Why is giving up smoking so hard to do? Nicotine is an addictive substance, smoking is physically and psychologically addictive. Many believe that the psychological addiction is more powerful than the physical effect of nicotine. A craving for a cigarette – can been likened to that feeling you get as a child when you are anticipating opening a present at Christmas time.
In order to want to give up smoking successfully a combination of psychotherapy and hypnotherapy can help you. Firstly it may be a good idea to look at those parts of you that are keeping you smoking.
What do you enjoy about smoking, what does it give you? A list of feelings such as:
– stress release
– camaraderie (chatting with your other smoking friends, resolving world crises, changing the company, etc. etc… what your partner said last night)
– a break
Ok, so that’s one part of you – let’s call it your left hand
Now look at:
Why you want to give up smoking?
– it’s bad for you (yes, I know, everyone knows that!)
– it’s cancer-causing
– it’s getting more expensive with each budget
– you smell of cigarettes, it gets in your clothes and hair
OK, let’s get these two parts of you to have a little discussion. How can the positive part of you meet those negatives, that “I find it hard to stop smoking” part of you?
Stress release: what other methods can you use to help relieve stress?
Camaraderie – can you chat to other people who are non-smokers and get the same level or healthier level of camaraderie?
A break – what healthier types of breaks can you enjoy?
A good psychotherapist can help you to give up smoking with a range of NLP, person-centred techniques; sometimes even basic relaxation methods can be as good as a hypnotherapy session. By talking to the authentic you that wants to give up smoking and discussing it with the part of you that finds it hard to give up, why / when you first started and reasons why you find it hard, together we can find a way forwards that is totally right for you to enable you to stop smoking quickly, painlessly and without cravings. All it takes is your willpower, openmindedness and commitment.
By using a combination of diaries and cognitive behavioural therapy we can work together to look at cutting down and perhaps understanding the root cause of your smoking. Highlighting awareness of the substances in nicotine. Psychotherapy for smoking can help reveal the underlying factors and reasons behind why you started smoking and look at wonderfully positive reasons for using a future-focus on you as a non-smoking.
I have personal experience of smoking and then giving it up! Make an appointment with me today and I can help you look towards a happier, healthier future!
NICOTINE AND CIGARETTE SMOKING (download link)
The “Pleasures” of Smoking
Many people succumb to the “pleasures” of cigarette smoking – sometimes not even sure why they do it – after all, their clothes smell and it can be an anti social occupation.
There are social benefits. If you are in a group of people, it can mean taking time out from what you are doing to connect with others, anti socially social, in a way! Then surprisingly you might find that these people, gathered together outside, in the rain, wind, snow, dark weather etc., look at someone who is not smoking and “wish” they didn’t smoke, or have tried to give up several times and it just didn’t work. Something stressful occurred and they re-started. Or there is drink – it seems a natural combination to have a cigarette, cigar or roll up with a drink.
Do you have the will power to give up?
It’s all very well people saying “it’s your will power”, then other “clever people” say things like “I have the will-power, it’s just the won’t power I lack”. Either way you can convince yourself you enjoy smoking, you’re going through a rough patch and next thing you know several more years have been shaved off your life – you’ve spent them smoking and you cannot get those years back, and you’ve also shortened your own life. “Oh well, I’ll die happy”. But will you? “Oh, but my uncle smoked till he was 94 and had a long life” – so that proves it then, does it, that cigarette smoking is good for you? Does the exception prove the rule? Perhaps we can also find many more people who died “prematurely” due to the collapse of their lungs from cigarette smoking or associated nicotine-cancer-related diseases.
The (obvious) bad news
How much do you want to add years to your life and find that there is happiness out there? When would you like to understand that you “chose” to be on this earth (this will have been a subconscious choice) and you have actually also chosen to “kill yourself” slowly by the using of nicotine? Do you actually deserve a smoke free life where you can live the life you were destined to live?
Nicotine inhaled – as any medical person will suggest – is more dangerous than nicotine applied to the skin. Nicotine does two things – it can make you more anxious and it can also make you less anxious. It depends on *how* you smoke. Ultimately, inhaling several ingredients through smoking – including formaldehyde as is present in most commercially bought cigarettes – surely cannot be doing your body any favours in the long run. For some smokers, it is also an appetite suppressant.
Do you want to give up smoking?
Just how much do you really want to give up smoking? If you don’t want to, and you enjoy the whole aspects of smoking and it’s not harming anyone around you, carry on. It will affect your health negatively as well you know. It will affect your pocket too as prices and taxes rise.
But if you do want to stop and feel yourself to be powerless in the actual stopping, then I have got news for you. You are far more powerful than you believe….. yes of course you have to “want” to stop. That’s the first part. And secondly if you really want to stop, then eventually you actually will stop. Then it is a question of when. After that comes the question of HOW. Firstly an understanding of the chemicals that are poisoning your body each time you have a cigarette is important even though as a smoker you may well have turned a blind eye to that fact!
