10 Tips to Help You Stop Smoking
Suggestions to stop smoking.
For many people even the thought of giving up smoking is a daunting prospect. Many more have tried and failed in the past so now believe they are incapable of giving up. They believe they haven’t got the will power or what it takes to quit.
Many of the beliefs about how hard it is to stop smoking are not true!
Much of the information about the best ways to give up smoking are not true!
Nicotine patches are one of the ways the tobacco industry is trying to claw back lost revenue from declining cigarette sales.
Here are some suggestions:
- Decide on why you want to give up. A compelling personal reason will help with motivation. It may be you want to protect your family and loved ones from the dangers of second hand smoke. It may be that you want to look better, younger even. It may be that you want more energy and vitality. Or it may be that you don’t want to suffer a long and painful illness resulting in death!
- Have a clear and positive goal in mind. The thought of leaving your loved ones behind after a slow and painful death can be a powerful motivation towards giving up. However you can’t achieve a negative like not dying. You can only work towards being healthier and lowering the health risks by not smoking. So better health and looking good is a good goal, and it is protecting loved ones at the same time. Moreover you are then doing as much as possible to ensure their future is bright and healthy.
- Choose to quit for yourself. Giving something up because someone else told you to isn’t usually the best way. Hypnotherapy is most effective when you really want to quit. Doing it because you think you should, or because a friend or family member is pushing you may mean you don’t get the results you want.
- Do whatever it takes. There is a very simple formula to success and that is ‘do whatever it takes!’ Commit to however many sessions your therapist recommends, often only 3-4, also actively practice any exercises and assignments you might be given to do at home. None of them are very difficult and will only take up a small amount of time and attention each day. Often a combination of strategies or approaches work best.
- Prepare for success. Make sure you get rid of ashtrays, matches, cigarette lighters and anything else that reminds you of smoking. Spring clean the house. Make sure you thoroughly clean the car and empty ashtrays as even the smell could trigger a craving. And of course get rid of all cigarettes!
- Take healthier breaks. Many people use cigarettes as an excuse to take a break. Many people therefore mistakenly believe that nicotine (a stimulant) helps them to relax. Decide to make more constructive use of your breaks and promote better health at the same time. When you take a break try drinking a full glass of water instead of smoking a cigarette. A cup of tea could be a satisfying replacement (preferably herbal or green tea). Going for a short walk is an even better option.
- Establish a support network. Inform family, friends and work colleagues you are quitting. Ask for their help and support. If any of them are smokers ask them to not light up in your company and not offer you one! Good friends will always encourage you to keep going.
- Quit now! The benefits of quitting are immediate. After only 20 minutes of not smoking your heart rate goes back to normal. Levels of carbon monoxide in your blood fall back into place within a day. In just 2-3 weeks your chances of heart disease and cancer are reduced.
- Stop procrastinating! The longer you put off quitting the more damage you are doing to your system. Set yourself a deadline for not smoking and get in touch as soon as possible.
- A lapse is not a relapse. I have worked with people who have given up for years, then phoned me in tears because they have ‘relapsed’ and become a smoker once again. This is often at a time like Christmas or the New Year when alcohol and parties seem to combine to help people make poor choices. However a lapse is just that. Because you had a cigarette does not make you a smoker once again. You may need to put some effort into staying away from cigarettes for a while but a couple of cigarettes does not mean you have failed!