Smoking is a deadly habit, literally as well as mentally, physically and emotionally. First, let’s look at what it takes away from you, which is your confidence, your happiness and your self-esteem. And what does it give you in return? The answer is absolutely nothing. I have heard that smoking is more addictive and harder to stop taking than cocaine, but I don’t believe that’s true (having given up both myself). I think this habit is all down to understanding, then changing your mindset.
We all know that smoking affects our health, wastes our money and traps us in a form of slavery – we know all this and yet all the while, we continue to smoke.
So let's get a few things straight... We think smoking calms us, relaxes us, relieves stress or boredom. And yet the truth is none of these beliefs are true. Smoking does not calm you down because it is actually quite stressful. You have to get your cigarettes, get your lighter, go outside, stand on the street, breathe tobacco into your lungs, knowing that non-smokers are looking at you, scratching their heads and wondering why? And then you come back inside stinking of smoke and hating yourself.
If that’s not stressful enough from a mental point of view, how about the physical one? That's where tension and anxiety build up because straight away after you have put out the cigarette, the nicotine – which reaches the brain in eight seconds and causes the chemical release of dopamine (that causes feelings of pleasure and relaxation) – drops and so the body craves the hit again and again. Hence, why cigarettes come in a pack of 20. You see, after 20 minutes the dopamine needs its next "hit" and so out you go again. I think that’s a pretty "stressful" cycle. Tip: If you think about it, what you are looking for is some long, deep breaths. So get outside and take some of those long deep breaths without the cigarette and I promise you when you do that consciously you will already feel better.
Smoking cannot relieve boredom. Have you ever stopped and looked at a smoker? Do they look like they are 100 per cent engrossed in smoking? Exactly. Smoking because you are bored is a pointless argument because boredom is simply a state of mind. Smoking a cigarette as an activity is like saying you like to inject heroin into your arm just because you need to "do something". The concept of boredom itself is just a mind state where we simply feel uninterested in anything going on. Tip: In this case, find something you really love to get engrossed in. It could be five minutes on social media, watching some YouTube comedy or football, or simply making a cup of coffee.
So seeing smoking as a habit that you can choose to lose is quite powerful. The truth is we can make or break habits every single day. Think about it like this: if you drive a car in the UK you drive on the left, but when you go to France you think nothing of driving on the right. You are breaking a habit in an instant – you aren’t sitting there in a mental battle of not being able to do it. You just think about this habit differently. The point here is that if you enter this habit as a battle with a negative mindset – "I can’t do this" or "It’s just too hard" – then it's likely that will be the cycle of hell you keep going through when you try to stop.
Alternatively, you can choose to change your thinking to "bring it on", "I am stronger than a cigarette", or even "Today I am choosing a healthier habit to get into." Tip: With regard to thinking that "stopping smoking is going to be hard", think of it this way – it's harder to have cancer than it is to stop smoking.
Get help. If you are truly struggling, then hypnotherapy is a great answer to working on the subconscious beliefs you hold. Hypnotherapy to stop smoking has a great success rate and of course if this is something you are interested in, you know where to find me. Finally, start to see cigarettes as they really are – there is no "sacrifice" and when you decide to stop you need to see yourself as "becoming free" – there really is nothing to give up and everything to gain: health, freedom, and most importantly, your self-esteem and confidence back.
If you want to quit this December, come and have a chat with me and let me help you with a life changing hour of hypnosis. Mention you are booking via this email and get 10% off your session. Let's get you quit this year!
You can see the full article for GQ here