By Valerie Dawson, Certified Hypnotherapist
Creator of Stop Smoking Fast And Easy Program
Have you decided to stop smoking? It doesn't have to be hard! One of the keys for breaking the habit once and for all is to tap into the power of your mind. Here are some tips to help you succeed.
1. Make quitting smoking your number one goal. Rather than having a long list of different goals, make quitting smoking your number-one top priority. By focusing on quitting smoking as your most important goal, you increase your chances of success.
2. Keep the end result in mind. Focus on how much better your life will be as a non-smoker. Think about how you'll be able to breathe better and your energy level will increase. Imagine all the things you can do with the money you'll save each year by not purchasing cigarettes. And most importantly, focus on how you'll add many, many healthy years to your life, so you can do all the things you've wanted to do, spending time with people you care about. Make a long list of all the positive benefits of being a non-smoker!
3. Make it easier on yourself. Think of ways that you can make quitting easier for yourself. Can you quit with a friend or family member? Could you ask a co-worker to go for a quick walk with you on breaks and avoid the smoking area? Could you take a smoking cessation class? Could you learn self-hypnosis? Could you stock up on fruit, veggies, or sugar free gum?
4. Make a commitment to yourself. Plan the date and time that you will smoke your last cigarette. Make this promise to yourself as if your life depends on it. Why? Because it does! Write down the "sneaky tricks" that could try to lure you in for "just one" smoke (you know, the things that have triggered you in the past). Write down your strategy for outsmarting these sneaky triggers.
5. Put your plan in writing. Write down everything you've thought of while reading this article, plus any other ideas that you believe will help you to remain smoke free. More ideas: stay away from other smokers for a while; get rid of your cigarettes and ashtrays; ask a friend to call you every day for moral support.
6. Flip off negative thoughts like a switch. Instead of thinking, "This is hard" change it to "Its getting easier and easier". You could even come up with your own mantra. My favorites: "I take care of health."; "I can handle this."; "I can do it!" Have a positive statement you can say to yourself throughout the day to keep you on track.
7. Give yourself rewards. Why not have a quit jar and put all the money that you would have spent on cigarettes in it? You could save up for a tropical vacation or a down payment on that new sports car. Think of a nice reward to give yourself for being smoke free for one day, one week, one month, and so on! Mark them on your calendar so you have something to look forward to.
8. Approach quitting with a "I can. I will. I must." attitude. If your child or loved one was burning in a building and you were the only one there to get them out, would you just "give it a try?" Would you simply "give it a shot?" Or would you "give it everything you've got?" Of course you would do anything and everything, whatever it took. Well, aren't you worth the same? So approach quitting smoking with the same attitude, because you're truly saving your own life - you're worth it!
9. Visualize your way to success. Every morning and evening, close your eyes for a few moments and rehearse in your mind how you will say "no" to any temptations to having a cigarette, and notice how good it feels to be in control of your triggers and urges. Also, picture and imagine yourself as a happy non-smoker for 3 to 5 minutes each day. See yourself as happy, healthy and active doing all the things you love to do.
10. Learn to Manage Stress. Stress is everywhere, and while we think that cigarettes help us to relax, in reality, nicotine is a stimulant to the body. During the first few days of quitting, you will likely have thoughts to have a cigarette when you feel stressed. Learning to take long, deep breaths throughout the day can be a good start. If you can learn to tackle stress, you can tackle kicking the habit much more easily.