You may have heard this before: “Giving up cigarettes is harder than giving up heroin.” Kind of a scary thought, isn’t it? Except it’s not true. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but it is no Herculean task either. Many people have done it. You may have heard stories from people who have tried before, struggled and failed. Some never try because they believe it is too difficult. However, a lot of the challenges of quitting can be eliminated if you have the right mindset to make the commitment and right strategy to make it simple. This is why more people are successfully becoming smoke free by turning to hypnosis. Listen to the ones who quit and tossed cigarettes out their life forever! Many of them did it through hypnosis. Hypnosis is the safest and most natural way to quit smoking and it is also incredibly effective.
Learn how to cope with triggers, detoxing symptoms, and slip-ups in this complete guide. We’ll go over what’s triggering your urge to smoke, how to manage your cravings, and more.
1. Identify What Triggers You
Trying to quit smoking can be extremely challenging, especially if you have triggers. The best thing you can do is maintain focus of your objective: to live a healthier lifestyle. This will be easier if you know the challenges you’ll face when you say goodbye to cigarettes.
The first step is identifying your trigger. This is the thing that makes you want to pick up a cigarette. Triggers can be anything from becoming bored in long car rides to stressful days at work. This is also where you begin to get real with yourself. Common triggers are:
- Emotional. This includes stress, anxiety, boredom, excitement, among other feelings.
- Pattern. Think about your daily routine and how you incorporate smoking into it (while watching tv, after eating, before bed, etc.).
- Social. Going to parties, being around friends who smoke, or social events may be the compelling temptations.
- Sensory Reminders. Smelling cigarette smoke, needing something to do with your hands, mouth, or even just handling matches or lighters are common triggers.
Each one of us reacts differently to triggers, and certain triggers have a greater impact on your urge to smoke. Knowing your triggers might help you manage your cravings and reduce your chances of smoking.
2. Manage Your Desire to Smoke
It’s unlikely that you’ll be able to steer clear of triggers. When an urge arises, it’s critical to have a strategy in place to combat the urge to smoke.
Cravings can be frustrating, but they don’t last long, that is unless you focus your mind on the craving or cigarette in which case, you are re-triggering the craving into a loop . A strategy that can help you get through them is this: When the craving strikes, change location and change activity. The change of physiology and environment resets your brain. Put your attention on something better like exercise, watching a movie with family, engaging in a hobby or household tasks. Do not let that cigarette start negotiating with you! That only makes the craving stronger. Let another activity that requires your focus and doesn’t involve smoking override the voice of that nagging cigarette.
Because your habits are in your subconscious mind and work on a kind of auto-pilot, you want to clear that mental and emotional programming. You will need to learn different attitudes, references and responses to that cigarette. Many happy ex-smokers have found their success in hypnosis-based programs. How do these programs work? In hypnosis you will be able to access the subconscious mind where the habit of smoking has been installed. The desire to smoke is in your mind, not your body. (There is no actual part of your body that smokes.) Because you have decided to quit you want to release internal conflicts about it. This is why you do not want to go any further in your self talk than to remind yourself, “I don’t smoke.” And then take action to do and think about something else. Dismiss the internal dialogue of why you want to but shouldn’t. Once you begin the internal argument, you allowing yourself to be convinced to smoke. The people who suffer the most while trying to quit are the ones who think about it the most. The internal tug-of-war is where that cigarette chips away at your resolve. That cigarette is a con artist trying to state its case it when you already know that it plans to harm you. Remember: This is your decision. A single decision. You do not need to reconsider it. You don’t need to think about it. You just don’t smoke.
3. Know What To Expect
Belief + Expectation = Results. People who expect quitting cigarettes to be difficult will often make it much harder than it needs to be.. People who simply decide they no longer smoke and do not entertain excuses or thoughts of “just this one” find it easier than they thought it would be.
The good news is nicotine is completely out of your system after 3 days. Its chemistry is not as compelling as you might think. That doesn’t mean the work is over in 3 days – because the urge to smoke is actually coercion of habit, not a craving for nicotine. The difficulty or ease of quitting has less to do with how much or how long you smoke than it does with the kind of mindset you have before and during the process of releasing yourself from that cigarette.
