Chapter Three

The Power of "STATE"

One of the most misunderstood parts of human experience is "state". As explained in chapter one: The NLP Model of Human Behavior, state, which is a result of the combination of your internal representations with the physiology of your body, influences (if not controls) all human behavior. State is what motivates all human behavior (there is no exception). State is what causes smokers to smoke, drinkers to drink, overeaters to overeat and drug addicts to do drugs. Every single decision that the brain makes is designed to move us away from pain and move us toward pleasure. (Avoid painful states and experience pleasurable states). Whatever you associate or link to a given stimulus (person, situation, event, etc), either pain or pleasure, will determine and dictate your internal response and your behavior.

As human beings we try to avoid states, such as the following: pain, upset, stress, depression, frustration, etc. We attempt to create states such as: pleasure, relaxation, calmness, confidence, joy, satisfaction, being in control and happiness. If you think back to the activities that you enjoy the most, and also the things that you dislike, you will realize that this is what motivates you in those situations. If you find an activity fun or exciting you will like it – someone else may link boredom or displeasure to the same activity (because of her unique conditioning) and avoid this activity.

Smoking gives smokers pleasure; it is a familiar feeling, comforting behavior, and a conditioned habit. For most smokers, having a cigarette in their hands, or at least one within easy reach, becomes a part of their identity. They find it difficult to imagine themselves without cigarettes. But more importantly for smokers, during times of great stress, crisis or emotional difficulties (states that they want to avoid), they rely on cigarettes to help them calm down, get control, relax, get their minds off what’s bothering them and cope with their feelings. In other words, get out of the state we avoid and get to the state that we need – ex. Relax or calm down. It is these situations that cause smokers to quickly begin to psychologically rely on a cigarette to help them move from unpleasant states (stress, upset, anger) to more desirable states (relaxed, calm, in control, pleasure).

If you have convinced your subconscious mind that using a cigarettes is the only viable way to accomplish this (get these feelings/access these states) in the above mentioned situations, then of course it is hard to quit smoking! That part of your unconscious mind is trying to protect you in its own way. This is the reason people smoke and continue to smoke even when they know logically that it is killing them.

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