Some well meaning quit smoking tips offered by various websites, to my mind, can actually prolong the smoking addiction. When we try to be who we are not, there is an added (but invisible) unconscious burden on the person. Take, for example, the “tip” that you tell your loved ones and friends you’re quitting smoking. Your smoking friends are told not to smoke in your presence. At work, you tell your workmates you’re quitting smoking and that you won’t join them on “smoko’s”. So, what happens now, is all eyes are on you to, well, succeed! Instead of benefiting from the support that this well meaning tip is supposed to give you, there is an added layer of stress, not only to overcome the addiction yourself, but to not let others down.
Another quit smoking tip that may have the opposite effect is to throw out all your cigarettes away. I have heard so many people say that just ends up wasting a lot of money. True success is when you don’t even want a cigarette even though it’s freely available around you. The more you throw out cigarettes, the more the unconscious message to yourself is that quitting is hard if cigarettes are around. Of course, cigarettes are around, even if it’s not in your home; you just have to go to the shops.
Some people say smoking is just an addiction of the mind. It’s a habit that’s ingrained into the mind and so becomes an addiction. While I don’t think nicotine is the main culprit, I do not agree with this line of thinking either, at least not as the only explanation of the addiction. The way I look at cigarette addiction (I don’t call it nicotine addiction – and I will explain why shortly) is that it is an addiction of deep inhalation for relaxing and de-stressing plus other individually formed associations that are perceived as desirable. Sure, nicotine is addictive, but the more serious addiction is the mechanism of smoking, not the nicotine.
Let me explain: when you smoke, you take a deep, usually very satisfying inhalation. This is when people feel the “high” of smoking. What if you are actually more addicted to the deep breathing than the chemicals you inhale? To find out if this is true for you, you can follow the following quit smoking tips for two weeks. If you find yourself reducing significantly the number of cigarettes you smoke, or quit altogether, after two weeks, you know that it is true for you.
Tip 1: Before every cigarette you smoke, take 20 long, deep, satisfying breaths.
Tip 2: Tell no one that you’re quitting until they notice you’re no longer smoking.
Tip 3: When you do smoke, only take short, sharp draws, the purpose is to take in the nicotine without the deep breaths. This will make your unconscious mind dissociate from the perceived “pleasure” of smoking (relaxing, etc).
Tip 4: Repeatedly tell yourself (out loud if possible) that you are breathing only fresh air, particularly just before sleep, and visualise yourself enjoying breathing fresh air (as opposed to “not smoking”. This is very important because the unconscious mind cannot do “negative hallucinations” – something NOT being there. If I tell you to NOT think of your first school dance, well, you have to think of it in order not to think of it. So, thinking about breathing only fresh air, how enjoyable it is, becomes a form of self-hypnosis, particularly powerful last thing at night.
Do this for two weeks and see if it helps. Please come back to Mind Renewal and post your comments to share with others. Thank you.