We all know that there are many different methods to stop smoking, some a lot more effective than the others. This article is about stopping smoking all by yourself. Whether you have tried before or you are doing so now for the first time, the following techniques makes it both simple and easy.
Now, there are two myths about smoking that I would like to see disappear in a puff of smoke before we get to the ‘how to’ part of this article. The first is that some smokers put off the idea of stopping smoking thinking that they need to be fully committed to the idea of stopping and totally willing. Well, that is just not true. Most people wanting to stop smoking also feel that another part of them wants to continue, or still enjoys it, or is scared about the idea of stopping. The good news is that as long as the part of you that wants to stop is more motivated than the part that still enjoys it, then you can have success.
Secondly, there seem to be a lot of ‘good advice’ out there about willpower that can help you to stop. Although some will-power is needed to take the initial steps towards becoming a non-smoker, applying too much of your will-power and pushing too hard to never smoke again, will have exactly the opposite effect. Instead, follow the top tips below and surprise yourself at just how easy it can be to relax creatively into the new non-smoking you.
Please note that the more you actively carry out and engage with the tips below, the more you increase your chance of success. Good luck!
1. Be clear about your reasons for wanting to stop.
Create a list with your reasons for wanting to stop smoking. What will the benefits be? List all the things that you dislike about smoking or the things that you are fed up with that relates to smoking. This could potentially include things such as the smell, putting yourself out socially as a result, the cost involved, the negative effects on your body, etc.
2. Set a date and commit to it.
Once you know when you want to stop, you can start to organise yourself to get your head around the idea of stopping. There are many things that you could do. Why not share your experience with a friend and ask for their support?
It will be well worth your while if you practice to see yourself as a non-smoker. Remember that if you can see yourself as a non-smoker, then you are a non-smoker! Twice per day for the first three weeks, sit quietly for a few moments, relax the muscles within your body for a while, focus on your breathing and being calm. Then pretend that you find yourself in all the places/scenarios where you used to smoke, but this time imagine that you are a non-smoker with calm and relax hands. Imagine yourself breathing freely and easily.
4. Expect to feel uncomfortable.
You will be happy to know that cravings do not last. If you have a craving, find the balance between trying to ignore the discomfort and talking/focussing on it too much. Instead, be aware of the discomfort and turn it to your advantage by using the excess energy to exercise or enjoy a favourite hobby. Or you can simply distract yourself.
5. Take it one day at a time.
Instead of thinking that you might never smoke again, tell yourself that you are only not going to smoke for one day. Then do another day and another, until you have done your first week.
6. Deal with cravings by substitution.
Whenever you find yourself having a craving, give yourself something to do. This can include anything that is healthy, from drinking water to exercise.
Remember, you did not always believe that you were a smoker, but you still believe it at the moment. NOW, you can reverse this believe again and start to believe that you can again become the non-smoker that you have been before.
About Andre Duvenage (MBSCH, Dip. Psych.) is the owner of Hypnotherapy London in Harley Street. He qualified with the LCCH and holds full membership with the General Hypnotherapy Council (GHR). He developed the one session Stop Smoking Hypnotherapy London programme, which has an exceptional success rate.