Best Way to Quit Smoking Addiction Using NLP
Addiction is the automatic and repeated response of our body to a particular situation or a thing by being dependent on it. It does not necessarily mean we are addicted to some kind of drug, alcohol or smoking but we may also get addicted to a particular thought pattern or a set of behavior. But, in this article, I will specifically talk about the smoking addiction.
When our body starts reacting to some actions on autopilot mode without even thinking of its consequences. Then the repeated action creates a particular neural pattern in our brain that slowly becomes an addiction.
How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?
Addiction to smoking
Whenever we do anything for the first time our brain tries to compare the consequences based on the information already stored in our brain. If we consider smoking for instance, whenever someone starts smoking for the first time when the brain tries to compare the consequences of smoking and of not doing it based on the information it already has or from the experiences of other people and external sources like books, movies, videos etc. If the images of smoking that are already stored in the mind are negative and painful, then one will not smoke as the pain will outweigh the short-term pleasure of smoking. But if there is some sort of reward attached to it such as acceptance from his group of friends, reducing stress or the belief that smoking makes us cool then he tries to compare the consequences of both and chooses the one that is pleasurable for that moment.
If someone smokes for a few times ignoring the warnings of the brain about the harmful consequences it might have, then the brain gradually stops warning and so the action of smoking runs on automatic mode without even consciously being aware of it.
Triggers or Reminders
Any action that becomes an addiction always needs a particular trigger or reminder. In other words, if an action is mostly repeated at a particular time (such as after dinner) or with a particular group of people then they become a trigger for that addiction. Therefore a timing, situation or person may act as a reminder or trigger for smoking.
A cigarette contains nicotine in the form of tobacco leaf. When a cigarette is burnt, the tobacco leaf burns into smoke and when we inhale the smoke, the nicotine runs through our blood which gives us a kick and makes our body more susceptible to addiction.
According to a research, those people who start smoking as a child are more susceptible to addiction than those who start as an adult.
At what age did you start smoking?
How to quit?
When someone smokes for a long time, the neural pathway in his brain is rewired and thus the body becomes dependent to a continuous supply of nicotine in absence of which, the body may show withdrawal symptoms. Therefore an addict may try to quit the addiction with sheer willpower and determination, but the withdrawal symptoms will force him to again get back to the old pattern.
An addict should not force himself to quit smoking without the proper understanding of how the addiction works and then feel guilty of not being able to quit it. We should understand that addictions are not formed in a single day, rather it was a result of actions repeated for a long time. So, in order to quit the addiction, one must concentrate on the root cause of the addiction which is the lack of awareness of our own body.
If a person becomes a little more aware of how our body reacts to smoking and what are the triggers that lead to smoking, then it becomes easy to quit the addiction completely.
My own experience.
I was under smoking addiction for almost 5 years. I started smoking as a teenager because of peer pressure. Two months later, I was smoking around 6-7 cigarettes a day. I could feel that my stamina is decreasing and I had some difficulty in breathing.
One day while smoking, I felt like my lungs were burning from inside. I realized that I was inhaling smoke just for some short-term pleasure and which was costing me my life.
Then, I tried to quit smoking for around 5 times using any information I could get from internet or books. I tried dozens of different techniques and nicotine replacement products but nothing worked for longer than a month.
Last year, I was reading a book on Neuro-Linguistic Programming which explained about the Swish Pattern for quitting addictions. I found it very interesting as it focused on the root cause of addictions rather than hovering around the symptoms.
After 2 weeks of quitting, the craving was very high and I was facing the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. I tried different nicotine replacement gums and lozenges available on the market but most of them had a light flavor or did cost very high.
has helped me the most in reducing craving for nicotine and dealing with the withdrawal symptoms as it has an intense and long-lasting taste and is much cheaper than other products. Habitrol Nicotine Lozenges
It has been 8 months since I have completely quit smoking and I really wanted to share the same techniques and products that have helped me most in doing so. I have also explained the steps of the Swish Pattern below in detail.
Neuro-Linguistic Programming (Swish Pattern)
Neuro-Linguistic Programming is very useful for quitting any form of addiction.
It focuses on the neural pathways of our brain and rewires them which can be made to inflict pain whenever we think of smoking thus helps in quitting.
Swish Pattern is one of such techniques of Neuro-Linguistic Programming that focuses on rewiring the neural pathways of our brain through images.
Here are some steps of the Swish pattern for quitting the addiction to smoking :
- Close your eyes and think of a time when you have a very strong craving for smoking, and then run the entire process of craving, taking out of the cigarette and smoking through your mind. You should feel the emotions and be in that state. Now, make the image larger and brighter.
- Then imagine another picture below the earlier one and visualize your most powerful state or emotion( for example running and exercising) or how you will feel after quitting. The picture should be exciting and compelling enough. Make the image dim and small.
- Now swap the two pictures making a ‘whoosh’ sound such that the second picture replaces the first and the second picture becomes brighter and larger.
- Repeat the above steps 5–6 times and up to 10 times if necessary.
- If completed successfully, the compelling image of yours will help you reduce the craving for smoking.
Hope this article helps you in successfully quitting smoking!!
© 2017 Sudip Choudhury