NLP, or neuro-linguistic programming, is a method of making change that is based on modeling and reproducing desirable results and behavioral patterns. NLP is based on the idea that perceptions may be skewed or filtered through different things like the senses, personal experiences, beliefs, and values. These altered perceptions influence how people act. NLP facilitates making changes in conscious thought and action that is controlled by the unconscious perception.

NLP is about understanding that everyone has an internal map, or programming that is influenced by what we see and what we say. These maps can not only influence behaviors, but can restrict perception of possible outcomes and solutions. NLP helps modify the individual’s perception, in order to interrupt the typical of pattern of perception followed by behavior, and with this a change can be made.

NLP gives a model for understanding your unconscious thought pattern. relx Through modeling one can reproduce things that others can do well, as well as come to understanding your own limiting beliefs that are holding you back, or keeping you from making change.

NLP uses anchoring as a way of changing behavior through your state of mind. This works in the same context as classical conditioning – do you remember hearing about Pavlov’s dog? Pavlov would provide food to a dog, which would in turn make it salivate. However, at the same time he would ring a bell. After time the dog would salivate simply by hearing the bell ring – it had been anchored to the sound, which in turn gave a conditioned response.

So, anchors can be thought of as different stimuli that bring on a response. You might walk into someone’s kitchen and smell something cooking that immediately makes you think of something from your childhood. Or you may hear an old song and immediately start thinking about your first girlfriend or boyfriend.

These are all involuntary anchors, the stimuli were presented randomly, and although it triggered a behavior, this was not done intentionally. However, anchors can be established to produce an action that it has been conditioned to, for instance how the dogs were conditioned to salivate from hearing a bell.

Now consider programming and anchoring in the context of how you began smoking, also with the use of NLP modeling to make changes to the behavior through re-programming, and with it a cessation of smoking. Why did you start smoking, do you think you just woke up one morning and said that you think you will start smoking today?

Far more likely, you started smoking because it unconsciously came to represent something that you wanted, and the act of lighting a cigarette anchored you to that outcome. For instance, you believed that cigarette smoking would relax you, or as a kid someone you thought was really cool smoked, so you thought that by smoking you would become cool.

NLP recognizes that lighting the cigarette was the anchor to the desired action, that of being relaxed or being cool – you have programmed and conditioned your unconscious into believing this. And as you continued smoking you further anchored it to something else; it becomes part of your routine where you do one thing, and it leads to you also lighting a cigarette.

For instance, that morning cup of coffee where you take that first sip and that is followed by lighting the cigarette – could it actually be suggested that the coffee was an anchor for smoking, and if you didn’t have the coffee you also wouldn’t have had that cigarette, and in turn create non-smoking anchors by breaking a pattern or association?

Smoking has a physiological and psychological aspect to it. Some people cannot quit because they become physically addicted to nicotine. But even if this is not the case, they still cannot quit because they have developed a psychological need or have conditioned themselves to want to smoke.

There are many quit smoking aids available like patches, gums, sprays and nicotine replacement therapy. These might be very useful for working through nicotine addiction, but it is not going to break the habit and conditioning involved with the mental reasons for smoking, and thus the person continues to smoke.

You know you shouldn’t smoke. All of the health risks and huge costs involved are undeniable, yet you smoke anyway – you are psychologically conditioned to do so from the continued mental reinforcement of the reasons why you started.

NLP helps with smoking cessation by eliminating the cravings for cigarettes by replacing the anchors for why you smoke with those for why you don’t want to smoke – much like you were conditioned to smoke, you become conditioned not to smoke. And one NLP program that was specifically designed for smoking is Quit Smoking Today.

Quit Smoking Today was developed by Rob Mellor, who is an expert in Neuro-Lingusistic Programming. The program is intended to help you quit permanently, and do so without the cravings and withdrawal side effects that are associated with quitting smoking. Quit Smoking Today cites a tremendous success rate through a test of 5000 smokers trying this program, with 97.2% of these people still not smoking over 6 months after the test began.

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