We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but our minds are very good at convincing us that we’re immune to the side effects and the potentially catastrophic impact it might have on our lives and those of the people around us. We convince ourselves that we won’t be another cancer statistic, or that other smoking-related diseases couldn’t possibly happen to us.
Of course, figures show that these diseases do affect people just like you and me. Although your risk may differ depending on how long you’ve smoked, how many cigarettes a day your habit involves, and other factors that impact on your health, the fact is that smoking damages your health.
Stopping Smoking: Breaking The Habit
No one is under any illusion that stopping smoking is easy. It’s particularly hard when you’ve been addicted to the cigarettes for a long time, or if you have a partner who also smokes and who isn’t interested in quitting with you. So how can we find the motivation to stop smoking for good?
We all have the willpower and resolve to stop smoking, it’s a question of tapping into that strength and changing the way we think about smoking, recognise those triggers that make us reach for a packet of cigarettes and have the self-belief that you can quit smoking.
So when are you going to stop smoking? NOW is the time to quit smoking for good as it is bad for your health and you CAN do it! Quitting will test your resolve and willpower, and you will struggle to break this habit, but it can be done as lots of other people have shown. Make a plan TODAY, write down and understand the reasons why you want to stop smoking, find a method that works best for you, tell all your friends and family and get them to support you.
Finally, set a DATE in your diary to quit smoking.
- Set the time you are going to quit and stay with it.
- Emptying the stash of cigarettes from your house, car, and work including the secret places where you hide the emergency cigarettes.
- Work out what triggers you to smoke: when you go to the pub, a break from work, coffee with a friend who smokes or having a drink in the evenings.
- Take each day as it comes and you think about quitting positively. Think about the positive impact it will have on your long-term health, how empowered you will feel in your ability to stop, how much better you will feel and look, and how pleased your family and friends will be when you quit.
5 self-help tips to stop smoking:
- Record and monitor your daily routine (including your smoking habits), the annoying or stressful situations that cause you to smoke. Knowing what precedes your smoking habit (mannerisms and behaviours) makes it easier to nip the habit in the bud. Switch your routine around so you are not associating with those friends that smoke at this very crucial time. Avoid scenarios that would remind you of your smoking habit.
- Learn a relaxation technique (Deep breathing technique) that you can use when you feel like having a cigarette: Take three long slow deep breaths in and imagine you are feeling relaxed and calm ….Breathe IN cool clean air…. and breathing OUT any unnecessary nervous tension…. Take a deep breath in through the nose and hold it for a count of four. Then release it through your mouth for a count of four. Remember to breath in through your nose and release through your mouth, once again, breath in…slowly …and all the way out….. three …deep breath in through your nose and out through your mouth …relax…. And let go …. Notice feeling calm and relaxed with each out-breath and finally let go and settle in the chair. Just breath naturally now and notice your breathing and feel the relaxing energy has spread through your body.
- Get support from family and friends. Or find a friend that wishes to quit and is willing to stop smoking with you, the support will be great. You can keep each other motivated and accountable. Giving up can be a challenge and it requires a great deal of willpower, your support network will be there for you if you feel the cravings and on the difficult days. The positive encouragement will be invaluable to quit long-term.
- See your decision of stop smoking now as an opportunity to start a new activity like joining the gym or an exercise class, or doing something that you have always wanted to do. Keeping your mind and body active will take your attention off any cravings or withdrawals you might experience. Spending time doing an activity that you love and being with people who do not smoke will help avoid the temptation of going back to smoking cigarettes.
- Clinical Hypnotherapy with Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) can help you to get to the root of your smoking habit. This therapy will work with you to change your smoking behaviour and teach you coping strategies to help control your cravings. By helping you deal with your feelings and habits that have formed over a period of time you will be able to take control of your smoking habit and quit. Identify your triggers and habit prone situations and the associated behaviours that follow. Hypnotherapy can help you gain control and willpower over your habits and you will see yourself as a confident non-smoker. The relaxation techniques will help with any anxious feeling around your job or home life you may have that makes you reach out to the cigarette. You will be taught a self-hypnosis during these hypnosis sessions, which you can use to feel calm and in control in any stressful situation at home or at work.
In this article research by Green and Lynn (2000) concluded that Hypnosis is “possibly efficacious” treatment for smoking cessation. Their extensive research also suggests “it is impossible to rule out cognitive/behavioural and educational interventions as the source of positive treatment gains associated with hypnotic treatments”.
Evidence-based research shows us that with hypnotherapy there is a 40 – 50% success rate as an intervention to stop smoking and sessions can range from 1 to 5 sessions for motivation and skill development.
Find out if Hypnotherapy can help you to Quit Smoking for good, Book a free 30 minutes consultation with me and finally get control of your habit and cravings.