Want To Quit Smoking? Help's At Hand
Let’s not insult your intelligence by regurgitating the same old shocking statistics about how bad cigarettes are for you. You already know this. Instead, I’m going to share seven steps that help thousands of my clients to stop smoking, and which also assisted me in quitting over 12 years ago.
Step 1: Right Mindset
You have to want to quit and be 100 per cent committed to it for the right reasons, and deep down you know what the right reasons are. Get serious by writing down at least 20 reasons to stop. Use emotive language. And keep the list in your phone. Review it regularly leading up to and after your ‘quit date’.
Step 2: Smoking Is Psychological
Understand that smoking is more of a psychological habit and dependency than a biological drug addiction. Here is the evidence: nicotine replacement therapy is only 7-9 per cent effective. People quit cold turkey every day. So, you can be easily distracted from a cigarette. Many smokers can comfortably abstain on long haul flights, but are ‘dying’ for a cigarette the moment they land. Babies born to smoking mothers are not ‘nicotine junkies’ and birth defects are only a risk factor, not guaranteed. None of this is true for those addicted to serious drugs such as heroin, cocaine and amphetamines. Nicotine withdrawal is mild in comparison.
Step 3: Prepare For Your Quit Day
Start breaking the habit and routine by immediately eliminating the cigarettes you know you can do without. Give yourself a daily limit. Don’t carry an entire pack every day. Delay your cigarettes bit by bit. Know your triggers and think of alternative actions like making a call, going outside, taking a break, breathing deeply, exercising, listening to music, going for a walk, doing yoga, playing games on your phone, meditating, brushing your teeth, drinking iced water and slowly chewing on the ice (trust me it works). Collect your cigarette butts and ash in a clear jar to look at (or even smell) after your quit date for more disgusting and strong motivation.
Step 4: Increase Your Intake Of Water & Natural Sugars
Support your body during the short three to five days post-quitting detox process by consuming plenty of water (two litres a day) and natural sugars (fruit, juice and honey) to offset the effects of a drop in blood sugar due to the high amount of sugar in cigarettes.That’s right. Cigarettes contain up to 18 per cent sugar to eliminate the foul bitter taste of raw tobacco and to make them taste smoother. It is a drop in blood sugars that can cause headaches, moodiness, irritability and slight hand shaking. The water will help with circulation and the rehydration of cells, which cigarettes starve them of.
Step 5: Control Alcohol Intake & Fight Stress
Be prepared for the two most common reasons why people start smoking again: stress and alcohol! Become a better manager of emotions with the multitude of fast and effective stress management techniques available today. Gain the courage to acknowledge and address any other areas of dissatisfaction in your life that you might be using cigarettes for. Be wary of alcohol consumption during your first three weeks as you create a new nonsmoking habit and routine. Beware of that little voice that might say: “Maybe just a puff. One won’t hurt.” Consider this self-talk a huge red flag! Remember N.O.P.E – Not One Puff Ever. Believe me, it only takes one puff to start again, no matter how long you’ve gone without smoking.
Step 6: Make Use Of Your Hypnotic State
Utilise your naturally occurring hypnotic state first thing in the morning and last thing before you fall asleep at night to leverage the power of your subconscious mind. This halfawake, half-asleep state may last a few minutes, but that’s all you need. During this state, visualise yourself as a non-smoker. Make the images as real as possible. Make the pictures bright, sharp, vivid and extremely focussed. Hear the sounds you would want hear and experience the feeling of being a confident non-smoker during those old triggers.
Step 7: Don't Shy From Taking Expert Help
If everything fails, get in touch with an expert who not only understands the mindset needed to quit, but the cause of smoking — your subconscious mind. Stopping smoking can be so much easier if you can address these deeper connections that maintain your habits and routine.