Cause and Effect The Correlation Between Stress and Smoking as well as Smoking and Lung Cancer
By Valerie Grimes, CHt
If you are a long time smoker and are concerned about how continuing to do so affects your chances of developing lung cancer then the obvious thing to do would be to stop smoking. After all the cause—smoking—could develop the effect—cancer diagnosis.
But it isn’t that easy.
The reason a person started smoking could have been to be accepted into a group of peers, but over time smoking became the smoke screen between them and arguments, a way to get a deserved break, or calm down. There are many reasons to be a smoker—the cigarette has become purposeful. The cause (perhaps stress) leads to the effect of calm by which smoking is the signal. And that is why it is very hard to stop smoking.
The brain has learned to fire a series of responses when stressors show up: feeling stressed, smoke cigarette, feel calm. Once the brain has a neural pathway it is an incessant loop, an unconscious and therefore powerful loop.
As an example, let’s look at what is happening subconsciously to a woman in her 40s who gets up from her desk at work for a smoke break. These scheduled breaks have become “her time” and she uses them at home as well. There was an event 1) it’s 2:00, 2) she gets the break she deserves 3) smoking is the only way she gets that break. Her brain has learned this, but it is necessarily true?
If she could switch the emotional association (or the thought/feeling) then she could easily create a new cause, which can only result in a new effect. Why? That is how Cause and Effect works.
“Neurons that encode whether a memory is positive or negative can be reprogrammed to switch the emotional association of the experience. Memories of experiences are encoded in the brain along with contextual and emotional information such as where the experience took place and whether it was positive or negative. This allows for the formation of memory associations that might assist in survival. Scientists have known for decades that neurons that ‘fire together, wire together’.”
Susumu Tonegawa and colleagues have discovered that neurons in the hippocampus region of the brain can be artificially switched to encode memories as either positive or negative regardless of the original experience. In a hypnosis session we can weaken an old negative emotional feeling around a memory. Neuroscience News.
Creating a state of mind (theta) allows access to the memory and emotion attached to that memory. A hypnotist understands and is capable of placing their client in a theta state and then using the same Law of Dominate effect that created the older emotional trigger can replace it with one that create a new cause.
Alix Spiegel of NPR explains in her article about how a criminal changes his personality by reframing how he saw his relationship with the people around him.
Here is an excerpt:
The beliefs, assumptions, expectations that you’ve gotten from your friends, family, culture — those things, Walter Mischel explains, are the filter through which you see the world. Your mind stands between who you are, your personality and whatever situation you are in. It interprets the world around it, and how it feels about what it sees. And so when the stuff inside the mind changes, the person changes.
“People can use their wonderful brains to think differently about situations,” Stanley Milgram social psychologist at Yale University says. “To reframe them. To reconstruct them. To even reconstruct themselves.”
Now changing a personality and changing a habit are two very different things, but the article illustrates that with the proper motivation, the brain can adapt to new information and thus create a new response or behavior.
When you have a new cause you get a new effect.
Hypnosis can teach the brain that a deep breath is the message that signals a feeling of calmness. And therefore allows more easily to quit smoking cigarettes. Call for a complimentary consultation. 972-974-2094, or send an email.