I was a passenger in a car with a women who had given up smoking a few times in her life. The stress of dealing with an ill son had brought her back to her “best friends” even though she knew they were killing her. She complained of loss of breath while walking even small distances, and this is a slightly built petite woman we are speaking of here. She spoke of the coughing that was problematic at times, and most of all she hates the stench from it.
She asked me more about the work that I did in hypnosis and was inquiring what was involved in having me help her to stop smoking. She may be interested in having me to do the work with her. But, you know what? She didn’t ask me to do the work with her. Instead she put down the cigarettes with the thoughts of what she wanted to gain from stopping this disgusting habit all on her own. She wants to be able to work out, go to yoga, walk around this beautiful area we live in without loss of breath. She wants to know her lungs are clear as they were the last time she stopped smoking a few years ago. She doesn’t want to have the stench on her anymore. And, the savings from not purchasing them would be an added benefit.
I only learned that she had put the cigarettes down because I had called to thank her for giving me a very funny and useful sales DVD by Jim Rohn, one of the masters of sales training and motivational speaking. It was during this conversation that she gave me her method for stopping smoking.
This is the truth. Only about 5% of the people out there who smoke need help stopping. The grand majority do exactly as this woman did. They first make the decision to stop smoking. They next make the decision that they needn’t use any of the harmful and almost useless substances out there that are supposed to help you stop smoking – most of the time they are great failures – from the Zyban, which is really the antidepressant Wellbutrin, to that nasty nightmare creating Chantix, to the patches, to the awful tasting gum and please stay away from those horrid e-cigarettes. I have written other weblogs on here about the many dangers of those things.
I can tell you quite honestly that of all the clients that I have helped stop smoking over the 13 years I have been in practice, only two of them were what I would consider physically addicted to their cigarettes. For all the other ones, it was just a matter of a trigger response mechanism.
If you want to stop and not replace the smoking with another harmful habit like over eating, hey, the arm action is pretty close, right? You need to come up with something else that you can do for all the triggers there are to your smoking. A glass of water is a good one, as is tapping on your steering wheel if you are driving. There are so many creative ways to occupy yourself that one needn’t fall back on other self-destructive habits when stopping to smoke. A simple deep breath of fresh air could take care of most of the triggers.
The best way to come up with something that will work well for you is to put yourself into a relaxed state. If you meditate or know how to do self-hypnosis, both of these will work. While there in that state, imagine the trigger to your smoking and then in your own mind, see yourself cutting that connection between your trigger and the cigarette. Once that is done, think of something else you can do that is healthy and last the same amount of time it takes to smoke a cigarette – a couple of minutes maximum. Try a few things and see what works the best. Your unconscious mind will let you know. Then go ahead and replace your smoking with that new behavior. Do this for every trigger to your smoking.This is important because whenever we take out an old behavior we need to replace it with a new one.
My new friend didn’t need to deal with all her triggers. She simply made the decision knowing that she was able to stop in the past. Its only been a few days now, and that is okay. Because it all starts with the first day of not smoking, right?
Good luck with putting these strategies into place to get fresh air back into your lungs, allowing your lungs to clear all the dirt out, allowing you to come back to health again. Everything is better when you can move around without getting out of breath, when you no longer turn people off with the cigarette stench and when if you are a closet smokier as this woman admitted to be – you can be honest with your loved ones about truly not being a smoker. Imagine what you will do with the couple to a few thousand dollars you will save no longer subsidizing your state with the huge tax on those cancer sticks.
Quit Smoking Now!
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