Ready to stop smoking? Many people are ready to let go of that old habit, now. Here are some of the orienting thoughts I use to help clients with this transition:
One can quit any time. While some go cold turkey others may tapper off. Either way works. Be flexible.
It helps to have a plan or strategy to quit. Here is one approach:
- Clarify a strong set of reasons to quit (health, inconvenience, cost, unattractiveness).
- Leverage the two drivers: Attraction to pleasure vs avoidance of pain.
- Create an inspiring vision of the future – see self as a healthy, wise, person who used to smoke and is now committed to health and well-being.
- Create a set of negative associations to cigarettes/smoking. Imagine yukky, repulsive images and sensations, in a playful manner.
- Gently intervene. Break the daily pattern:
- Start by taking ten comfortable breaths and while focusing on these breaths, allow yourself to relax and enjoy a moment of peace or tranquility.
- Notice any sensations, good or bad thoughts, feelings, ideas, pictures, and gently let them go.
- Repeat the act of letting go and enjoy even more relaxation, freedom and liberation.
- Gradually invite that inspiring vision of health, well-being, and prosperity.
- Repeat this intervention throughout the day. Perhaps every hour on the hour or whenever an old trigger exposes itself.
- To prepare for this transition: be willing to create lots of momentum, drive, determination, conviction, enthusiasm and playfulness. Commit to muscling through the first four days with sheer will power. Believe in your ability to transform.
- Give allowance to rest, nap, drink lots of water, be active, and have fun.
- Create a supportive environment. Surround yourself with beautiful pictures, sounds, aromas, comfortable clothing, laughter and warmth.
- Create a positive vortex upwards and onwards:
- Commit to taking sensible appropriate actions.
- Choose to notice any positive results, goodness, and beauty.
- Allow these observations to be a motivator to take even more sensible appropriate actions.
- Practice strengthening a commitment.