01 Oct Stopping Smoking – Much Easier Than You Think
You want to stop smoking. You really do. There are so many reasons why it makes sense to stop smoking, these are just a few:
- The health risks of smoking – particularly cancer and heart disease (there are many more…)
- The cost – smoking is a very expensive business and most of what you spend goes straight to the government in tax
- Social reasons – like having to go outside in the freezing cold and rain just to have a cigarette
- The smell on your clothes and on your breath
- The stains on your fingers and your teeth
- The effect on your skin – smoking rapidly accelerates the ageing process
You know it’s possible to stop smoking, because you personally know people who have successfully given up. If they can do it, so can you.
So what’s stopping you? It’s not lack of willpower. You have all the willpower you need. Think about any skill you have learned in your life. Skills like; learning to drive, or using a computer, or dancing – any skill. Whenever you have mastered a new skill, you’ve overcome challenges and setbacks, you’ve stuck with it. The willpower was there. It’s still there.
If you’re struggling to stop smoking, there’s only one thing you lack – imagination.
When you learned to drive, you didn’t expect it to be easy but you knew it would be worth it. You knew you’d get there sooner or later and, in your head you could picture yourself driving (probably to a particular place in a particular car). You had the imagination to succeed.
You now want to master the art of being a successful, happy non-smoker. You want to enjoy the benefits of feeling healthier, looking better, smelling nicer and being better off financially. The problem is that you still ‘see’ yourself as a smoker and you don’t like it.
Let’s change that. What does it ‘look’ like to be a happy, successful non-smoker? Start to paint the picture. The changes will be noticeable very quickly:
- Healthy complexion
- Stain-free teeth and fingers
- A wallet or purse with more money in it
- A smoother voice
- Increased energy
- Better fitness
- Fresh-smelling clothes
And above all, a great sense of pride and achievement.
So what’s going to happen when you stop? You’ll notice two things; one physical and one mental and you will be able to deal with them both very easily.
Physically, you will experience very slight withdrawal symptoms. Nicotine is addictive, but the effects are mild and very short-lived. You have successfully coped with far worse things in your life. In a few days, the withdrawal symptoms will be gone. Fact.
Mentally, you’ll have a ‘little voice’ in your head moaning and complaining. It’ll be very similar to a child throwing a tantrum. You’ve had this self-same experience every time you’ve done something new in your life. It’s perfectly normal and it’s part of being human. There’s a part of our personality that is designed to be suspicious of change in case there’s danger involved. So, when the little voice starts to complain, it’s important for you to rationalise with yourself as to the very valid reasons as to why you are making this change. Yes, you will feel different, but no, there is no danger involved. It’s far more dangerous not to make the change.
You are now ready to be a happy, successful non-smoker.
Let’s quickly recap as to what to do.
- Confirm with yourself that you really do want to stop smoking.
- Agree with yourself that it is possible – remember, millions and millions of people stop smoking for good every year. If they can do it, you can too.
- Build an inspiring picture in your head of what being a non-smoker will mean to you
- Prepare yourself for a few days of feeling a little different. If you can, embrace the feeling and enjoy it.
- Prepare yourself for the little voice in your head moaning and complaining. Remind yourself of all the reasons why you want to be a non-smoker.
Now go and do it!
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