Thursday, August 7, 2008

Changing the Way You Think to Help Stop Smoking

It is important to change the way you think about cigarettes. I find it sad when individuals have quit for many years but are still thinking and wanting a cigarette. wouldn't it be nice for smoking to just be a non issue in your life!
The following five steps will help you work through your compulsion to smoke, not only during withdrawals but any time in the future. When a craving comes over you, begin your thinking with what is happening to you

1. Right now I am having a desire to smoke.
When the desire comes up, face it. It is going to come over you whether you like it or not. It is unrealistic that after smoking for so many years that you will never have another thought about a cigarette. The desire is normal. You do not need to be afraid of it, hide from it, get rid of it, or pretend it isn’t there. It is not bigger than you. It cannot hurt you. Let it run its course. Cravings only last for a short while. You can be certain that as long as you do not give into your craving, the desire to smoke will inevitably diminish, becoming less frequent and less intense until most of the time you feel like a non-smoker. Remember that even though you may want a cigarette, you do not want to get sick from smoking or go on smoking for the rest of your life.

2. I can smoke at any time, I am not deprived.
Nobody is taking your cigarettes away from you. You do not have to give up smoking for good. Even if you quit, you can go back to smoking at any time that you choose. However, you can never go back to being a happy smoker again.

3. I am a puff away from a pack a day.
Do not trick yourself into thinking that you can have one puff when the going gets difficult. Using your drug to get through withdrawals from your drug does not make sense. One puff will always call for another puff and sooner or later, you will go back to smoking the same number of cigarettes that you smoked before.

4. Right now I have a choice to make for myself. Either I give in to this temporary discomfort and go back to the constant misery of smoking OR I can accept this temporary discomfort and work through it for these benefits….
Then review your “Reasons for Quitting” wallet card that you have been carrying in your cigarette pack. One way to make sure these are important reasons for stopping is to ask yourself whether you are willing to accept the temporary discomfort of going through withdrawal for your reasons. There are only two choices, so make your choice.

5. At this moment, I willingly accept the temporary discomfort because I want….
Then fill in what it is that you want from quitting. Always end your thinking with at least three major benefits.

When you have a craving, do not let it make a fool of you. Use these thought processes and your reasons card every time that the desire comes up.

Do not whine and complain because you cannot have it both ways. You cannot smoke without consequences. If you do not stop, you will die smoking. There is always a price to pay. You can succumb to your desire to get temporary relief from stress or you can work through it for long term happiness, health and freedom. You must choose between temporary discomfort and ongoing misery.

Use these steps to face your compulsion to smoke and train your mind to work in a new way, instead of automatically giving in to your desire, like Pavlov’s dog.

Breaking your connection to cigarettes takes time and it is easy to become discouraged, so focus on what you are trying to accomplish such as good health, peace of mind, self-respect and freedom from fear and slavery. You are doing something wonderful for yourself and when you succeed, you will be grateful for the rest of your life.

1 comment:

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