Annette Nay, Ph.D.
Copyright © 2001
There are four issues which must to be addressed when someone tries to give up smoking. If any one of these are left untreated, it can trip the person up and the smoking resumes. The issues are that of physical and mental addiction, emotional dependence, and social acceptance.
First - Physical Addiction
There are several ways to taper off the need for nicotine. Many find relief with the use of nicotine gum, inhaler, or patch.
Another way is to figure out how many cigarettes that are being used now and diminish it by one cigarette per day until you are down to one and then none. To do this, divide the number of cigarettes left each day by the number of minutes you will are awake. This will tell you when you can have another cigarette. Ex: If the waking hours in this day is 14 hours, multiply this by 60 minutes per hour. This equals 840 minutes. Now divide 840 by number of cigarettes for the day. Let's say this is down to 6 cigarettes. Divide 6 into 840. This equals 140 minutes. To change this back to hours. Divide 60 minutes into 140 minutes. This gives 2 hours and 20 minutes left over. This mean that you can have a cigarette every 2 hours and 20 minutes. Of course if you don't feel the need for the cigarette, don't use it.
The way which you choose to withdraw from the effects of nicotine depends on you. Use of the gum, inhaler or the patch does keep the body from the harmful effects of the smoke, tars and other toxic poisons from smoking while you are cutting down.
When the last cigarette is smoked, then get the smoke odor out of your home, clothing, belongings, and your car. Air out your home and car. Launder what you can and use a odor buster like Fabreeze to eliminate smoke on items you cannot launder. Empty out and get rid of the ash trays. Get rid of the cigarette lighters and other accouterments having to do with smoking.
Second - Mental Addiction
The next issue is that of mental addiction. This can be taken care of by changing your subconscious thoughts about smoking.
Click here to see: Reprogramming Your Negative Subconscious Thoughts
When you have reached your subconscious level tell yourself things like:
* Smoking tastes like ___________ (something that makes you sick to eat).
* Smoking smells like ___________ (something that you find totally discussing).
* When you tell yourself these things, see yourself smoking and then think of the nauseating thing, but transfer the revulsion to the taste or smell of the smoke as the case may be. See your self ill because of smoking.
Third - Emotional Dependence
Smoking has become part of everything you do. When you are nervous you reach for a cigarette. When your bored, you smoke. When your tired or hungry, you smoke. When your sad or happy you smoke. Something else has to take the place of the smoking with these activities.
Many people pick up habits which turn into addictions because they have poor or nonexistent coping skills. Use the relaxation exercise when you are angry, tired, or tension-filled to keep you from reaching for another cigarette. Learn other good coping skills when you start getting fixated on smoking.
Click here for: Coping Skills
For at least the first while, keep the coping skills page with you. When you are stressed the urge to smoke becomes overpowering. At this time it becomes difficult to think of new coping skills. It is your habit is to grab a cigarette. Instead of grabbing the cigarette, grab the coping skills page and do something it suggests.`
Forth - Social Acceptance
Smokers hang out with smokers. It is time to switch to the nonsmoking section and to nonsmoking friends. If you continue to be with smokers then the you are opening yourself up for the opportunity to smoke. Smokers form habits that link activities, smells, sights, and people to smoking. To stop smoking, one must break the habitual links that trigger the smoking response. It is like a alcoholic saying that it is all right for him to go with his buddies bar hopping because he just wants to be with his buddies, he is not there to drink. To be with his buddies and be part of the group and its activities, the alcoholic needs to be drinking. To be in a bar puts undue pressure on him to succumb to the temptation to drink. It is the same with the smoker. Do not try to prove how strong you are by sitting in the middle of smoke filled rooms of smokers. Get out and stay out!
Clean up your clothes, your home environment, your act/social activities and friends. Be clean and stay clean!
Fifth - Spiritual Help
So far, every aspect of your life has been covered except your spiritual side. Your relationship with God can be a great strength and help to you as you reorder your life. Pray often that you do not enter into temptation. Read the scriptures. Go to church regularly.
If you can't be at church because of conflict with your job, then do the next best thing. Hold the feeling of church (the Spirit of God) with you throughout your day. If you can get to church do so.
Keep the Spirit of God with your throughout your whole week.
You can do this three ways:
1. Read the scriptures.
Many people feel getting up a little earlier in the morning and reading their scriptures then. They state that it puts their day on the right track.
The scriptures can be read in the odd moments of the day like at the doctor's office, standing in line at the check-out counter, during your break at work, etc. In our world of hurry up and wait you will find lots of time to read if you keep your book with you. You may be thinking, you can't read the scriptures in front of people because you will be embarrassed, or it will make others uneasy. If you are self conscious put a book cover on the scriptures. This is something you need to do for you. So do it. You may start a trend.
2. Know and use God.
Take God down off His pedestal, dust Him off and use Him. Make Him your best friend.
How do you make a friend? Do you talk, share confidences, go for walks together, cook together, cloud-watch to look for shapes, and laugh and cry together?
Do the things that I have suggested above and more. Make your God someone who you can and would want to go to for any reason, just to be near Him, because you have come to love Him so much. So much so that you can't stand to be away from Him.
Note: All prayers do not have to take place on your knees. A pray can be only a thought away. Start your day with an open-ended prayer. Discuss what your goals are for the day and how you will accomplish them. Ask for help to do so, not only in the morning, but all through the day. Just keep talking to Him all day long. Discuss what your doing, just like you would with a close acquaintance. Then before retiring, discuss what went right and wrong during the day. Discuss what can be done tomorrow to make it better. Thank Him for walking with you through your day and helping you.
3. Set goals and achieve them.
Being a better person don't happen by itself. It take planning and persistence. Setting and achieving goals helps you to become a person that you love being with.
See: How to Set Goals And Attain Them
You can also use reprogramming your subconscious mind and positive affirmations to help you reach your goals.
By changing each aspect of your life you can rid yourself of the habit of smoking and any other aspect you dislike about yourself. Take each positive gain to help give you strength to take the next step in becoming the you, you want to be.
Annette Nay, Ph.D.
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