Smoking Series: Stoptober
Stoptober is on its way which means smokers up and down the UK will be challenging themselves to give up cigarettes for the month of October. So what is the key to quitting for good? For some people it can seem an impossible feat after years of being ruled by nicotine addiction but it is not impossible, it is very much achievable and you don’t have to go cold turkey.
There are many different relationships people have with cigarettes. Whether there is an emotional connection relating to a past event or situation or just a habit formed over time. There is no one way that will be right for everyone when they take the plunge and decide it is time to stop smoking.
The Cognitive Hypnotherapy approach to smoking cessation doesn’t have just one method for all clients. People’s reasons for smoking vary so much that it would be inappropriate to try to work with them all in the same way. It is important to delve into past connections and situations to establish whether they led to the addiction in order to establish the most appropriate route to lasting success as a non-smoker.
In the meantime, if you are considering giving up for good, firstly, congratulations!! Secondly, here are some points to get you started:
Make a list of all the motivations behind you quitting smoking. Why do you want to quit? Why is now the time that you’ve chosen to quit? What about your friends and family, are they part of your decision? Maybe it’s your health or your appearance that you want to protect and repair?
There is never a ‘perfect time’ to quit smoking, but a top tip to making sure it’s permanent is to create a ritual around the decision. Declaring the decision and the reasons behind the decision whilst taking the time to find all paraphernalia around your home, cigarettes, lighters, cigarette papers, filter tips and actively throwing each component into a bin can mark a significant final moment to refer back to when struggling with the process.
Think about scenarios or people that you might struggle to be around during the difficult first few months. Whether it’s making sure you are not going to the pub with all of your smoking friends or making new office buddies who don’t need to pop out for cigarette breaks. Cutting yourself off (only temporarily!) from temptations can make it much easier to stick to your goal. This doesn’t need to mean becoming a social hermit for the rest of your life, but being sensible in the first, most difficult, months in who you surround yourself with. The bigger support network you can build, the better.
We often connect habits to routine reminders, such as walking past a specific shop in which we buy our cigarettes on our way to work or sitting in a beer garden with an ice cold pint with a cigarette in our hand. One of the easiest ways to reduce a craving is to change your environment. Try changing up your route to work to avoid walking past your usual shop or sitting inside the pub rather than the garden. Something as simple as changing the drink we have in the morning that we connect to our first cigarette of the day can reduce cravings. Try switching out the coffee and cigarette you have at breakfast to a cup of tea. You’ll notice that the craving dissipates with the change in routine.
Get in touch to find out more about how working with me could mean the end to your relationship with cigarettes and set you on a healthier and wealthier path post smoking.