Joel teaches that at MOST a couple of encounters will break even the strongest link. Dr. Michael Murphy in his book "The Power of the Subconscious Mind" teaches that it only takes ONCE, but that we have difficulty seeing the subtle differences between triggering events. Dr. Murphy, who has spent his life exploring the workings of the subconscious, says that our subconscious is incapable of reasoning, thinking or analyzing a situation, it only reacts to a lifetime of input.
How many times does it take for a good hypnotist to re-condition the mind to do what seems unlikely, impossible or unbelievable to the eye? Most of us have seen it with our very own eyes at Comedy Clubs or even with prior attempts at quitting where it worked for a couple of days. Sure the conditioning can be overcome the vastness of our smoking memory banks, but I've seen some folks do some pretty stupid things on the stage when the hypnotist only gave the suggestion a single time. He didn't have to repeat himself over and over again. Once a link is broken, each time the same circumstances are encountered without generating a crave only reinforce the positive re-conditioning that has occurred.
That's one of the reasons I'm always harping on feeding our minds positive thoughts and avoiding defeatist negative thinking like fear and dread associated with quitting (STARTING) or the next crave. It just goes against the grain and only makes the challenge far more difficult than it need be. We are what we think. Tell yourself this is hard and it will be. Tell yourself the healing is glorious and it will be. Fear your craves and they will each be nightmares. Believe that you are more powerful than they are, and you will be. Know with every fiber of your being that there is no force or circumstances on planet earth (including the death or illness of a friend or loved one) that can ever cause you to put slow death to your lips again, and you won't! We are what we think!
For those of you still experiencing craves, keep a crave long and try to record as accurately as possible the exact circumstances that brought on the crave. Share your findings as the results will be astonishing. As you go through your day today, stop and notice all of the times that you DIDN'T experience a crave in situations where you used to always smoke. Now that is true reconditioning! That is worth celebrating!
Even with Pavlov's salivating dogs the reconditioning took only a couple of tries and the conditioning was associated with the most powerful memories and motivators of any dog - FOOD! Pavlov noticed that each time a dog saw food (the trigger) before actually eating, that the dog began to salivate (crave). Pavlov wanted to see if could change the triggering event so he began ringing a bell at the same time food was shown to the dog, and then gradually increased the time between when the bell was rang and when the food was produced. Soon he had the dogs salivating (craving) upon just hearing the bell (new trigger). But, it only took a few times of the dog not seeing or receiving food after hearing the bell before it stopped salivating. The mind of a smoker with hundreds of crave triggers is far more refined than a dogs and the subconscious breaks smoking memory crave trigger links much quicker.
Once a trigger link is broken between a particular set of smoking memories and our mind's crave generator, the risk of re-establishing the link always remains as our smoking memories, like any other memories, are not discarded. It only takes one puff or one cigarette to re-connect a particular link. If it's to one of our more vivid set of smoking memories, like eating or stress, full relapse can be almost immediate. If it's a less significant set of smoking memories (the food of habit), relapse will be more gradual, but that particular link has been re-connected and will soon be encountered again.
I've got a study here in front of me that finds that about 95% of those who smoke just one cigarette will experience full relapse (19 out of 20). Do you feel lucky? Joel tells us that when we feel the urge to bum a cigarette after quitting, don't bum just one, instead ask the person for their entire pack or better yet their entire carton, as you're not really asking for just one, but the return of your entire addiction in all its power and with all its destructive force - the nicotine addict back to square one.
Enjoy defeating and reconditioning each trigger as with the passing of each you're one step closer to glory! The quicker we recondition each of them, the faster our healing. Have a wonderful day, Zep : )