Have you tried everything to quit smoking but can’t quit for good? Smoking aids may help step you off the nicotine, but the mental addiction is even stronger. It’s ingrained in your brain. I know; I have smoked for over 10 years. Until you address the “smoker” inside your head, it will always haunt you.
Nicotine can be out of your body in as little as 3 to 7 days, relieving you of the physical addiction. But your mind has developed neurological patterns that continue to tell you to smoke. It sends signals like… “You just ate….it’s time to smoke” “You’re stressed…pick up a cigarette”…”You’re bored…why not smoke?” You can to train your brain to quit smoking by creating different mental responses.
“See” yourself as a non-smoker
Our behavior is a direct result of our thoughts and beliefs. You’ve thought of yourself as a smoker for years. It’s become part of “who you are”. When you decide you want to quit, you need to be able truly imagine yourself as a non-smoker. Can you do that? Try it right now….visualize yourself as a non-smoker.
What’s it feel like? Can you imagine it? If you can… it’s your first step to long-term success. Our minds will believe anything we tell it. It’s true. The more we repeat something to ourselves, the more we believe it. When you really believe you can be smoke-free…you can! Your subconscious will fall in step and validate the image you’ve established in your mind. It will direct you to non-smoking behaviors. I would definitely recommend checking these “quit smoking affirmations.”
Become deeply emotionally attached to WHY you want to quit smoking
Pain or pleasure are the two catalysts that alter behavior. Pain will push you or pleasure will pull you. Which is it for you? Why do you really want to quit?
- Fear of dying?
- Length of life?
- Quality of life?
- For Your family?
- Increased energy and vitality?
- Tired of the inconvenience or social stigma?
- Hate smelling like an ashtray?
- Worried about it causing wrinkles and making you look older
- Cheaper insurance?
What is really important to you? How will it impact your life?
Write those down. Really think about those…get your emotions involved. Imagine how quitting smoking will make you feel. Imagine how it will enrich your life. Emotions are what drive your behavior. Make those emotions strong enough to override your desire to smoke.
Design mental distractions to get through the urge
Urges only last a few minutes. What could you do to preoccupy your mind for a few minutes? Possibly drink water, chew gum or a straw, take a quick walk, breathe deeply, think about something you’ve got planned, close your eyes, and relax.
Again, visualize yourself doing something different. By repeatedly replacing the behavior (even in your mind) you train your brain to react differently. Pretty soon, your replacement behavior is the natural response instead of reaching for a cigarette. Athletes use this method to achieve peak performance.
Interrupt the internal pattern…let your non-smoker talk
We create neurological patterns in our brain through repetitive thoughts. Observe your thoughts. Catch yourself when you hear yourself say “I need a cigarette.” Start a different internal dialogue and interrupt the old pattern.
Maybe you respond: “So I need to fill my lungs up and damage my health because I feel stressed. How silly is that? I’m stronger than that!” Picture your “self” that wants to quit. Then give it a strong, loud authoritative voice. Challenge the smoker…don’t let it push you around. You know what you really want!
Create a non-smoking “channel” to switch to in your mind
Close your eyes, relax, and take some deep breaths. Then imagine a big screen in front of you. See yourself as a non-smoker and living life smoke-free. Get all your senses involved. See it, hear it, smell it, feel how it feels to be smoke-free…own it!
Envision yourself healthy and active, your family happy….whatever it is for you. Revel in the thought of how it will enhance your life. Embed this scene in your mind and switch to it when you “think” you need a cigarette. This will help you override the urge to pick up a disgusting cigarette and help you quit smoking! Enlist the power of your mind!
Habits are lodged in your subconscious. You can neurologically change the pattern of your brain to quit smoking through repetition and visualization. It can be hard to do on your own.