the smoking habit, which often involves replacing cigarettes with e-cigarettes or other nicotine alternatives. But, what if we told you that there’s an all-natural way to quit smoking that doesn’t involve nicotine or drugs?
Hypnotherapy for smoking is a science-backed therapy. It’s proven to help people stop smoking for good. It works by helping you address the psychological reasons that you reach for a cigarette—something nicotine patches, nicotine lozenges, and nicotine gum don’t do. Plus, hypnotherapy is very safe to try, and it works quickly. It’s a great option to explore if nicotine replacement therapy hasn’t worked for you, or if you’ve just decided to quit smoking and haven’t tried anything yet.
Remember that it’s never too late to quit. Your body starts repairing itself almost immediately after you’ve had your last cigarette. So what are you waiting for? Let’s learn about hypnosis for quitting smoking.
The Hazards of Smoking
Smoking is a leading cause of preventable death in the United States. Smoking cigarettes can lead to:
- Lung and other cancers
- Coronary heart disease
- Increased risk of COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Pregnancy complications
- Bone fractures
- Anxiety disorders
- Negatively altered brain chemistry
- Decreased dopamine production
And smoking impacts more than just your health. Studies show that cigarette smokers have worse attendance and performance at work than non-smokers. Plus a smoking habit can inhibit travel (for both business and pleasure) if you’re unable to be on a plane or in a vehicle for an extended time without a cigarette.
As if that weren’t enough, smoking can even impact your love life and other relationships. A 2017 study found that people find smokers less attractive than their non-smoking counterparts. Not to mention, it can be hard to keep up with friends and family when smoking leaves you out of breath, fatigued, and in poor respiratory health.
There’s also the price tag to consider. While the average pack of cigarettes sets you back about $7 (depending on where you live), you’re also at risk for inflated medical bills for treating smoking-related illnesses. In fact, those illnesses cost more than $300 billion each year in the United States alone. Another study found that a 24-year-old smoker will spend $106,000 if they are a woman or $220,000 if they are a man on the cost of cigarettes, property and life insurance, medical care for the smoker and their dependents, and earnings lost due to disability in their lifetime.
The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
When you give up cigarettes for good, all of those issues either go away or become less prevalent. Plus, you can look forward to the following health benefits:
- Your lung function increases
- Your risk of heart attack drops
- Your risk of cancer and stroke decrease
- Your risk of coronary heart disease decreases
- Your mental health may improve
Plus, living a smoke-free life will benefit your career and relationships. You won’t have to step out of meetings or dates to smoke a cigarette.
You may even feel like you’ve gotten a raise, since the average smoker spends about $3,000 a year on cigarettes.
What is Hypnosis?
In order to understand how hypnosis can help you quit smoking, you first need to understand what hypnosis is. You can think of hypnosis as an alternate state of awareness. When you’re hypnotized, you experience a state of intense concentration. You may appear to be in a trance, but you’re not asleep or unconscious. In this altered state, you’re more receptive to suggestions that will positively impact your life.
Hypnosis isn’t an entirely foreign experience. It feels a lot like being really focused on something. In fact, you likely enjoy a similar feeling when you’re fully immersed in a book or a movie.
Dr. David Spiegel, Associate Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University, describes hypnotism as: “a very powerful means of changing the way we use our minds to control perception and our bodies.” In other words hypnotism is a method to harness your brain’s ability to heal your body and mind. In fact, studies show that hypnosis increases the connection between the two areas of the brain that control the mind-body connection: the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the insula.
What Issues Can Hypnosis Address?
Hypnosis can address a variety of conditions. Some of the more popular hypnosis treatments include:
- Smoking addiction/nicotine addiction
- Alcohol addiction
- Drug addiction
- Speech disorders
- Chronic pain
- Depression and anxiety
- Weight issues
- Irritable bowel syndrome
Note that hypnosis isn’t only about treating issues. There are many different types of hypnosis, and each type creates different outcomes.
You can even use hypnotherapy to cultivate positive qualities, like improving your performance at work or in athletics. But whatever your goal may be, hypnosis can help you get there.
What is Hypnosis to Stop Smoking?
Hypnosis can treat many of the addictions and habits you’d like to break, including smoking cigarettes. There are a couple hypnosis techniques to help you quit smoking. One way is to help you address the negative thinking patterns that lead you to smoke.
The other way is to change your feelings toward smoking from something you enjoy to something that you find more harmful than enjoyable.
The first technique addresses the underlying reasons you smoke. This gets into your psychological need for cigarettes. Once you confront the thinking patterns that lead to smoking, you can replace your smoking habit with something else.
The second technique includes suggestions that make the experience of smoking very unpleasant. Your hypnotherapist may suggest the notion that cigarettes leave your mouth extremely dry. Or they may say that cigarette smoke has a noxious smell.
Hypnosis for smoking can also include powerful statements about the damage smoking does to your body. Your hypnotherapist may also share affirmations about treating your body well by avoiding smoking.
Although you already know these things consciously, hypnosis puts you in a state where you’re better able to internalize and act upon them.
Self-hypnosis may also benefit you as you quit smoking. During self-hypnosis, you hypnotize yourself to overcome your desire to smoke. If you are learning to do self-hypnosis to stop smoking, consider using the Spiegel method. In the Spiegel method, you remind yourself of three points:
- Smoking damages your body
- You require your body to survive
- You must honor and care for your body if you want to survive
Does Hypnosis for Smoking Work?
