NLP Life Training - 10 Years

Over The Threshold - from Paul McKenna's "Quit Smoking Today"

In this extract from his book, Quit Smoking Today, Paul McKenna describes what drives people to suddenly stop - the Threshold.
Paul McKenna's Quit Smoking Today
Paul McKenna's Quit Smoking Today
When I first began helping people to quit smoking, I was particularly interested in why it was that some people were continually trying to quit (and failing), while others didn't even seem to think about it at all - one day they just quit completely and never smoked again.
What was the difference that made the difference? It turned out that they had all experienced a series of moments of emotional intensity in a very short space of time.
After all, most smokers think "I really ought to giuve up" from time to time. Often, it's just a thought without much emotional intensity behind it. Even when there is some emotional intensity, say in the wake of hearing about someone diagnosed with cancer or a sudden pain in the chest, it usually reamins as an islolated incident and it can be months or even years until the next significant emotional event.
Here is the key:
If several negatively emotionally charged smoking-related incidents happen in quick succession, the brain goes through an experience of overwhelm and your biological survival mechanism kicks in.
It works something like this: you get a chest pain, a close friend is diagnosed with cancer, several of your friends quite and you feel the social pressure, your partner quits, you find yourself short of breath or you went on a smoking binge and wake up with your mouth tasting like an ashtray.
If these incidents had happened in isolation with plenty of recovery time in between, they would not necessarily be enough to get somebody to quit.  But when all these things happen around the same time, the critical mass of emotional negativity towards smoking pushes your brain through a threshold. Your brain starts to worry, a massive negative mechanism kicks in and your say to yourself, "Never again!" A strong negative association begins to build up towards smoking and it tips them over the edge, like the last straw that breaks the camel's back.
The wonderful think is that you don't have to wait until you are actually experiencing serious health problems in the future in order to change... You can create an artificial threshold experience that will be every bit as effective as the ones that can happen simultaneously.


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