Thursday, October 2, 2008

Take Positive Steps Toward Quitting Smoking

Quitting is a process where we change our behavior one step at a time. Thsi often starts with a statement such as, "I'm not going to smoke in the house anymore." "I"m not going to smoke in my car." or after we quit, we tell ourselves, "I'm not going to smoke ever again."
But our brains are funny sometimes and the unconscious sometimes doesn't hear the word "NOT" because those kind of statments call for negative action or no action and we are hard wired to action or to do something. Try to NOT do something, it is easier to DO something than not do it.
Now look at those same statements: "I'm going to smoke in the house." "I"m going to smoke in my car." or after we quit, we tell ourselves, "I'm going to smoke." If this is what your brain is hearing, it can sabatoge your success.
So instead, turn your statements into positive, action statements of what you will do, not what you won't do.
"I'm going to smoke outside from now on." "I'll be smoke free in my car." "I choose to be smoke free."
When a craving comes up, instead of fighting against it by saying, "I'm not going to smoke, I'm not going to smoke." State what you will do. "I can go for a walk instead of smoking." "I can change the way i think about smoking." "I can do this."
Focus on what you want instead of what you don't want, what you will do and not what you won't do.

3 comments:

Powell Livia said...

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VJ Sleight, Queen of Quitting said...

An initial quit rate of 44%, still leaves 56% of smokers that it doesn't help--Every method works for some, no method works for evryone. The quit rate that is important is the one year mark, then the quit rates are about the same for the different medications. I believe that we over estimate the power of nicotine when quitting, almost everyone that finishes one of my workshops, has quit regardless of the use of medications or not. However, I believe that we under estimated the power of nicotine with regardless to relapses. When a smoker quits, as soon as most of their "habit" cigarettes have faded, these individuals begin to feel like a "non-smoker" and believe that they will never smoke again. The medications are ended, and the quitter has a false sense of security until events happened that overwhelm the quitters coping techniques, such as intense stress, strong negative emotions, positive social pressure, significant weight gain as well as a host of triggers. The quitter has used cigarettes as a coping technique for these situations in the past and has not yet developed new coping strategies and will fall back to telling themselves, "One won't hurt." Yet we under estimate the powerful addictive nature of nicotine, even years after a smoker has quit. The slip can turn into a relapse within one day, for others a few days, a few weeks, but I can't ever remember meeting anyone who had been a smoker, quit and then be able to go back to only smoke socially without going back to their previous level of smoking.

FrankfurterSausage said...

Absolutely right! The brain makes associations through speech like you say, so the more times you say the word 'smoke' the more times you trigger memories of those glorious cancer sticks. Focusing on what you want will indeed cause the memories to fade, and with it the urge to smoke. Thanks for the useful post