There are many parallels between mindfulness and hypnosis in both their form and function, so it came as no surprise to me to read that research has found a strong link between mindfulness and success when quitting smoking. A recently released study by Maria Theodora Oikonomou, Marios Arvanitis and Robert L. Sokolove (published online by the Journal of Health Psychology), compared the effectiveness of a program that utilized eight weeks of “mindfulness training” to data from existing research.
While no significant difference was found between groups that used mindfulness and those that had not during the first four months of quitting smoking, later measurements revealed almost twice the success rate for those who received mindfulness training. Participants also demonstrated improvements in mindful skills as training progressed. In short, those people who quit smoking using mindfulness stuck at it much better than those that did not.
The researchers proposed that the delay in seeing the difference between the two groups (the mindful and the not-so-mindful) may also be linked to the length of time that it takes to become proficient at mindfulness practices.
Whatever the reason, slipping back into old patterns of behavior is always a risk when quitting smoking – willpower alone may get you through those first few weeks (or even months) but if the change is being forced in this way, it is exceptionally difficult to sustain. Mindfulness may seem like a bit of a “fad” today, but with scientific research like this confirming its benefits, it could be here to stay.
When we take the links between hypnotherapy and mindfulness into account, we can see yet another reason why hypnosis is so effective when it comes to helping you to quit smoking. Imagine being able to “bootstrap” those eight weeks of learning and practice in just a few hours with a hypnotherapist.