Jul 28

Everyone knows about the harmfulness of smoking. Governments try to make smoking more uncomfortable and expensive, and entire industries live by the hope of wanna-be non-smokers, claiming to make the quitting easier and more bearable. And yet, most find it utmost difficult to stop smoking.

But whenever pure self-discipline, the power of chemistry and pharmacology turn out insufficient in helping us to permanently change our behavior, the psyche has been overlooked – a powerful force within us, one over which the conscious mind and drugs have only very limited impact! That’s why smokers and addicts in general tend to get caught up in a longstanding interplay between trying to quit and falling back into old patterns of dependence. They feel bad about themselves most of the time, since they really want to stop with their addictive behavior – but can’t manage to achieve it. It’s like you want to do something good for your body and keep it healthy – but something deep inside keeps you from it.

If you noticed this pattern in yourself, it can be helpful and enlightening to learn about the causes of your personal dependency behavior supported by a trained counselor. If the conscious mind recognizes better what ‘goes deep down in the basement’ (the psyche) and learns a few new strategies it can utilize to achieve its goals, it can support your body more efficiently and you will regain better control over yourself again. Finally, hypnotherapy can help to anchor the new and ‘smoking-liberated’ behavior patterns permanently in the subconscious mind.

(This short article is part of a weekly series dealing with psychological expat problems and general mental health issues and was published in various newspapers and magazines in Thailand, 2010)

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