Most people who smoke don’t want to be smokers. They are aware it is unhealthy and they admit that they are addicted. Almost every smoker has gone through some stage of cutting back, quitting cold turkey, using anti-addiction medication, or switching to the dangerous and completely unregulated e-cigarettes. Some are more successful than others. The ones who fail fall right back into their addictive habits.
The reasons for quitting smoking are multitudinous: save money, smell better, breathe better, have whiter teeth, stop burning holes in your clothes, not have to clean up cigarette butts from the yard, not have to freeze in the winter on a smoking break, With so many incentives to quit, it’s no wonder that the smoking cessation industry amounts to over $1 billion annually.
Much like the weight-loss industry, the stop-smoking industry is comprised of a variety of tools that may or may not help you. Drugs and patches, hypnosis, herbal remedies, gum, even acupuncture all claim to help you quit. In most cases, success or failure depends on your positive approach to the process.
Quitting is hard. That’s what everyone tells us. Commercials, friends, doctors, they all concede that it’s hard to quit smoking. The rhetoric is deafening. All we can hear is that quitting is hard so that’s what we believe. If you want to quit, change your inner voice. Don’t listen when anyone says quitting is hard. Tell yourself that quitting is easy. The first time you say it, it might feel wrong. You’ve been told so often that quitting it hard it’s going to take a while to convince yourself that quitting is easy. Tell yourself over and over again that quitting is easy. Soon you will come to believe it and once you believe it, it will become the truth.
Celebrate your victories. If you are merely counting the days since your last cigarette then you are focusing on the lack of cigarettes, which is a negative thought. You are unconsciously thinking about the empty space since the last one, what the last one was like, what your smoking habits were. Mark the date you quit on the calendar and forget about it. Focus instead on the battles you’ve won. The first time you go to a bar and don’t leave for a cigarette, celebrate. The first time you wake up and don’t have to clear your lungs from smoker’s cough, celebrate. Rejoice and feel grateful for each milestone. Create a reward fund using all the money you would have spent on cigarettes and go on a vacation when you hit your anniversary.
Find a healthy smoking replacement. One of the most common fears of quitting smoking is weight gain. Instead of replacing smoking with food, replace it with a healthy activity. Exercise or reading are beneficial, easy, and healthy replacements for smoking. Take up a hobby like knitting or video games that requires finger movement to distract from the motion of holding a cigarette. Training your brain for a new activity helps to divert thoughts away from the old activity.
Find the affirmations that work for you. Change your thinking about smoking. Don’t think of it as giving up cigarettes. Think of it as gaining the life you want to life. Focus on the positive and you will meet your goal.