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How To Quit Smoking For Free With Hypnosis

Updated on July 20, 2011

Hypnosis and self-hypnosis are very real solutions that provide (and more importantly - have provided) solace and relief for all kinds of smokers. The first step is dispelling the myth of hypnosis as a form of hocus-pocus stage magic. After having addressed this, I will begin to describe forms of hypnosis, both clinical and DIY and how they work practiacally and scientifically. My ultimate goal is providing readers who tire of their addiction with the knowledge and the tools necessary a shot at living a smoke-free life.

Flikr credit - TW Collins
Flikr credit - TW Collins

Forget Stage Magic

The goal of all forms of hypnosis is inducing what is known as a trance. This state is not the zombielike state often associated with stage performances, you will most certainly not do things against your will, and you will most certaintainly not act like a gibbering idiot in the process. In fact, it may comfort readers to know that hypnotic states (or trances) are common and entirely natural. Daydreaming is a prime example of a hypnotic state -- and as we all know we can comfortably snap-out of this state any time we like. Hypnotherapy utilize there states to work with a person's subconscious programming while consciousness is retained.

How Hypnosis Works

Hypnosis works by applying positive suggestions in a trance state (I will discuss how to achieve this state naturally with self-hypnosis later). There are two important concepts here: Firstly, the word positive refers to how a hypnotherapist or self-hypnotist will phrase suggestions. The subconscious mind does not understand negatives. For instance, if I asked you not to think of a blue elephant you will immediately conjure one. Secondly, the term suggestion is a phrase or word that will attempt to modify attitude or behavior of the subconscious mind. A commonly employed positive suggestion might be:

Everyday, in every way, things are getting better and better.

The goal is to incorporate beneficial suggestions so they manifest after the cessation of the trance. 

Inducing A Self-Hypnotic Trance

There are many ways to induce a trance. Neuro Linguistic Programming practioners will be aquainted with methods of rapid induction such as pattern breaking. Despite their intrigue, I'm going to focus on methods which are easy to do, and can be done to oneself. The easy way to get into a trance is via a state of deep relaxation. In case you've never consciously attempted to enter a trance before, I'm going to give you a step-by-step guide to deep-state relaxation.

A Guide To Progressive Relaxation

  1. Find a comfortable place to rest. I prefer comfy chairs because there is less of a chance I will inadvertently fall asleep. Make sure the environment is quiet and free of disturbances. You might want to limit the amount of light in the room, this will trick the mind into believing you are attempting sleep and will aid the relaxation process. You may close your eyes at any stage during the process.
  2. Pay attention to your breathing and make it rhythmic. Count your breaths. This helps distract the mind and physically relax you.
  3. Begin paying attention to select muscles in your body. Generally you will work your way up, or down. For instance, start with your feet, tense the muscles for 10 seconds and release for 20. Repeat this until you feel as if that muscle is sufficiently relaxed then move onto the next area. You will want to work your way throughout your entire body (it can take up to 30 minutes to do this effectively).
  4. Once muscle relaxation has been achieved, begin to employ your sense. Imagine a scene or landscape of choice and imagine what it looks like, tastes like, smells like, feels like and sounds like.
  5. In order to induce a trance, it is usually recommended to create some kind of portal or gateway. This is not a necessary step, but it really does work. Imagine for instance that in this landscape you created there is a tower. Every step up draws you further into a state of deep relaxation. Count the steps from 10 to 1, where every step deepens the trance.

Bear in mind there are many tools such as CD's and YouTube videos (as well as professional hypnotherapists) who will guide you through the process.

How To Quit Smoking With Hypnosis

Once we're achieved a state of trance, we can begin to apply positive suggestions that will reform our behavior. These statements can be framed subjectively based on preference. The important part that needs to be remembered is that they are as simple and as positive phrased as possible.Here are some suggestion examples.

  • Smoking makes me sick

This suggestion may create a negative anchor statement and has worked for some. NLP practioners use anchor statements to attach an emotional consciously to another. In this case, we are suggesting that cigarettes will makes us feel ill.

  • When I wake tomorrow I will not smoke

This is a counterproductive statement because it is negatively framed. The brain will not recognize the "not" and you will essentialy be instructing yourself to smoke. How you ever wondered why the old "I'm not going to be poor" suggestion never worked? *smile*

Do you believe it is possible to quit smoking with hypnosis?

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Perhaps the most important aspect of this is that you will need to have faith in yourself. If you do not believe that cessation from smoking is good for you, then you will probably heed your own suggestions. In many cases, a separate voice may help you more -- especially if you consider this an authoritative voice such as that of a doctor or hypnotherapist. You may want to give this shot. 

I hope you enjoyed this article and I look forward to answering any questions or comments you may have! 


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    • K Partin profile image

      K Partin 

      8 years ago from Garden City, Michigan

      Nice hub tho, I quit smoking for free too. It's called cold turkey. I realize it's not for everyone, so what ever it takes to quit just do it!! Thanks for sharing this. K.

    • SmokeNoMore profile image


      8 years ago from Chester, VA

      This could work! Outstanding presentation.


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