“I can’t stand that I’m throwing my money away on cigarettes. The smell is awful and embarrassing! But I just can’t quit,” Frannie lamented to me.
Frannie had tried everything to quit on her own—from pills to patches to gum to white knuckling it—but, under stress, she always found herself racing back to her familiar comfort—cigarettes.
By the time she came to me for hypnosis to quit smoking, she was sick and tired of being addicted to what her sister called, “cancer sticks.” And yet, as intelligent as Frannie is—a successful and well sought after financial advisor—she could not seem to make progress with breaking that nasty habit.
If you relate to Frannie’s dilemma, here are 4 things you can do today to kick the habit for good and set yourself free.
- Realize How Your Subconscious Mind Works
Subconsciously, you and I are always moving towards pleasure and away from pain. We can’t change that. It’s the way the brain is wired. The good news is that we can change what we associate pain with and where we perceive pleasure. In other words, as a smoker you associate the cigarettes with pleasure, freedom and relaxation.
But that’s not the truth. In reality, cigarettes don’t bring you pleasure. They cause you pain, either physically with shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue and compromised health and/or psychologically with guilt and shame.
Cigarettes do not give you the perceived freedom they promise you. Rather, they put you in a prison. And though you may associate your cigarettes with relaxation, physiologically they are doing the opposite of relaxing you—causing your heart to beat faster, your blood vessels to constrict and creating tension in your body. Begin to associate the cigarettes with the pain they actually cause, rather than the illusion of pleasure that you are seeking, subconsciously.
2. Write down the reasons you want to quit
You and I never do anything without a motive. Why do you go to work? To contribute, help others, be intellectually stimulated, engage in social interaction and/or to collect a pay check. Your reasons are important because they motivate you to do what you consciously want to do.
Writing down the reasons you are determined to be a nonsmoker will impress those reasons on your subconscious mind and make it easier for you to naturally feel driven to take actions that reinforce your new self-image, as a permanent nonsmoker.
Be as specific as possible. Rather than just writing down, “My health,” include details that your subconscious mind can immediately relate to e.g. “I don’t want to end up like Aunt Sharon, having to drag around oxygen or like Dad with a heart attack at age 54.” Thinking of why you’re determined to quit rather than what you are afraid of will make it easier to move in a new, positive direction.
3. Run Mental Movies that Support Your Goal
Your subconscious mind thinks in pictures. To succeed in creating a new self-image as a permanent non-smoker, begin to create and repeat mental movies of you as the hero or heroin, as a permanent non-smoker. See yourself confident in all situations, especially the ones where you used to “need” to smoke as a crutch.
If you’re someone who wakes up in the morning and fumbles for that first cigarette of the day while pouring your coffee, create a new scenario for yourself, in your mind. Imagine yourself bolting out of bed, energized and happy, looking forward to the day, smelling and feeling clean and confident as a permanent non-smoker.
Imagine yourself breathing easily and fully, moving your body—feeling younger and healthier than you have in a long time. Picture yourself acing that presentation and feeling like a winner because you are now a permanent non-smoker. Visualize your love life ramping up because your confidence is now at an all time high, as a non-smoker. Your mental movies are creating your life story so be conscious and aware of them and adjust your thoughts to achieve the results you want.
4. Change your Behaviors
Create a new routine. Put a glass of water, with Slender Cider, next to your bed, so you can drink it down first thing in the morning for healthy cleansing, alkalizing and energizing.
Set your alarm twenty minutes early and go for a brisk walk or run outside. Bundle up if it’s cold out, or do 50 jumping jacks in the house. Every hour, stop what you are doing and take 3 deep breaths. Deep abdominal breathing is a wonderful way to relax yourself and dissolve physical and mental tension.
You’re subconscious mind is like a computer that runs on programming. Studies show that it takes about 30 days to make or break a habit. The old you is in the habit of reaching for a cigarette.
By realizing how your subconscious mind works, you are going with the flow, instead of against it. Associate pain with the cigarettes, not pleasure, for long term success. To do this, write down the reasons you are determined to no longer be controlled by that nasty habit and make sure all your mental movies and inner dialogue support your conscious decision to live your life as a non-smoker. Finally shift your routines to create new, positive habits.
Congratulations on your decision to live your life healthy, free, as a permanent non-smoker. I’ve seen smokers who had been addicted for 40-50 years, sometimes 4-5 packs a day quit. If they can do it, you can to!
Blessings to you,
P.S. If I can help, let me know. Check out my popular, Think & Quit program, which is based on the stop smoking hypnosis seminar I offered in over 75 hospitals, since 1990.