Is it finally time to kick that bad habit? Get into the right mindset with these important tips.
It’s that time of the year again! The advent of a new year brings the potential for new beginnings. With 2019 drawing to a close, it’s time for you to take a step back and take stock of your life.
Are you where you need to be? Are you making the best decisions for your physical and mental well-being?
Maybe you’re thinking that 2020 is the time to make a change. It may be your best year yet, but there are a few decisions you have to make first. Some people may resolve to eat better or get more exercise. But if you’re a smoker, you may have struggled with quitting a life-long habit.
If you quit smoking, your health and overall quality of life would improve. You also have to think of all the money you’d save if you weren’t buying cigarettes. What would you do with that new lease on life and the extra income? The possibilities are endless.
Before you jump into the quitting aspect, though, there are a few things you should know. Get into the right mindset to escape your addiction in a surprisingly easy way.
Are you ready to discover a very different approach to quitting smoking? If you are, here are a few tips that can help you:
#1 – You Have to Retrain Your Mind to That of a Non-Smoker
How long have you smoked? A few decades? Your entire life?
That’s close to a lifetime of a smoker’s mindset. To truly quit smoking, you need to retrain your mind. If you think about it, most other methods help people stop smoking for a bit. But it’s only for a period of time. It usually doesn’t stop smoking forever, though, because those methods depend on willpower.
With these other methods you need to keep using willpower to deal with the cravings because the brain still generates them. For example, let’s say that you’ve trained your brain to have a cigarette with your morning coffee. Each morning, you’ll wake up craving that cigarette when you have a coffee until you retrain your mind to not generate a craving.
It may be that you take “smoke breaks” to relax at work. Can you relax without a cigarette in your hand? Absolutely! But until you retrain your brain to not generate a craving, it won’t know how to relax without that cigarette.
It makes sense, doesn’t it?
It took you a while to train your mind to automatically generate cravings. You did certain things or had certain rituals that included smoking. That training doesn’t go away when you stop buying cigarettes, so you have to take an active role in retraining your mind back to its non-smoker status.
#2 – You Don’t Need Chemicals, Patches, Gums, or Sprays
How many times have you tried medications or patches and gums to quit? If it does work, it doesn’t work for long, does it?
That’s because methods like gum and patches don’t actually address the true addiction behind smoking. Replacement therapy is okay if your only issue is nicotine. But it’s not. And these methods don’t address the totality of the problems that come with mental cravings.
Even if nicotine leaves your body, you can still have mental cravings for decades after you quit. Some people may resist those cravings up to years at a time. But all it takes is an emotional event or shock to lower your defences. And the next thing you know, you’re responding to the mental cravings and smoking again.
Plenty of people try alternative quit smoking methods and wonder why it doesn’t stick. This is why it doesn’t last.
One of our clients named Judy came to True Quit after smoking for over 40 years. She tried other methods, but they never worked for more than a couple of weeks. When she came across the True Quit intro video, it impressed her because the method didn’t rely on replacers. There are no chemicals, patches, gums, or sprays in this method.
Judy knew that these other methods didn’t work for her, so she was open to trying something new. And nowadays, she’s at three years as a non-smoker and still going strong.
#3 – You Need to Educate Yourself Before You Start
Before you begin your journey to quit smoking you need some education. This period of education helps you learn all about physical and mental cravings. You need to know what they are and how they are generated.
You also need to learn about the four stages of the mental process. This educational process will give you the tools to truly understand your addiction, how you formed it, and how to get rid of it. When you have enough knowledge, you’ll also realise why those other methods you tried didn’t work.
Other methods, whether it’s nicotine replacement or some messaging program, don’t work because they don’t deal with the mental cravings. When you ignore the mental craving aspect of smoking, you’re setting yourself up for a constant argument. You’ll use willpower to resist the cravings. It’s a constant argument in your head while your brain tries to convince you of the need, and you argue for a delay.
However, True Quit doesn’t rely on willpower to work. And once you educate yourself, you’ll understand why that wouldn’t work in the long run anyway.
#4 – You Don’t Have to Change Your Life to Quit
Have you ever told yourself you were going to quit as soon as you’re in a position to make changes in your life?
People think that quitting smoking requires a big lifestyle change, but that simply isn’t true. You don’t need to request holiday time from work or wait till you feel less stressed.
Quitting smoking is not about external things and actions, that’s why you don’t have to change your life to quit. It’s all about what’s going on in your mind. You just need to learn the technique that eliminates the craving and repeat this until it becomes a reflex. So you can learn this skill without disrupting your life.
The only change you’ll have in your life may be the extra money in your bank account when you stop buying cigarettes. You may have to think about what to do with the money you’re saving by quitting smoking.
However, if you have certain rituals that you like to do with a cigarette. You can still do them without the smoking part. Sit on your front porch with a cup of coffee in the morning or go into the courtyard for an afternoon break.
All these behaviours can still happen. In fact, you don’t need to steer clear of your smoker friends for fear of temptation either. True Quit works on the mental cravings in your brain. When you eliminate the craving, it’s not a matter of “resistance” because you won’t feel the temptation in the first place.
#5 – Understand That Cravings Control Your Addiction
A habit is a regular behaviour that’s out of control. In the case of smoking, the act of smoking is the behaviour, but what is making this behaviour “out of control”?
With every addiction, there is something that’s making the behaviour out of control. That something is the cravings. It’s really as simple as that. Imagine that you had a magic wand. If you could wave a magic wand and from this point forward you had no further cravings, would it be easier or harder to quit?
It’s easier because there’s nothing to resist, right?
If there were no cravings in your mind or your body, there’d be nothing to resist and nothing pushing you to smoke. Likewise, if there’s nothing to resist then you don’t need to rely on willpower. Everything becomes a free choice.
So, when we say, “habit is making me smoke”, that’s not really the complete story. It’s really the cravings that are creating the habit.
#6 – You Have to Focus on Mental Cravings Just as Much as the Physical Ones
Many people try nicotine replacement methods with very little success. At best, they may have a 12% success rate. Why so low?
It’s because of the methodology behind the treatment. Nicotine treatments like patches, lozenges, and gums give you a different delivery method for the nicotine. The idea is that you gradually wean yourself off the replacement and you won’t need nicotine anymore.
That’s true in that your body may not need nicotine anymore. But the replacement method doesn’t address the mental cravings that happen with smoking. It only addresses the physical ones.
So, you may not have any more nicotine in your body, but that doesn’t quiet the urges going on in your mind. Consequently, you’re in a constant struggle and use willpower to delay the taking action on the cravings for as long as you can.
However, if you use a program that addresses both the physical and mental aspects of cravings, you can say goodbye to smoking for good… without willpower!
Get Ready for a New Smoke-Free You
With the new year here, it’s time to get some perspective on where you’ve been and where you’re headed. You’ve given smoking years of your life and it’s likely to take a few years off your life in return.
Enough is enough. It’s time to start living for you, and not for the next time you need to light up. Let this year be the year that you quit smoking for good.
If you’re ready to start off the new year right, True Quit can help.