Giving up smoking is something that many smokers realise they will want to do. Some may want to to it now and others believe they will make a decision in the future to pack up smoking.
Unfortunately the term “giving up” does not help the efforts of a smoker. the words “giving up” implies that in doing so that you will have to “do without” something or that you will be deprived of something that you like or want.
No one likes to be denied something that on some level they have accepted that they need, want or like. “Giving up” has similat connotations to the word “diet”. A diet implies limitations and depriving yourself of something you want or have had in the past.
If you start your good intention to stop smoking with the thought that you are giving up something, psychologically this perception does not help you to stay stopped in fact it may undermine your efforts to quit smoking for good.
A perception of giving up something implies that you continue to think about what you will miss by stopping smoking. It also implies that smoking does something for you in a positive way, which, as a non-smoker you will have to cope without.
Many smokers view smoking as an aid to relaxation and having a chance to de-stress. In reality the nicotine that enters the blood stream, if anything makes you more tense. It doesn’t relax you. What does hel;p to release and relieve any stress and tension is what you do whilst you are smoking.
Most smokers do this when they are smoking:-
1) Step away from the place of stress to smoker (eg. step outside the office)
2) Take deeper breaths in (this is a well-known relaxation method)
3) Daydream about pleasant events (if they are alone) or get things off their chest by cursing something that has upset them.
4) Engage with fellow smokers – a kind of cameraderie that aids the pereception of shared experienes and helps de-stress someone
5) Smoke when drinking alcohol (alcohol provides temporary relaxation)
Smokers make an association between the above ideas and smoking and assume that it must be the cigarette or rollie that helps them to feel chilled or relaxed. In reality it is those other things you do when you smoke that helps you to relax.
Giving Up Smoking – Good News
There is a way of stopping smoking without having the sense of giving up anything. Part of that way is to continue to do those things you used to do when you smoked. So you can still have those 5 minute work breaks and step away for a while. You can still mix with people who smoke and enjoy the cameraderie. You can still enjoy alcohol.
If you use this tactic you will not be giving up anything, you will in fact simply be stopping poisoning yourself. In doing so you will make the task of sticking to your decision to be a non-smoker much easier.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Quit Smoking Hypnotherapist – London and Essex