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Self Esteem and Quitting Smoking

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When I ask smokers for their three biggest reasons for quitting smoking, they often describe how smoking makes them feel about themselves; which is invariably lousy. Let’s face it. All smokers over the age of thirty know that they “need” to quit, but they haven’t yet quit. This sets up a schism within themselves that needs to be resolved. They are continually doing something they know is not in their best interest and yet they find themselves unable to act towards changing the situation. This brings up feelings and thoughts of powerlessness, self- criticism, and self -judgment, that erode self esteem. Their minds must somehow spin this predicament so that they are able to continue on with their situation. This is where the rationalizations come in. “I’ll quit soon.” “I’m smoking natural cigarettes.” “I only smoke a few a day.” ” I enjoy it.” “They help me relax.”

The last two excuses are really dangerous because there is a part of the mind that knows it is not true and it further erodes one’s self- image. So, what to do?

Until someone actually quits, preferably without medication, and/or nicotine substitutes, the situation will only get worse. If they rely on a substance to help them, then they are still left with the belief that they need some substance to function in life. They are still dependent on substances. Once someone is able to become a non smoker, under their own steam, they then realize something incredibly powerful. “If I can do this, what else can I do”. They have tapped into the enormous potential of their mind. Immediately the previous downward spiral of negative thinking becomes an expanding awareness of opportunity and hope. There is so much power that comes from overcoming something that had previously been so daunting that they are bursting with energy. And with the discovery of how much easier it was than had been imagined, the mind begins to seek out new challenges that had previously been buried under the rubble of doubt and fear.

New nonsmokers re-enter the world with nascent energy, determination and positivity that begins to spill over into their relationships, jobs and spiritual lives. They suddenly realize how much the smoking was inhibiting them from engaging fully in their lives. There is one caveat here. The nonsmoker has to have fully become a nonsmoker and not just a grit it out, force of will power nonsmoker. Let me explain.

When the smoker decides, with their heart and soul, that they want more than anything else to quit smoking, no matter what; this is when the transformation begins to happen. If they are doing it for some outside reason, such as they are doing it for someone else, or that they know they should, or that they need to quit, then it will be very difficult for them. They have not yet come around to wanting to do it for themselves. They are reluctant, and will become resentful because deep down they are not wanting to change. This is an incredibly important distinction.

It is only when the full force of the unconscious and conscious minds merge with the same agenda, that this transformation to fully realized nonsmoker can be achieved. Hypnosis is one very effective way to assist in this effort because the unconscious mind can be spoken to, by another person, and reminded that it is not doing its primary job of protecting it’s body. Once it hears this truth, it converts without hesitation. The only trick is being able to get to the unconscious mind which is usually protected by a security shield. Only with permission from the conscious mind can this happen. So call a hypnotist right now if you want to quit smoking and give them permission to help you step into a new fantastic life as a nonsmoker.

Andrew Rader

Andrew Rader, LAc, MS is an Hypnotherapist, Acupuncturist and Herbalist located in Marin County just north of San Francisco. Andrew studied smoking cessation hypnosis with Will Goodey and has been in private practice since 1988. Andrew has more than 25 years of experience with helping people quit smoking.

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