Cause of lung cancer
Cigarette smoking is the biggest known cause of lung cancer. You give up drinking – which is no mean feat. Giving up cigarettes seems trickier – yet that seems illogical – giving up drinking must be harder – it is socially pervasive, socially acceptable, it’s all around – people give bottles as presents at Christmas, the adverts crop up, happy hour is “cheap booze”, people go on booze cruises. So what is it about giving up cigarette smoking being harder than giving up alcohol?
Nicotine is addictive
Nicotine is far more “addictive” than drinking – it could be argued. It doesn’t “kill” in quite the same way. Nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past (Wikipedia). The substance acts as a stimulant in mammals and is the main factor responsible for the dependence-forming properties of tobacco smoking. [NB the rest of this article has been taken from Wikipedia, I make no claims as to its validity but found it very interesting reading]
Nicotine addiction has historically been one of the hardest addictions to break, while the pharmacological and behavioral characteristics that determine tobacco addiction are similar to those that determine addiction to drugs such as heroin and cocaine. Nicotine content in cigarettes has slowly increased over the years, and one study found that there was an average increase of 1.6% per year between the years of 1998 and 2005. This was found for all major market categories of cigarettes.
By binding to nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, nicotine increases the levels of several neurotransmitters – acting as a sort of “volume control”. It is thought that increased levels of dopamine in the reward circuits of the brain are responsible for the euphoria and relaxation and eventual addiction caused by nicotine consumption. Nicotine has a higher affinity for acetylcholine receptors in the brain than those in skeletal muscles, though at toxic doses it can induce contractions and respiratory paralysis.
Nicotine as a mood-altering substance
Nicotine’s mood-altering effects are different by report: in particular it is both a stimulant and a relaxant. First causing a release of glucose from the liver and epinephrine (adrenaline) from the adrenal medulla, it causes stimulation. Users report feelings of relaxation, sharpness, calmness, and alertness. Like any stimulant, it may very rarely cause the often catastrophically uncomfortable neuropsychiatric effect of akathisia. By reducing the appetite and raising the metabolism, some smokers may lose weight as a consequence.
When a cigarette is smoked, nicotine-rich blood passes from the lungs to the brain within seven seconds and immediately stimulates the release of many chemical messengers including acetylcholine, norepinephrine, epinephrine, vasopressin, arginine, dopamine, autocrine agents, and beta-endorphin. This release of neurotransmitters and hormones is responsible for most of nicotine’s effects.
Nicotine appears to enhance concentration and memory due to the increase of acetylcholine. It also appears to enhance alertness due to the increases of acetylcholine and norepinephrine. Arousal is increased by the increase of norepinephrine. Pain is reduced by the increases of acetylcholine and beta-endorphin. Anxiety is reduced by the increase of beta-endorphin. Nicotine also extends the duration of positive effects of dopamine and increases sensitivity in brain reward systems. Most cigarettes (in the smoke inhaled) contain 1 to 3 milligrams of nicotine.
Research suggests that, when smokers wish to achieve a stimulating effect, they take short quick puffs, which produce a low level of blood nicotine. This stimulates nerve transmission. When they wish to relax, they take deep puffs, which produce a high level of blood nicotine, which depresses the passage of nerve impulses, producing a mild sedative effect.
At low doses, nicotine potently enhances the actions of norepinephrine and dopamine in the brain, causing a drug effect typical of those of psycho-stimulants. At higher doses, nicotine enhances the effect of serotonin and opiate activity, producing a calming, pain-killing effect. Nicotine is unique in comparison to most drugs, as its profile changes from stimulant to sedative/pain killer in increasing dosages and use.
Nicotine is not significantly addictive!
Technically, nicotine is not significantly addictive, as nicotine administered alone does not produce significant reinforcing properties. However, only after co-administration with an MAOI, such as those found in tobacco, nicotine produces significant behavioral sensitization, a measure of addiction potential. This is similar in effect to amphetamine.
Nicotine gum, usually in 2-mg or 4-mg doses, and nicotine patches are available, as well as smokeless tobacco, and electronic cigarettes, which do not have all the other ingredients in tobacco.
Taken from Wikipedia, accessed 05.02.11. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicotine
So the question is – do you want to give up smoking, if so how do want to give up?
Allen Carr’s “Easy Way to Stop Smoking” has achieved global notoriety with many people saying “It really works”. I challenge you to purchase one of his books, or attend classes locally and see how it can work for you. You could try cognitive behavioural therapy, hypnosis, NLP – all of these methods have been shown to work for SOME people. What works for you depends entirely on who you are, how you learn and how you change behaviours that you want to change. I personally believe a true understanding of all the chemicals involved in the process of cigarette smoking is enough to make anyone want to give up!
Please note I do not endorse any specific method – the way to achieve success is to find what works for you, but decide what you really want to do first and then take it, step by step, to the next level.