Why would a hypnotherapist say that a day put aside to stop smoking and is often spoken about on the news is a bad day to stop?
The same reason I think New Year’s day is a bad day to make resolutions!
This puts more pressure on us, the date is looming, friends and family are told of our intentions. Some helpful friends say “Oh doing that again” or even better “How long will this one last”
Then its the count down, last packet of cigarettes bought, the night before, the last cigarette, and so the anxiety builds until it’s all we can think about. All the things we will miss, how life won’t be the same again etc etc.
Having met and worked with many smokers one thing stands out, them deciding they don’t want to smoke. Not “It could be a good idea”, or” I think this is going to be better”. No it’s “I don’t want to smoke any more and I want to stop now”.
There is no big build up, no count down, it’s “I’m stopping today and the reason are :- I want to be healthier
I want to save money
I want more time in my life
I don’t want smoking to control me etc……
We have two parts of the mind, the positive, forward thinking, rational part and the negative, obessional and non changing part. We know that the more anxious wer are the more time we spend in the negative area. So as the stop smoking date approaches, stress levels increase and we think of all the things we will miss about smoking, that we are addicted, it relaxes us, no wonder it is difficult to give up.
When we reduce our anxiety and work from the positive mind, we feel strong as we look forward to all the outcomes as above, we feel in control as we know the difference it will make to us.
Smoking does not make us feel relaxed. Tobacco contains 4000 chemicals, not one of them is a relaxant – not one. We link things in our mind to make life easier. We link I’m having a drink , so I need a cigarette, or I want a 5 min break from work so I need a cigarette, or when i’m relaxing I have a cigarette so that means I need one. Smoking is a habit and like all habits can be broken it just takes a little time and a change of mind set.
Smoking is not addictive, nicotine is the only conponment that is addictive and its life is between 45 mins and 1 1/2 hrs. So the worse craving are between these times. How long do you go without a cigarette? 8hrs at night , when you fly, on a train, business meeting, in a car with people who don’t smoke, shopping centre’s cinemas etc etc. If you are able to go through the night, or do any of the other things for more than an hour and half then that is the worse the craving will get.
So if you truly want to stop smoking, stop now, do something you enjoy especailly at the beginning, if you do something you enjoy, you will be in the positive part of the brain which will remind you of the true reasons you are doing this.
Give yourself some breathing space, if you have a craving remind yourself that you are not addicted, it is a habit that you can change.
Wednesday 13th March is Stop Smoking day, maybe choose a different time! 🙂