Did you know that smoking addiction is not overwhelmingly a physical addiction. Once you stop smoking, the residual nicotine leaves your body within a week. But if it’s not a physical addiction then, why is quitting so hard?
Well it is the psychological addiction to smoking that makes quitting difficult. This psychological addiction to smoking has come about by how YOU originally conditioned yourself to become a smoker.
Yes You. Think back to one of your very first smokes. How old were you, where were you, who were you with?
Your body knew way back then that smoking was poison to your body and responded to those first puffs with coughing, burning and nausea.
But then, you may have enjoyed the label that came along with smoking. Maybe it you felt cool, maybe it made you belong, maybe it made you feel more grown up than you were at the time. You may have liked the company you were in when smoking. Or maybe smoking was just what everybody did, and you may not have wanted to be the odd one out.
Because of these social pay-offs you continued to smoke. You taught your mind to override the natural response of your body to tobacco. Eventually your body got used to regular exposure to toxins and you stopped feeling so sick every time you lit up.
Have you ever heard of Pavlov’s dogs? Pavlov was a psychologist at the beginning of 20th century. He had dogs in his lab and discovered that because the people who fed
the dogs wore white coats, after a while when anyone in a white coat approached the dogs, the dogs would begin to salivate in preparation to eat, even though there was no food there. This was named a conditional response.
When you start smoking and most times afterwards, you smoke when you are taking a break, relaxing, having a drink or socialising. Because you smoke in these relaxed conditions, as with Pavlov’s dogs, you connect the two things in your mind: cigarettes and relaxation, even though there is not one chemical in cigarettes that relaxes you.
So yes, you put your smoking habit in place.
Eventually these ways of thinking about tobacco and the smoking habits you developed, combined into a powerful psychological addiction to smoking:
Set off by your personal situational smoking triggers (e.g. with a cup of coffee)
Possibly fed by underlying emotional smoking triggers (e.g. desire for tobacco when feeling stressed or angry)
Supported by your body’s expectation to carry out certain actions in response to those triggers (finger packet, light up cigarette etc.)
And held in place by underlying belief systems (e.g. tobacco helps me avoid weight gain or to stay calm)
And that is how you conditioned yourself to be a smoker.
Why not read on to find out why you can't just easily stop smoking https://www.hypnotherapykat.com.au/post/so-why-cannot-i-just-stop-smoking
Read on to find out how hypnosis helps me to change my habits - https://www.hypnotherapykat.com.au/post/how-does-hypnosis-help-me-change-my-subconscious-habits