When someone tells me he wants to stop smoking, I cannot help being skeptical. Because I know - as you know too, that the moment he WANTS to quit smoking, he WILL quit. Period. It is the ONLY "stop smoking guaranteed" method out there. Same with losing weight and other habit management stuff...
And yet, half of the smokers are people who think that they want to quit. What is going on here? And if it is so simple, why selling the "slim fast products" is a multi-billion business?
Also, what is it about not being able to loose weight? Or to do exercises? Why is it so hard?
And finally, why would people want someone to "do it to them", instead of doing it themselves? Why are they asking "can I do hypnosis to quit smoking?" or "can I use weight loss hypnotherapy"? As if they don't believe that they can do it in "normal" awaken state...
There are few reasons people are not able to change habits they do not need, and usually you can find few of these reasons at work in the same time. For example...
For example, let's say I have to complete the work by 9.00 am tomorrow. So I am making a decision to work all night - and yes, in the morning the work is done. But in the same time something have happened with the supply of chocolate that I had in my fridge (probably for the safety reasons, if the nuclear war starts, I would have a year's supply). The chocolate is gone. Why?
Because no matter what I decided to do during the night, my body and my mind still need a break every now and then. And as my "unconscious mind" does not really care about this work that I am supposed to do, but only about my well being - it will look for the rest...
But the "conscious mind" decided that there will be no rest! We have a conflict, and when conscious and unconscious minds are in conflict, unconscious always wins. Always. Remember it. No breaks? How about a chocolate bar? The conscious mind "suddenly" (or so it seems) and by itself (right!) remembers the article that I saw in the magazine 25 years ago, saying that extra sugar increases productivity of a brain. And now the chocolate bar is not a break from work anymore, it is something I do FOR work! I am increasing my brain's potential!
So the first thing we have to do in order to break the bad habit is to figure out why are we doing it on the first place. And maybe - maybe! - it is not the habit that we should change, but our ideas about working in the night...
What about the "withdraw syndrome"? When the person finally manages to quit smoking cigarette, it feels... bad...
Yes, to some extent. It is nothing, compared to drug withdraw, and by the way, this text is not about habits of using drugs. If you have this kind of problem - you will do much better using the help of an expert.
But the logic is quite the same.
Our metabolism is very complex, and everything is connected to everything else. And we are very adaptable creatures, too. Think about our states (physiological states) as about "local minimums", or if you don't like math, think of mountains and valleys. The more we go up to the mountains, the WORSE we feel (it is just a metaphor and has nothing to do with the real mountains). The deeper down to the valley we go, the better we feel.
But there is no way to get to the deeper valley without going up first!
So one day we started to smoke. And this day we changed our position in this mountains, we moved uphill, and - do you remember - you felt so bad the first day you smoke!
Then your body adapted. It took you down to the nearest valley, so to speak. But it was a different valley - not as deep as the one that you was in at the beginning. But still better than on the "top" of our imaginary mountain.
What if we quit smoking? We will move again! And we will be taken from our habitual "valley" up somewhere (not to the same place where we was when we started smoking for the first time. Much higher. And it WILL feel bad. And there is no way around it, because by its very nature our valleys are surrounded by mountains.
So we can give up and slide back where we started. Or we can climb up, looking for the new, deeper valley. Because some people heard of some other people, who managed to make it to the ocean, you know...
The "story" above is rather simple, compared to many "dimensions" of our internal valleys. The tobacco fume contains nicotine, that changes the brain activity, and it contains less oxygen, which changes blood pH, and it also contains sugar - yes, sugar, which (as I mentioned in my chocolate bars story) can affect your brain chemistry.
Same with diet for weight loss, or not eating at all - especially not eating at all. It will take us WAY up to the mountains, but the higher we go, the more chances we have to end up in a deep valley - in a new state, that is more stable than the original one.
So what does NLP and Hypnosis have to do with all this rock climbing? A lot, as it provides you with the equipment. First of all, you need to be able to set a goal, and that is where NLP shines. Then you need to DESIRE this goal. Again, NLP can help. Then you can learn to enjoy the rock climbing - you don't have to feel bad about feeling bad!
Ok, let me explain. As you know, the quickest way to lose weight is to stop eating (it also helps to exercise to loose weight) and if I stop eating, I personally will have a headache. Been there, done that. First two days of not eating I have a headache. And I can tell myself that it hurts, and I hate it, and I better stop as my life without these little pleasures of eating is meaningless... And it all is true, but this particular truth works against me.
Or I can feel GOOD about it (I teach these techniques in States of Power class, and I can keep in mind the "mountains and valleys" metaphor, knowing that the worse I feel now, the stronger and healthier I will become. What does not kill us, will make us stronger! And it is truth, too. And NLP can teach you how to believe what you have choosen to believe. I will talk about it later, too.
And I also can feel good about myself, because I AM SO STRONG! I am really doing it! No food for entire night ;)))
As the matter of fact, I did "no food" for about 20 days (lots of water!) and all this bad feelings were GONE after first two days. Then it feels great. (If you want to do it, read the "The Miracle of Fasting: Proven Throughout History for Physical, Mental and Spiritual Rejuvination" by Patricia Bragg, Paul C. Bragg, because there are some rules that you do not want to break. The book can be found at http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0877900361/nlphypnothean-20. Also consult your family doctor, as this is a very invasive approach).
OK, so far we decided, that we need to find reasons for our bad habits, and the way to feel good about the process of change. What else?
Learn how we do our little routines, including habits. What are the real reasons for them. And the most interesting part - can we "rewire" our brain, to switch the habit OFF?
Use the following table to get an idea of what is included in the eBook:
|Chapter||Free online intro||E.mail class||eBook|
|Playing games, finding reasons and alternatives||+||-||+|
|Feeling good for no particular reason||+||-||+|
|Changing the past||-||+||+|
|Making it disgusting||-||+||+|
|Changing the future||-||+||+|
|Changing the strategy||-||+||+|
|Testing the new strategy||-||+||+|
|Ecology, environment and being in Peace without turning Green||-||-||+|