There have been numerous scientific studies that have revealed how powerful your personal 'story telling' can be with regards to achieving a desired outcome or result, whether itâs spontaneous recovery from a life threatening illness OR quitting cigarettes.
Most smokers would agree that once you have made the decision to stop smoking cigarettes, the next biggest thing that you need to quit is the right mindset. I believe it's the single biggest factor that will determine your success at quitting.
Now there are many things one could take into consideration when you think about all the elements that make up âthe right mindsetâ. One of THE biggest is the story that you have about smoking AND the story you have about quitting.
I have helped almost 1000 clients stop smoking cigarettes with hypnosis and what I found with almost every single one of them was that they had a story about quitting, about their past experience when it came to quitting and about what they THINK they will be experiencing when they walk out my office.
Once they have finished telling their VERY well justified story about their past experience with quitting, I then start my pre-hypnosis talk by sharing a bunch of information about smoking, quitting and how to remain a non-smoker. One of the most important things I discuss is the importance of developing the space where one can consider the possibility of a new story about quitting. This is a very powerful tool in creating the right mindset for quitting.
The bottom line is that the less we are attached to a story about the way we think things are, the easier it will be to entertain a new idea about other possibilities, and this is so important when it comes to quitting cigarettes.
Itâs a very normal thing for me to hear smokers share their stories about quitting, and they usually go something like this: âItâs not easy to quit, Iâve tried everything and nothing seems to work for me, I just donât have the will power to quit, maybe Iâm just meant to be a smoker for the rest of my life, Itâs so hard to quit because Iâm addicted to nicotine, my body just needs that nicotine, everyone around me smokes how could I possibly quit?â etc etc.
Like I said above, these are justified stories that I often hear, but itâs important to be aware that they are exactly that â a story. And the more that we get attached to the stories we have about become a non-smoker and quitting cigarettes, the more we will simply create that reality for ourselves. Itâs also easy to see how this is closely related to the fact that as people we like to be right about things, our views and perceptions. So if we have a story that quitting is going to be hard and that nothing will work, in a way weâll just create this scenario for ourselves so we can justifiably say to the world â âsee, I told you so, I WAS RIGHT!â. The sad thing is that sometimes we would rather be right than experience a new possibility that is truly beneficial for us.
Now just to give you an idea of how powerful the story we tell ourselves can be, Iâd like to share with you a scientific study conducted by Dr Joe Dispenza, an expert in brain bio chemistry. He has spent many years studying patients who have experienced spontaneous remissions from diseases such as cancer, diabetes, rare genetic disorders, cardio vascular conditions, arrhythmia, high BP, high cholesterol levels, emphysema and endocrine disorders. He wanted to know if there was something in common with these people. And he found that there was.
As I describe what he found, just keep in mind what I have already mentioned about the power of the story that one tells themselves.
Firstly, he found that they all accepted that there was an intelligence that was bigger than them, some divine intelligence. But it doesnât have to be this mystical thing. Itâs the same intelligence that is keeping your heart beating right now. Itâs the intelligence that runs all the systems of your body. These people all accepted that if there was something greater than them, that they could perhaps tap into this and it would do the healing for them.
The second thing that they had in common was that they all believed that their thoughts, their way of thinking over a period of time actually contributed to their disease or illness. And they had the realisation that if my thinking has contributed to my disease, maybe I should change the way Iâve been thinking.
There is also scientific evidence to support this. Studies have shown that every time we have a thought, our brain produces a chemical associated with that. If we have elevated, positive thoughts the brain produces chemicals that make us feel happy. In the same way if we have bad, negative insecure thoughts, the brain produces chemicals associated with that thought, state or feeling. These chemicals produced by the brain are literally the food that is feeding the physical body and its cells.
What type of food is your brain feeding to your cells?
So all these patients, once they had established the above set out to start to change the way they thoughts. So they began to interrupt their old process.
They decided that in order to break their thinking process/habit, they had to re-invent themselves. They had to become somebody else. And when they began to think about who they wanted to become, they stopped this biochemical feedback loop and they started to ask themselves some important questions like:
What would it be like to be a happy person?
Who do I know in my life right now thatâs happy?
What would I have to change about myself in order to be a different person?
Who in history do I admire and why?
And what is it about them do I like and how can I mirror this in myself?
They began to contemplate what ifs. They began to tell themselves a NEW STORY! And the brain began to change. This new thinking process began to create new connections in the brain that started to act as a platform for them to be. So they began to gather information in this way.
When these people began to re-invent themselves, they spend long moments where they lost track of time and space. They became so involved in what they were thinking about that when they realised how much time had gone by it was always MUCH more than they had thought. What felt like 10 or 15 minutes, was really an hour, hour and a half to two hours. They lost track of the feedback the brain is always having with regards to its environment.
Now if this process of creating a new story is able to help people spontaneously recover from life threatening illness and disease, I wonder if there is something in this for smokers to learn from?
What this remarkable study is showing is that if we are willing to look within and reinvent ourselves and tell ourselves something new about what it is that we say we want to achieve? Then we pave the way for amazing things to happen.
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