How to Quit Smoking
By Life Coach, Tim Brownson
As a certified hypnotherapist people sometimes call me for help with quitting smoking. The first question I ask them is why they want to stop? That usually generates a look of horror akin to if I’d asked them if they could marry their 13-year-old daughter have a goat as the Maid of Honor and Michael Jackson as my best man.
However, there is a positive intention behind every action you commit even if sometimes it isn’t immediately apparent. That applies to smoking too.
Until you accept that there is an upside to the habit that you’d like to break then you will struggle with breaking it because you are in conflict with your unconscious mind (and your unconscious mind will always win that particular battle). After all, if there really were no upside you wouldn’t do it.
Firstly, you have to want to change. By that I mean it’s not usually enough to want to want to, you need to actually want to. Make sense? What do you mean “Not really sure?” Ok, seeing as it’s you and you’re having a tough day I’ll explain in a bit more detail.
You may well want to give up because you know it’s healthier not to smoke, it’s expensive and makes you feel like a social pariah. That is wanting to want to. A real desire to stop is a different proposition altogether and most people know it when they feel it. You don’t have to justify it to yourself with you just know you want to quit.
Most ex-smokers will tell you that they positively knew when they had made the decision to quit for good. They’ll also often tell you that it felt great and they just knew they would never smoke again,
When you know you want to definitely quit, you then need to look at the ecology of quitting. Will you have to avoid certain places for the short-term? Are there other family members or close friends that smoke that need to understand you’re quitting? If they’re not supportive and will try and tempt you to the dark side, can you actually just avoid them completely?
Don’t underestimate the importance of being aware of the ecology. This is something that people frequently fail to take into account. As a result they fail and don’t really know why.
Now look for the REAL reason you want to quit. Good health isn’t enough. Why do you want that good health? Dig deep with this one. We’re into the realms of values now and we want to get to the core of who you are as a person and what really motivates and drives you.
The greater the motivation, the better the chance of success, so really tap into what you want to achieve in your life and keep this in the forefront of your mind because it’s why you’re going through this.
Now you’re ready to set a date between 2 and 4 weeks away for your new behavior to start. Times of year that you may associate with smoking like New Years and vacations (unless you’re off on a Buddhist retreat) are usually less than ideal. Write the date down in your planner and stick to it.
Tell everybody and anybody that means anything o you what you are planning to do. If you have kids of an age that can understand, make a promise to them too. Then tell the rest of the world too. When I did something similar with all sorts of stuff from alcohol to red meat, I blogged about it.
Start using positive language. You’re not trying to quit, you have quit. Dump the word try because it implies failure.
Make a list of what you have to gain from quitting and post it where you see it everyday. Look past the obvious things like health and money. Do you want an improved sense of taste and smell and more energy? How about being able to relax after a great meal rather than huddling outside in the rain just so you can have a cigarette? What others can you think of?
Now make a list of what you have to lose if you fail. Promise that you will read it whenever you feel the urge to backslide. Again, don’t limit this to death and poverty because there’s a lot more to go at than that.
The really crucial part of all this is to move yourself to a state where you no longer see yourself as a smoker. You remove it from your identity completely.
Visualize yourself every night and first thing in the morning as the person that you want to be. Do this before you even start the change process. See what you will look like. Hear what you will sound like and feel what you will feel like. Really take time to savoir the new you! Play about with the picture and sounds in your head and make them as appealing as possible to you.
Importantly with the visualization, see yourself dealing with and overcoming temptation with ease and confidence and know that is a behavior available to you.
Optional extra. If you have the stomach for this, a really powerful thing to do is research the effects of smoking on health. With the Internet it’s not difficult to do and you can be looking at pictures of the gruesome effects smoking can have on the human body in no time at all.
If you succumb, use it as a learning experience and not an excuse to beat yourself up. Look at what caused the brief set back and start again even more determined to be the person you want to be!
The above strategy can undoubtedly help you quit smoking. However, if you can use it conjunction with hypnotherapy and you are committed to quitting, then I think the odds are stacked heavily in your favor. You may also want to check out the NLP technique developed by Richard Bandler called ‘The Swish Pattern’ which can be very powerful.
To learn more about Tim and his life coaching techniques you may also read an interview at the kitchen table “What is a Life Coach?”. If you are a health professional and would like to be interviewed at the kitchen table, simply contact us.Dr. Nicole Sundene, NMD is a licensed Naturopathic Medical Doctor at Fountain Hills Naturopathic Medicine 16719 E Palisades Blvd, Suite 205, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268.
She believes we should utilize natural medicines to treat the root cause of disease rather than just treating symptoms, as symptoms are a message of imbalance sent from the body and will persist until they are properly addressed.
For appointments please visit http://FHnaturopathic.com for more information about Naturopathic Medicine services.
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