Contrary to popular belief, giving up smoking is not difficult. What is difficult is to decide. The first step to quitting is to make a single decision that you don’t smoke. If that decision is made, then there is no sense in thinking about it. It is in thinking about smoking that people suffer, and you have decided not to smoke, why think about it? Many people who fail at giving up cigarettes set themselves up for failure by allowing themselves to spend time negotiating in their mind with these cravings. They run through all the reasons why they want to smoke but shouldn’t smoke, and while the craving side of their mind tries to bargain it revs up the craving overwhelming the resolve to be smoke free. “Maybe just this one time.” “It’s OK if someone else gives it to me, I’m still not buying any.” “I’m stressed.” “”It’s a special occasion.” “Maybe I can just cut back and then quit.” The plethora excuses wear away the resolve.
Here is what you may experience when giving up cigarettes:
- You may be feeling irritable‚ on edge‚ or grouchy the first three days. (Seriously, you’ve had a few cranky days before. You can handle it.)
- Having cravings for cigarettes (All cravings only last a few minutes. You can last a few minutes, can’t you?)
- You may have temptations in social situations (A simple “No Thank You” is enough if someone offers. And if you are tempted to “bum” a cigarette from a smoker, remember: You are not a “bum.” Take a deep breath and reinforce your resolve: You don’t smoke.)
- You may start to rationalize why you need a cigarette (No one ever died from lack of a cigarette. Get out of the thinking mind and get back to doing something else.)
- Alcohol and certain emotional states may temporarily cause a slip. (Prepare for it in advance, and if you do slip, just get back on course and stay out of self judgement. Instead of courting your disappointment, re-boot your commitment and sharpen your resolve. Consider what you learned from the experience and see it as just part of the journey of learning to let go.)
Ways to handle these feelings involve knowing what to expect. Every smoker has certain routine cigarettes that they always do, every day, same time and same situation. It could be the first one in the morning, or the one before leaving the house. It may be the one while driving, or talking on the phone, or the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Many like to light up after meals, or just before bed. Ironically, some people reward themselves with a smoke after working out in the gym. These are the cigarettes that keep you stuck in a smoking habit. All the other cigarettes are not so compelling. Each of these routine cigarettes satisfies a specific need. A hypnotist can help you to determine what that need is and work with you to find something else to replace it. Hint: It’s not really about a craving for nicotine. After the first three days you have already rid your body of nicotine. After that the cravings are for the satisfaction of the habit, not an “addiction” to nicotine. These cravings are mental not physical.
4. Tackle Stress
Stress is a part of everyday life. Some people smoke to help deal with the stress, but you already know that nicotine is a stimulant and actually increases a stress response and it doesn’t solve the problem that’s actually stressing you. The reason you feel it is relaxing you is actually that long breath of air and exhale. Try it. Take a breath and exhale slowly. Isn’t that relaxing? And that cigarette has been taking credit for this all along. There are many ways to relieve stress such as:
- Breathe and practice mindfulness
- Decaffeinate and drink plenty of water
- Relax with good music, a book or take time to meditate
- Locate your stress feelings in your body and let go of the tense areas
- Talk and share your feelings
The Benefits of Quitting Smoking
If you’re wondering when the right time to quit smoking is, only you can answer that. Do you really want to quit for your own reasons? Are you really sick and tired of having to run to the store to make sure you have cigarettes for the next day? Are you done with the hassle, stench, burned clothes, social stigma and worry that people can smell it on you? (They can.) If you are really fed up with cigarettes and know you are willing to do whatever it takes to get free, then the time is now. But if you would rather continue playing this precarious game of Russian roulette and want to smoke just a little longer until the time feels right, then you may not be ready to quit. No one can make you. You have to want to quit to make it work.
As soon as you stop smoking, a lot of good things start to happen. Your blood pressure and heart rate return to normal, carbon monoxide levels in your body decrease, air and blood circulation improves. All of these mean you’ll enjoy physical activities more (walking, running, climbing stairs, etc.). Also, by increasing your blood oxygen levels, you’ll help your immune system fight off colds and flues. Being more energized means you are also able to avoid fatigue and headaches. However, before you get to experience these benefits, you need to quit smoking and get through the cravings that come with quitting. You will need to keep in mind that you can’t have just one. It is that one cigarette that ignites the next. There is no such thing as being a non-smoker who has one now and then. When you quit, you have to know that this really is the end of it.
Overcoming the Challenges
The journey of quitting smoking is not entirely without challenges, but you can make it easier to conquer them with this quit smoking program. Constant reminders and old habits will not make this process easy on you. But, the sooner you try to quit, the sooner you start to turn your physical and mental health around. Every ending is a new beginning. Start yours today!