Why you should LOVE smoking! (And the longest lesson in the bunch)
So you signed up for my Commit To Quit program and the 1st thing you hear is me suggesting that you should LOVE smoking?!? I know... doesn't even make sense does it?
Don't worry, everything happens for a reason. Just stick with me and go into this with an open mind.
Quitting smoking the traditional way (cold turkey and boatloads of willpower) usually isn't easy. But after treating hundreds of smokers, and teaching other hypnotherapists how to do the same thing, I figured out how it can be much, much easier. And this is what I want to teach you this through this program. How to quit the easy way!
At this point, you might be a little skeptical, after all you don't know me, or what my approach is about.
All I can ask you to do is to just stick with me and spend 5-10 minutes over the next 5 days reading these lessons like you would a 5 chapter storybook. It's effect will become apparent later. (I promise, the other emails won't be this long!)
Are you REALLY ready?
The idea of becoming a non-smoker after many years of smoking can feel pretty overwhelming. I've seen anxiety pass over the faces of many soon to be ex-smokers when they first arrived in my office.
They wanted to quit, felt like they should quit even, but at the same time they didn't want to.
Over time I figured out how to help them want to quit which is a completely different thing from just feeling you should quit.
I admit, some of it may seem a little strange. This isn't the typical method but I promise, by the end of the 5-lesson program, your thinking process about smoking and cigarettes will have altered substantially.
Now I know that taking this approach may mean I'll lose a lot of smokers early on. Some won't even make it past this first chapter of the program, and that's OK. It just means that they're not quite ready to invest in their life or health. And that's okay.
But if you are interested to discover whether you can move into the place where quitting feels easy, even uplifting, then read on my friend, read on…
How I went from hating helping smokers, to loving it!
I started training as a hypnotherapist back in 2008. I was a single parent, and had a toddler to support. It was tough financially for a while but I'd finally found my vocation and loved helping people free themselves. I started seeing all kinds of clients as well as holding down a regular job as a Purchaser.
I helped people lose weight, overcome trauma and phobias but you know what? Helping people quit smoking the way I was doing it, l didn't feel right. There was one major aspect of my approach that bothered me. Even though I was training other therapists to use the same method, it just never rang true to me.
Back then I was trained to use aversion tactics, trying to scare smokers away from smoking, while building up the benefits of quitting too. And although it worked for some it didn't seem to be as effective as I would've liked. I knew there had to be a better way to help people escape cigarettes instead of just scaring them.
Plus, fear tactics don't work long-term. If they did, all the nasty pictures on the packs of cigarettes would've helped you to quit by now. (Neuroscience has since shown that trying to scare people away from smoking actually makes them want to smoke more. Crazy right?)
I needed to stop trying to "steal" cigarettes from smokers.
I have to admit, I found treating smokers tough back then. Sure I had successes but something wasn't quite right.
You see many smokers didn't really want to stop or had been sent to see me by others who felt they should stop. They didn't mention this when they 1st booked their session, but it usually became apparent within 5 minutes of us sitting down together.
And other smokers seemed determined to defend and protect their smoking habit - like I was a thief trying take something from them. Always coming up with excuses as to why this would never work. This seemed more subconscious than conscious. They had been "defending themselves" against non-smokers for decades.
Even more peculiar, I found the hardest smokers to help were the light smokers, the ones who only smoked a few per day. They were much harder to help than the hardcore 60 a day smoker. Weird right?! That's how I truly discovered that physical addiction to cigarettes wasn't the real issue.
I didn't realize that smoking actually has perceived benefits.
Over the years I started to think more and more about the psychology of smoking. I came to realize that the physical cravings for cigarettes are easy to get through, it's the psychological cravings which are tricky, and often lasted for years.
I began to understand that a smoker has a relationship with cigarettes. And how smoking is often used as a rebellious "screw you world" after a bad day, or the many ways in which smoking gave real perceived benefits to the smoker. And that it was silly to pretend it didn't.
