Saturday, January 8, 2011

Quitting smoking is easy – I’ve done it a million times!

Although there is a sense of humor to the title of this article, the sad reality is that for many people who smoke and have tried to quit, it rings very true.

Like any other personal change, if you truly want to stop smoking you will need to find something that will help you in achieving this goal. This is not to say that “cold turkey” is going to automatically fail for you. But having less than a 1% success rate and only after multiple attempts, unless you truly believe and live the motto of “no paid-no gain” cold turkey is not the way to go.

So let’s take a look at why people smoke. Besides being one of the hardest addictions to overcome, smoking is so interwoven into our everyday lives that cigarettes are like best friends. They are there to calm you down when you get stressed and they are there to keep you company during alone time. They travel with you when doing things like taking walks, driving your car and they often accompany you during festive and enjoyable times. They occupy you when your are board and they seem to be a perfect fit after meals. And also go so well with other things that we enjoy such as alcoholic beverages and coffee.

So although the nicotine in cigarettes may act as a reminder that it is time to light up, people simply find it hard to part with cigarettes because they don’t want to sever this friendship, especially when it has been going on for an extended period of time. And we all know how hard it is to say goodbye to a good friend who has always been there to celebrate the good times while comforting us through the hard times.

However, we can’t lose sight of the fact that cigarettes have a dark side to them. I remember a Doctor telling me once, “if cigarettes weren’t bad for me, I’d smoke 3 packs a day.” The bottom line is that although they are so enjoyable, you have to remember that their enjoyment comes at a price, which is your health. And just the same as you would quickly sever a friendship if that friend were causing harm to you and your family, you need to sever the cigarette friendship because it is harming you and the people around you.

The best way to do is to start viewing cigarette for what they really are - a bad habit. When people who come to my hypnosis office in Rhode Island to quit smoking, I have most of them smoke their last cigarette outside my office right before their session. However, I tell them that they MUST hold the cigarette in their opposite hand from which they usually do and they have to hold it between their middle and ring finger. If you smoke, give it a try and see how awkward it feels.

So although they are still getting the nicotine, this last cigarette is not very enjoyable. This is to show them that although cigarettes contain drugs and chemicals, smoking is more of a powerful habit. It also shows them why with such items like the stop smoking patch, gums or stop smoking pills it is still tuff to quit because those items do not fix the mental cravings for cigarettes.

And so, once you decide to sever the friendship with cigarettes your final step is deciding on a way to accomplish this goal. Now, if you truly want to kick the smoking habit for good you need to look for a way to get the thoughts of smoking completely out of your mind, in essence becoming an actual non-smoker, which is what we help people do. After all, what is the only difference between a smoker and a non-smoker? Simply put, a non-smoker doesn’t smoke because they don’t think about smoking.

Positive Change Hypnosis

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