As an ex-smoker, I remember all the excuses I came up with as to why I didn’t need to quit and the following always seemed to dominate…
“I enjoy it”
Sure, putting a thin stick of burning paper and leaves in your mouth is no doubt super enjoyable. Breathing in burning smoke and tar once an hour is great fun, up there with dancing to your favourite tune or enjoying a good movie. But wait… It actually isn’t… The minute I put that into context for myself I realised that smoking actually isn’t fun. The act itself is not enjoyable. Sure you might get a short buzz from the nicotine for about 5 seconds but the buzz is far less than a rush of dopamine you get from a short brisk walk or a serotonin boost following a 10 minute meditation session.
Have you ever noticed how your time between cigarettes can increase or decrease depending on how much fun you’re having or how bored and unstimulated you are. If you’re in a group of friends having a really hilarious conversation you are probably not thinking “I wish I wasn’t here, I wish I was outside having a cigarette”. This is because your mind doesn’t have time to be tricked into thinking cigarettes are enjoyable, your mind is already enjoying something far superior. Laughter and friendship.
Now, I understand that life isn’t 24/7 laughter and friendship. There will be times where you’re busy at work feeling stressed or at home alone feeling bored. It’s inevitable. But, within those times in life there will be things you enjoy doing. This is where we need to put our noggins together and think about what we enjoy doing alone. I can’t say what they are for you, but a couple for me would be having a long hot bath, relaxing to an audio book or podcast, the simple act of making a cup of tea and enjoying drinking it.
Little things that we often take for granted can provide us with just the same amount of ‘enjoyment’ as smoking a cigarette and they take the same amount of time. So once we discover what they are, using a little mindfulness, we can start to sneak them into our routines in the place of going for a smoke.
This is just one of the many ways we can retrain our mind’s relationship with cigarettes and beat down the tricks that have been played on our subconscious by the tobacco industry and nicotine.
If you want to learn more and have realised that smoking isn’t all that fun anymoreand you want to quit, get in touch on firstname.lastname@example.org to see how I can help you make that change.
For more information visit: http://lsw-london.com/smokingcessation.html