Some of the more common examples my clients have mentioned are:
- Stress Management
- And excuse for a break
- Something to do with my hands
- A way to calm down, or for more energy
- A reward
I discovered, that when we started addressing/challenging the perceived "benefits" of smoking that my clients no longer felt as though they were losing something when they quit. And there are no pills, patches, prescriptions or gums that could ever address the psychological triggers!
Now I love helping smokers quit!
Over the years, I've come to love helping smokers quit and have found that I could often ease them away from smoking with no or few withdrawal effects by helping them see smoking in a totally different way, rather than just giving them a hypnotic experience.
I don't just mean they thought about it differently but also felt differently about it before they stopped and that was the key to helping people escape nicotine comfortably. They felt excited about it. We've all heard of that person who just wakes up one day, and decides they're done with smoking. No cravings, no withdrawal. Easy as pie! Most smokers WISH for that experience. What pre-empted that experience was the person felt differently about smoking.
What the difference is when you stop smoking properly
I don't know if you've ever had the experience of finding someone charming and attractive, and then you find out something unsavoury about them? After that, you never see them in the same way again. Ever.
And this can happen with cigarettes. And when it does, cigarettes no longer have the same pull for you, you don't have to resist them any more. Scads of will-power aren't necessary. I call this the "What did I ever see in you?" effect. And when that happens to you, like really happens, it's a beautiful thing.
These days when I help smokers quit, its a joy. Finding ways to take the pressure off them, to help them feel differently about smoking and find other healthy non-toxic ways to meet the "needs" that cigarettes used to meet is so much more effective – and interesting.
The vital change in my understanding is that when you stop smoking you aren't just stopping a behaviour, you're ending a bad relationship. It's empowering. And this makes all the difference.
I can't stand bullies!
I think the real reason I love helping smokers break their habit is because I hate bullies. The tobacco corporations don't care about you, your health, your life or family. They care about money. Taking YOUR money at whatever cost.
And in my mind, getting people hooked on a deadly product is bullying of the worst kind.
And the very worst kind of bully is one who manages to convince you that you're not being bullied. And so you forget to resist them. They've been negatively hypnotizing people for decades, making smoking look sexy, cool and fun. They've been peddling addiction to children and teens like a schoolyard bully.
And then they've spent millions of dollars on marketing. Convincing you that quitting is difficult. Lies, lies, more lies! Of all the addictions I work with, smoking is the easiest one to quit, it typically only needs one specialized session.
See, there's always a part of a person that wants to quit - their lungs, their skin, their heart, even their ovaries or prostate. These are the silent victims, the parts that need representation.
To me helping people naturally come to the point where quitting feels inevitable is about restoring justice in the province of the human body. But as you'll see in a moment I never lecture smokers about the dangers of smoking.
Are you ready or not?
As I've said, some smokers reading this will be weeded out early. A few won't make it past the first lesson of this free program. Why?
Because maybe, just maybe, they love smoking enough to keep doing it indefinitely (or as long as they can).
By the end of this chapter you'll know exactly whether you are one of those smokers or not. Whether you love smoking just a little bit too much to begin to escape it.
But for the few who can't hack it, it'll become clear that being free isn't for them, not yet at anyway. They may need to let it continue doing it's work on them for a few more years.
So this free course will help you assess whether you are ready to quit, but keep in mind you might think you're ready when you're not, and vice versa.
As I say: These sessions will also help prepare you to quit. Heck, sometimes they're enough in themselves.
(On this point, I'll make you a deal – if you quit after doing this free course, and don't even need my Smoke-Free Life Session, send me an email telling me about it. Deal?)
But before that, some quick reassurance…
I'm indifferent, but not anti-smoking
I'm not going to be one of those judgemental, snobbish and boring self righteous anti-smokers. You know the kind of person who thinks they're superior because they don't smoke. There's nothing worse than them!
And when you quit I don't want you to be a brow beating anti-smoker either. Why? Because hate is too close to love. When you hate smoking you're still too emotionally connected to it.
This isn't about the evils of smoking, it's about deciding whether you are ready to leave behind something that no longer fits with who you are.
So lets get to it...
For the LOVE of life!
