There are probably as many different ways to quit smoking as there are people who have quit – and that is a lot of people these days. If you are trying to give it up, you have the comfort of knowing that millions of others have been successful over the past decades and there is no reason why you should not succeed too.
If you think about it, you will see that there are always gaps between cigarettes. Even the heaviest smokers have an average 7 hour gap between cigarettes every night. Although nicotine is a physical addiction, it is also true that most people’s bodies do not wake them up every couple of hours during the night to have a cigarette. So most people could go for much longer between cigarettes than they think.
Some of the most popular ways include hypnosis, medications and nicotine aids, as well as the very popular cold turkey. Going cold turkey, where you simply stop, sounds the most difficult but many people are successful with it. However, having some help can ease the pressure and help with the cravings and other withdrawal problems such as irritability.
Hypnosis is something that many people find helpful in their goal of quitting smoking. A hypnotist will hypnotize you and then give you an instruction or suggestion telling you that you do not want to smoke any more, have no need to smoke again, or something similar. They will not usually tell you exactly what they say in case you unconsciously set up a barrier against the words.
A suggestion made under hypnosis can be very convincing. Some people are easier to hypnotize than others, but it is thought that once the hypnosis is successful, the command should work on anybody. It can help minimize or even abolish cravings.
You do need to want to stop, of course – you would not be spending money on a hypnotist or a hypnosis CD if you didn’t. It is also best to choose a time when you are not under heavy stress.
Quit smoking aids are designed to reduce the withdrawal symptoms from the nicotine itself. They include nicotine patches, gum and inhalers. There are also some medications available from your doctor or pharmacist. It is best to have medical advice before taking any of these.
These aids can be helpful, especially if you have strong withdrawal symptoms such as bursts of anger which could have a negative effect on your life and relationships during the first few days. The success rate of these is higher than just quitting. You should not need to take these aids for more than a couple of weeks.
If you decide to simply stop, you will need a lot of motivation. It may help to think of all the reasons that you want to stop, and write them all down. Keep adding to them even after you have stopped.
Try to think of positive reasons – for example, ‘My breath smells good now’ (not ‘My breath doesn’t smell bad any more’ – that is a negative reason). Do not worry if any of them seem stupid. Sometimes the stupidest reasons are our most powerful motivators.
It can also be helpful to use affirmations. This works a little like hypnosis except that you do it yourself. Because you are conscious, you have more resistance so you have to do it more often. Pick out some of the positive reasons from your list that mean the most to you, and repeat them aloud in front of the mirror at least three times each day. Smile while you do it!
Remember that almost every smoker wishes that they did not smoke, but there are no non-smokers that wish they were smokers! You can be a happy non-smoker too. In the end, the fact that you want to quit is more important than which you choose out of all the ways to quit smoking.