Don’t Be An Ex-Smoker!
Did you know that if you think of yourself as an ex-smoker that you may be undermining your ability to stay stopped permanently? We all know how powerful perceptions can be. If we view some task or goal as being difficult we will probably find it difficult as we procrastinate about it and put off starting it. However we perceive a task or goal as being achievable we are more likely to make an attempt to do it and to therefore to succeed.
The same perception idea can either make our ability to stop smoking easier or harder. So the way you have thought about yourself when you have previously quit smoking may have undermined your ability to stay stopped. If you have thought about yourself as an ex-smoker you may have increased the odds of smoking again whereas being a non-smoker is more likely to support and enhance your decision to stay stopped. There can be a big difference between these two labels and the implications of what they mean to someone who has stopped smoking.
This is a person who has quit smoking but their behaviour and perception is making it increasingly tougher to stick to their goal. The ex-smoker thinks about smoking throughout most of their day. They remember those times in the past when they would have smoked such as when stressed, after a meal, with colleagues during a work-break, with alcohol etc. They day-dream about what it would be like to be smoking now. They use their imagination to see themselves smoking which is only one short step away from smoking for real again.
A person who thinks of themselves as an ex-smoker will be in a never-ending fight with their willpower to stay stopped because smoking is in their thoughts so much. Even when they visit their local retailer they will be scanning the shelves looking for where their old cigarettes are and reminiscing how they used to have that pack. When they leave the shop and if they see a smoker outside they will hang around for a few minutes with the aim of smelling the smoke.
The ex-smoker has taken something that should be firmly in their past, and kept it in their future and current moments. They are having a touch time staying stopped. Indeed it is only a matter of time before they make some excuse to smoke again.
An ex-smoker will tell you that quitting has been like “hell” and yet it is not the nicoine loss that made it difficult for them, it was their way of perceiving what they were doing. They perceived that in stopping smoking they were giving up something and none of us like to be deprived of anything. So the more they handed over their thinking to smoking and imagined themselves doing so, the tougher it became to stay stopped.
On the other hand a non-smoker is a person someone who used to smoke and has stopped too. So at first glance there appears to be no difference there. Yet in making their decision to quit smoking they are now doing something completely different to the ex-smoker. They are now thinking and imagining all the things that they want to do with their life and current time, now and in the future and not what they don’t want to do ie. Smoking! Their thoughts are not about smoking however if smoking does become a conscious thought they remeber how good they feel that they have quit. If they come across a smoker or detect smoke on someone else, they have a great sense of relief that they no longer do that and feel empowered and strong.
They will have been aware of the good benefits of their new life style such as easier breathing, better fitness, more restful sleep, confidence about their appearance, sense of freedom and the worry of serious illness has been diminished. They are proud and pleased with their choice to quit for good.
There is no way they would even entertain the idea of smoking again. If they do see someone else smoking they may well pity them and hope that they will stop smoking whilst they still have the ability to do so. Quitting smoking for them has become one of the proud life achievements akin to getting that promotion, marrying, passing that exam or seeing the birth of their child.
Non-Smoker Versus Ex-Smoker
The person who thinks and acts like an ex-smoker is having a difficult and trying experience. For them smoking is constantly in their conscious thoughts and sooner or later they are likely to return to being a smoker. Whereas the non-smoker is having a pleasant time of it. They know and feel good that they have enhanced their ability of staying being a non-smoker.
Be a Non-Smoker with Hypnosis
Hypnosis helps to reinforce your decision to stop smoking and helps you to change your perceptions away from being a ex-smoker to become a non-smoker and enjoy your decision to be free finally of smoking. These and other changes to your perceptions form part of the comprehensive quit smoking session to help you stick to your decision to stop smoking for life.
Steven Harold BA(Hons) DCH DHP
Quit Smoking Hypnotherapist – London and Essex