So let's talk about love & smoking. You must love smoking, don't you? Or maybe you once did and now you're not quite so sure.
Maybe you love it too much to free yourself from it. People love, or think they love, all kinds of stuff: people, substances or ideas that undermine them. Or maybe you hate smoking now but feel like you're caught up in the trap of addiction. This is something well look at in the next chapter.
So why do I suggest you should love smoking?
Before you discover why I think you should really love smoking (given certain caveats), I'm going to ask you to suspend judgement for a moment and to think smoking not as a habit but as a deal. Okay so just what is this deal?
Your "deal" with smoking.
For the "pleasure" of smoking you get… well... the pleasure. But maybe you don't even feel much pleasure anymore but instead get other seeming benefits.
For instance you may have learned at some level, that smoking helped you form a certain identity - perhaps it made you look older, feel a bit cooler, a bit more rebellious, to fit in or whatever.
Chances are you don't really need those things anymore, but the beliefs may still be there at a subconscious level.
Or more likely perhaps you've come to feel, like millions of others, that smoking helps you relax or socialize because you can connect to other smokers, or because smoking gives you something to do with your hands.
Maybe smoking feels comfortably familiar. Perhaps smoking feels like a friend - who is always there for you in the good times and bad. Maybe you now smoke just to feel normal.
And, as I say, perhaps you simply like smoking and enjoy the taste and the quiet moments those cigarette breaks give you.
Then again maybe you feel those mini smoking breaks punctuate the day somehow. You smoke before and after jobs you have to do or it helps you relax after work just making life a little easier to manage.
These smoking benefits are by no means unimportant. And they do really feel like benefits. So these are some of the things you might get from the deal with these strange creatures known as cigarettes.
What do they get in return?
For giving you pleasure, a sense of identity, something to lean on when times are tough, the feeling of being able to relax or concentrate, cigarettes get a lot of your money and time, some if not all of your fertility, the brightness of your eyes, the youthfulness of your skin, your sexual and general fitness and for one out of every two frequent long term smokers... your life.
Now, remember I'm not here to scare you – you already know all this stuff – I'm just asking you to assess the deal you've struck.
Does that sound like an equal and fair deal to you?
Simply "Liking" smoking isn't enough.
My point here is that if you do continue to smoke you shouldn't just like smoking you should love it like nothing else in life. Then it becomes a fair deal. If not, the you're REALLY getting screwed.
Seriously though, if you really love smoking to the extent that it feels like the most meaningful thing in your life then maybe the deal is worth it. If that's the way it is for you, then I definitely won't try to talk you out of it. And maybe it IS worth it. But when I say love I really mean it.
Considering what cigarettes take away from you, then you need have such a level of ecstatic joy from every cigarette that it actually feels worth the sacrifice. It's a tragedy when people say they just enjoy smoking because as I'm sure you can see now, that's really not enough. They're getting the short end of the stick.
Imagine buying a new pair of shoes and kinda liking them, finding them kinda comfortable. Not only do you have to pay for them, you also have to give up the proper functioning of your heart, lungs and possibly just hand over your life. I don't know about you but I'm not buying those shoes!
To justify giving all of that to cigarettes (or let's be clear here - the tobacco companies), you should love smoking more than anything. And then maybe some things are worth dying for.
If, for you, nothing else compares to smoking, and you really feel it's worth paying for the pleasure in this way then stop reading this program right now and unsubscribe, I don't want to rob you of your life's meaning or joy.
Right now you might be thinking "Of course I don't love them that much! I'm physically addicted! I don't even like smoking any more!" If so that's promising.
Next time, an addiction check.
In the next chapter we'll look at addiction. Whether you've got a physical addiction to cigarettes and how that might affect your readiness to get rid of them once and for all.
I'm glad you're still with me, I think that simply reading this lesson could make a huge difference in your life, and I thank you for giving me the opportunity.
Until the next chapter,
P.S. If you feel that you're ready to quit now, that's fine, you can go ahead, email or call us and book your Smoke-Free Life Session (if you haven't already). I encourage you to keep reading the lessons as they are hugely beneficial!