Steps To Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
If I could wave a magic wand over you and instantly stop you iiom smoking, for how long would you want to be smoke-free? A day, a week, a year? When asked this question, most clients say they want to be smoke-free forever. They never want to touch another cigarette again. I have never had a client say they would like to stop smoking for three years and start again. In fact, most people I talk to say they wish they had never started.
Around five years ago, I worked with a high-profile public figure: we'll call her Jenny to protect her identity. Jenny had been smoking for more than 25 years and claimed she had tried every method known to mankind to stop. The longest Jenny claimed to have stopped smoking for was four months. She had lost count of the number of times she had stopped for three days: the first two days seemed OK, but after that Jenny would lose it and light up that one cigarette that would ruin her best intentions.
Escape was easy, Jenny explained, but staying free was what had eluded her all these years. Jenny also told me that she had read somewhere that it takes on average seven attempts to finally quit. "If that is the case, I am so ready to stop it is not funny" Jenny stated. Steps To Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
In the end, Jenny said she would not even bother to throw out her cigarettes each time she stopped because she knew she would not be able to last more than a few days. 'I know how bad it is for me. I know I'm poisoning myself and it makes me feel weak that I can't stop,' said Jenny, sounding overwhelmed.
I asked myself what it was that Jenny needed to know that would allow her to make the greatest possible change and become smoke-free. How could we disconnect all the triggers and associations that had been reinforced thousands of times? What would motivate her to stay smoke-free and never touch another cigarette? What decision did Jenny need to make that would allow her to break free from the nicotine prison after so many failed attempts? What action would then be needed to follow through to bring about the desired outcome?
What she needed was strong motivation followed by massive action. I asked Jenny to write me a list of all the things she didn't like about cigarettes. Here is part of the list Jenny came up with:
- Running out of puff from just walking up a flight of steps.
- Constant colds, and bronchitis that is hard to kick.
- Excessive coughing and phlegm.
- Ashtray taste in the mouth.
- Ageing skin and wrinkles around my mouth.
- Smoking to stay slim with the fear of putting on weight ff I stop.
- Nicotine-stained fingers.
- Racing out late at night like a drug addict to buy cigarettes.
- Not being able to taste or smell things like flowers or meals very well.
- Yellowing teeth.
- Having to hide when smoking.
- Fear and anxiety over ending up with a serious illness.
Now that I knew what Jenny didn't want, I needed to find out what she did want. Steps To Quit Smoking Cold Turkey
Here's the thing: some people are motivated by what is known as 'away from' or 'negative' motivations. These are all the things you don't want. Other people are motivated by 'toward' or 'positive' motivations. Ask yourself: What do you want? What is the positive outcome you are seeking? And then there is a third group of people who are motivated by a mix of both negative and positive motivations. As your mind coach, I would normally ask you a series of questions and then customise the session and language used in a way that fits in with your exact needs and your model of the world.
In the future blog posts, I will use a mix of techniques – both negative and positive in motivation – that will, somewhere along the way, start to make sense to you. At some point, the penny will drop. Some parts may make more sense to you than other parts. Certain elements of what you read and learn will click with you. When you come across things that do not relate to you, feel free to discard those bits of information as you take on board the elements that make the most sense.
I used to be a chain smoker. However, I'm proud to say I've ditched my cigarettes for good. I used my personal method to break free from tobacco, by smoking electronic cigarette. You can find out more about it and maybe, you'll be free within days!