It is no surprise that being a fitness and health blog, we occasionally talk about the topic of smoking. Admittedly none of us writers have ever had a serious issue with smoking, so instead we scoured the internet for information on this topic. Fortunately for us, we found one of the more reliable and reputable articles and got permission to simplify and publish it. Yay!
One: Three Deep Breaths
When people smoke, more than half of what they breathe is fresh air – pulled through the cigarette right down into the lungs. So if you feel any cravings you can instantly overcome them by taking three deeper breaths. Imagine breathing from that space just below your belly button. Whenever you do this you put more oxygen into your bloodstream. This means you can use deep breaths to change the way you feel instantly and give you power over the way you feel and help you let go of those old cravings and thus making it easier to stop smoking.
Two: Write It Down
Next, think now of all the reasons you don’t like smoking, the reasons that it’s bad and the reasons you want to stop smoking. Write down the key words on a piece of paper. For example, you experience breathlessness, it’s dirty, filthy and your clothes smell, your friends and family are concerned and it’s expensive, unsociable and so on. Then, on the other side of the paper, write down all the reasons why you’ll feel good when you’ve succeeded in stopping. You’ll feel healthier, you’ll feel in control of yourself, your senses are enhanced, your hair and clothes will smell fresher and so on. Whenever you need to, look at that piece of paper.
Three: Programme Your Disgust
I want you recall four times when you thought to yourself “I’ve gotta quit”, or that you felt disgusted about smoking. Maybe you just felt really unhealthy, or your doctor told you in a particular tone of voice ‘You’ve got to quit’ or somebody you know was badly affected by smoking. Take a moment now to come up with four different times that you felt that you have to quit or were disgusted by smoking.
Have a think to yourself about the consequences of you not stopping smoking now, if you just carry on and on. Imagine it, what will happen if you carry on smoking. What are the consequences? Imagine yourself in 6 months’ time, a years’ time, even 5 years’ time if you do not stop smoking now. Think of all the detrimental effects of not stopping right now and how a simple decision you make today can make such an impact on your future.
Next, imagine how much better is your life going to be when you stop smoking. Really imagine it’s months from now and you successfully stopped. Smoking is a thing of the past, something you used to do. Keep that feeling with you and imagine having it tomorrow, and for the rest of next week. In your mind, imagine stepping in to that non-smoking version of you and feel how it feels to be a non-smoker.
Five: Shake It Up
Your mind is very sensitive to associations, so it’s very important that you have a clear out and remove all tobacco products from your environment. Move some of the furniture in your house and at work. Smokers are accustomed to smoking in certain situations. So, for example, if you used to smoke on the telephone at work move the phone to the other side of the desk. Throw away ashtrays, old lighters and anything that you used to associate with smoking. Make your environment conducive to stopping smoking.
Six: Substitute Your Breaks
Smokers sometimes use their habit to give themselves little breaks during the day. Taking a break is good for you, so carry on taking that time off – but do something different. Walk round the block, have a cup of tea or drink of water, or do some of the techniques on this programme.
In fact, if possible, drink a lot of fruit juice. When you stop smoking the body goes through a big change. The blood sugar levels tend to fall, the digestion is slowed down and your body starts to eject the tar and poisons that have accumulated. Fresh fruit juice contains fructose which restores your blood sugar levels, vitamin C which helps clear out impurities and high levels of water and fibre to keep your digestion going. Also try to eat fruit every day for at least two weeks after you have stopped.
Also when you stop, cut your caffeine intake by half. Nicotine breaks down caffeine so without nicotine a little coffee will have a big effect. Drink 8-10 glasses of water (ideally bottled) to help wash out your system.
Seven: Happy Thoughts
You were used to using cigarettes to signal to your body to release happy chemicals, so next we are going to programme some good feelings into your future. Allow yourself to fully remember now a time when you felt very deep ecstasy, pleasure or bliss, right now. Take a moment to recall it as vividly as possible. Remember that time – see what you saw, hear what you heard and feel how good you felt. Where abouts in your body were those feelings, imagine turning them up and spreading them through your body to make them more intense.
Keep going through the memory, as soon as it finishes, go through it again and again, all the time squeezing your thumb and finger together. In your mind, make those images big and bright, sounds loud and harmonious and feelings strong and intensified. We are making an associational link between the squeeze of your fingers and that good feeling.
Eight: Your Posse Matters!
Get social support. Your commitment to stopping smoking for the rest of your life can be made much easier by talking about it to friends and family and letting them support you. They will congratulate you on doing so well too! You really did stop smoking.
Nine: The STOP Technique
Be aware of making excuses for yourself. Some people talk themselves into smoking, especially if they encounter a stressful situation and in the past they used to deal with it by smoking. If those old thoughts pop into your head, shout the word “STOP” in your head, to stop the thoughts from progressing. Nicotine just stresses your body more and is like that itch that can never be properly scratched; the more you smoke, the more you have to. So say “STOP” and steer clear of old slippery slopes.
Ten: Milestones And Check Points
Reward yourself. Congratulate yourself. Feel how good it feels to stop smoking and be a non-smoker. Treat yourself each time you get past a certain milestone; the first week or first month, the six month target. Let yourself know that you did something really special here. Keep on using your brain, stretching it and helping yourself, by running through these exercises time after time; you are sure to be able to make it easier and easier and successfully stop smoking for good.
Thanks once again to the contributor for permission to edit and publish this article. And also don’t forget that instead of only quitting smoking, it would do you a world of good to have good nutrition and exercise also. If you haven’t already, please subscribe to this blog. And if you really want to ease your way into good health, check out the Granite Fitness Masterclass.
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