Yes, hypnosis to stop smoking really works! Hypnosis dives deep into the subconscious mind to address the psychological reasons for craving a cigarette. Because it tackles more than just the physical reasons, many people find hypnotherapy to be more effective in the long term than other quitting methods.
Research into the effectiveness of hypnosis for smoking is promising and ongoing. Take a look at the following studies:
- In one clinical hypnosis study, 81% of participating smokers quit smoking after three hypnosis sessions.
- In a randomized controlled trial, researchers found hypnotherapy to be more effective than nicotine replacement therapy.
- A third meta-analysis study of alternative smoking cessation aids found hypnotherapy success rates to be incredibly high.
- In a small study, volunteers went through a single session of hypnotherapy to stop smoking. The hypnosis group smoked significantly less cigarettes than the control group at 4-week, 12-week, 24-week, and 48-week follow-ups.
Aside from studies, there is an abundance of anecdotal evidence that hypnosis is effective for smoking cessation.
Benefits of Hypnosis for Smoking
Hypnotherapy is safe, with typically zero side effects. It’s also fast, with many people seeing results in as little as one to two treatments.
Plus, it may be more affordable than cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or nicotine replacement therapy, especially if you’re using a hypnosis app. Hypnosis apps also allow you to quit smoking on your schedule (rather than waiting for office appointments).
Nicotine Replacement Therapy vs. Hypnosis to Quit Smoking
Nicotine replacement therapy and hypnotherapy do two different things. Smoking cessation methods (like nicotine patches, lozenges, and gum) don’t help you quit cold turkey. Instead, they work by providing you with a small dose of nicotine to ease withdrawal symptoms as you quit smoking.
On the other hand, hypnotherapy works to address the underlying psychological patterns and behaviors that lead to smoking (like reaching for a cigarette when you feel anxious).
Similarly, hypnosis can address smoking triggers that you may not have even been fully aware of, like wanting to “fit in.” Finally, hypnosis can help you break some of the associations you’ve made with smoking, such as grabbing a cigarette every time you finish a meal.
Sometimes when you quit smoking, you need to address both the physical and psychological symptoms of withdrawal. In those cases, it’s beneficial to use hypnotherapy and nicotine replacement therapy together.
Frequently Asked Questions About Hypnosis for Smoking
If you’ve tried (and failed) to quit smoking in the past, you may be skeptical about hypnotherapy for quitting smoking. It’s natural to have concerns and questions! So we’re sharing a few of the queries we get most often about using hypnosis to ditch the cigarettes.
Does Hypnosis Really Work for Quitting Smoking?
Studies show that hypnosis can really work for quitting smoking! Hypnosis works the best when you come to it with an open mind. And you’ll find more success using hypnotism to quit smoking when you’re taking other measures to ensure your success, like:
- Cultivating a support network of loved ones
- Remembering your motivation for quitting smoking in the first place
- Treating your body well with a balanced diet, regular exercise, and sleep
- Giving yourself time to relax
- Avoiding habits that trigger your smoking, like consuming alcohol
Where to Find Hypnosis for Smoking?
There are a couple of different ways to access hypnosis for smoking.
Use a Hypnosis App at Anytime
The Primed Mind app combines hypnosis techniques with a mobile app so you can experience the benefits of hypnosis at the touch of a button. Primed Mind focuses on mindset coaching.
It helps you unlock your full potential by showing you how to tap into powerful areas of your mind that control your habits and addictions. Using the Quit Smoking Primer, you’ll build the strength to quit smoking over time.
Schedule an In-Person Consultation
You can also meet with an in-person hypnotist who performs hypnotherapy. Be sure to do your research to find a reputable and well-respected hypnotherapist in your area.
How Much Does it Cost to Be Hypnotized to Quit Smoking?
If you use an in-person hypnotherapist, it can cost $75 – $125 per hypnotherapy session! Hypnotherapy apps are much more cost-effective.
In fact, the Primed Mind app is free to download.
What Can I Do Instead of Smoking?
Like anything else, smoking is a habit. So in conjunction with hypnotherapy, you can try replacing your habit of picking up a cigarette with picking up something else. If you usually have a cigarette with your breakfast, find something to replace the habit with instead, like having a second cup of coffee.
Another tip is to draw your attention away from your craving. When you feel a craving, try eating something that has a strong flavor to help ground you into the present moment. Peppermint gum and sour candy work well for this. Or, you can simply brush your teeth.
It’s also important to identify why you feel the need to smoke at that moment. Be aware of your triggers. If you’re feeling sad, lonely, or another negative emotion, it’s a great time to reach out to a loved one for support.
Another great thing to do when you feel a craving hit? Move your body! It doesn’t matter what you do—ten push-ups, a lap around the block, or a one-song dance party. Any exercise works to get all of those feel-good chemicals flowing in your body.
With a little more time and planning, you can also try acupuncture, which some people feel helps with nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
How Long Does it Take for Brain Chemistry to Return to Normal After Quitting Smoking?
Smoking alters your brain chemistry, and it can reduce the amount of dopamine your brain produces. Your body is designed to heal, and it’s encouraging to know that just hours after your last cigarette, your body begins to repair itself. Studies indicate that dopamine balance in the brain returns to normal about three months after quitting smoking.
Using Primed Mind Hypnosis to Quit Smoking
Primed Mind’s Quit Smoking Primer helps you build up the strength to quit smoking using expert hypnotherapy and mindset coaching techniques. You can do it on your own schedule and from your own home, without the cost of seeing a therapist. Try it today—you have everything to gain!