Congratulations! You’ve taken the first step towards quitting. Do mention in the comments section, the number of times you’ve tried quitting before.
We’ve all been there, right? We’ve tried time and again to say no to the smokes. We’ve made enough New Year’s resolutions that bear no meaning anymore. But it has always been a simple “Ah! What the hell!” in the end right?
Hi-5! If you’ve if you’ve carried on through after seeing loads of articles on the perils of smoking like this. My favorite was this info-graphic from CDC. Almost all the vital organs fall victim to smoking side effects, going by it.
The fact is all those facts don’t make us quit. They become mere ‘one-word answers’ we learn by heart for exams. They offer a soft challenge for us that we like to face. There’s always something we have to say to the warnings right? Do you agree with the poster below?
But even so, there is a small thought lurking around, asking you to quit. And now it looks like you’ve caught hold of it. I hope this article serves to tighten your grip on that thought.
Allow me to take up a few seconds in explaining to you why cigarettes are addictive. It is something you should know now, if not already.
Why cigarettes are addictive!
We all know it is the nicotine in the cigarette that’s the cause of the addiction. Observe what this article in ashtray-blog by ecigarettedirect.com has to say. It is alarming that the same amount of nicotine if injected can cause immediate effects. Needless to say, more volume would kill you.
Even yet, it is very addictive. The core process that makes it addictive is the adrenaline rush it triggers. Within 10 seconds of reaching the bloodstream, it is able to achieve that.
Smokers become chain smokers because of the tolerance they build to this effect. As days progress, only increased number of cigarettes will bring about the effect.
It’s worth noting that manufacturers add chemicals that increase addiction. Look at this post by cinj.org !
The government for its part increases the tax on it. We are actually cheated into burning a whole into our wallets. What better reason to call it quits?
I’m going to help you take up his strategy and liberate yourself from the clutches of the smoke.
There are two parts to tackling the menace –
Mental prep and
The mental prep involves tackling the core process that will quash the addiction. The physical prep lists out an action plan to steady yourself.
Mental prep involves 5 steps. I’m going to go through them one by one, as should you.
1. Question your subconscious:
Try this: Ask yourself the following questions and list out the answers in a mail to me.
a) Why do you smoke?
b) What makes you fearful of quitting? and
c) You wish you had something without having to smoke. What would it be?
Talk to your subconscious and bring out the instinctive answers. Keep up your intent on wanting to quit. In the next step, we will talk about the possible answers.
2. Understand the illusion:
Why was it that you started smoking?
It could be one of these:
Stylish, sophisticated, cool, more mature personality for a smoker – Is it so? Thanks to the agenda of the early manufacturers, this false value has caught on. No self-help coach or book on personality development will ask you to grab a smoke! It is high time you took the war against a long-standing marketing jibe. Think of how somebody is making money out of you. You’re a poor victim!
After looking at peers who started smoking. It’s the easiest means for the venom to creep in. But think about it, you cannot blame the others or yourself for it. You had to feel as mature or stylish as them. What you have to do now is to dissociate the ‘glam’ con game surrounding the cigarette.
Curiosity kills the cat. Smoking almost makes this proverb sound like a pun. You were curious, so you tried it once. But what is the reason for you to continue?
Whatever the reason you adopted a cigarette, start thinking about its pointlessness.
3. Identify the triggers:
This step involves the answers to the question “What makes you fear to quit?” It could be:
1. Losing touch with friends:
Weird, but true in most cases. Most early smokers believe they won’t be able to socialize with friends anymore. It’s a belief that stems from a silly thought. A false notion that one has to keep away from smokers to stop smoking. You’ve got to understand that with strong will this can be overridden. Nobody is going to force you to smoke!
Do you fear the anxiety attack that follows abstinence from smoking? You’ve always depended on a cigarette to keep your calm under certain situations. What would you do without it! It’s simple. You wouldn’t have had an anxiety effect if you weren’t smoking in the first place! You have developed a desire for smoking in this fashion. There are many ways to deal with any particular situation. Sitting and smoking is not the perfect strategy!
A cigarette has always been your friend in need. Now you won’t have anything to keep your loneliness at bay. What you need to understand is that smoking itself could be the cause of depression. Look at this article with published results of research. There are ample ways to stay happy in life. Start pursuing them.
In this manner, whatever your fears, it’s a ploy nicotine has created in you! Understand that and move on!
4. Untie yourself from the rewards:
What was that one thing you would rather have always? Instead of having to smoke for it? It could be:
Yes, smoking gives you a feeling of relaxation. You have been controlling the pleasure of nicotine, making you crave for it. The feeling of relaxation only comes from the satisfaction of fulfilling that craving. Stop creating a false need and a reward for that.
You find that strong coffee with cigarettes boosts your concentration. True! But this is actually because you were being distracted by the urge to smoke. Once you’ve satisfied that need, you seem more focused. Again, this is a false need – false reward paradox.
3. A feeling of joy:
You smoke to kill boredom. A smoke with friends in the midst of a boring day is one of the life’s pleasures. Well, so is a bucket of fried chicken shared with a friend! Don’t give way to this prime trigger. Find better joys in life.
This way identify and untie yourself from the false need – false reward system.
5. Change your view on quitting:
Many of them feel they are sacrificing something by saying no to a cigarette. This sort of feeling is not going to help you cope up with the withdrawal symptoms of smoking. Thinking of it as sacrificing your right to smoke will lead you to smoke again. Think about it as liberating yourself from the evil that it is. When you consider it in depth, it is actually correct. You are actually a victim to an ancient marketing ploy. Free yourself!
Here is a list of physical actions you have to undertake to supplement your motive.
1. Refrain from substitutes: Don’t fall for other substitutes like e-cigarettes, filters etc. Don’t even think about gradual reduction. By pursuing alternatives, you are still feeding your triggers.
2. Identify the triggers: Expose yourself to all dangerous situations where you’d rather smoke. Identify the triggers that cause you to want to smoke. List them out.
3. Find alternatives: Find all the alternatives you can to please those triggers. For example, you listen to a song and regain the focus you need to work. You would’ve otherwise been smoking to regain focus.
4. Keep practicing: Keep practicing with the alternatives you found out. But be mindful of it being another substitute to smoking. In time, you wouldn’t even think of smoking.
Definitely, you, like millions of others, have the potential to free yourself. Don’t fall into the trap of believing that quitting is impossible. It’s a matter of mental overriding. Train yourself to liberate you. Live healthily!
Are you one of those who quit? Do you have any other suggestions to stop smoking? Have a success story you wish to share? Do comment below with your views.
Share it with your friends through word or link. Good luck!