I am not a super health nut, but I live a pretty clean life; no drinking, no smoking; I am a vegetarian who mediates and exercises regularly. When I tell people I used to smoke, they are absolutely shocked. But, it is the truth. Many people tell you that quitting cigarettes is one of the hardest things you can ever do, but as someone who did it, I do not agree.
It is all about the mindset you go into it with, and if you attempt to quit with the mindset that you are some weakling that has no power over those nasty cigarettes, you will find every reason to give up and blame it on the addiction. I have no doubt that cigarettes are addicting, but there is always a way to overcome. I would like to share what helped me quit in hopes it will help you too.
Gradually Cut Back
Smoking is not only physically addicting, it is mentally addicting as well; we have patterns of behavior where cigarettes play a big role and we crave them at certain times. While in theory, you could quit a 20-year habit tomorrow and never look back, the reality can play out differently.
With my mindset now, I have faith I could do that; but all those years ago, I was a bit different in my thought patterns. But, I was serious about quitting and my first step was to cut back on how much I smoked. Even though I was still smoking, I felt good that I was moving in that direction and I was confident I would prevail.
Get Clear on Your ‘’Why’’
There are many compelling reasons to quit smoking, and while they may all be linked to a common denominator of better health or protecting yourself from the number smoking does on your physical appearance, there are many variations as far as individuals wishing to quit smoking go. As I began to delve deeper into personal development and improving my life, I became acutely aware that I could not neglect the physical aspect of my health; for others, they may worry about their smoking habit leaving their children without a mother or father way too early in life.
Another person may suffer from a variety of health ills and smoking is just making things worse. If you are seriously considering giving up cigarettes, you must get crystal clear on why you want to do so; get at the reasons behind the reasons. Think about the benefits and the good things a life without cigarettes will bring.
Gross Yourself Out
One of the most effective strategies for helping me stay quit was basically grossing myself out with images of what smoking does to the body. I looked at all sorts of nasty pictures; pictures of lungs riddled with tumors, disfigured mouths and tongues beset by oral cancers; missing fingers and toes—you name it.
I think one of the biggest issues with quitting smoking is that the negative feedback from this choice sometimes does not fully hit until decades after you have picked up the habit; we know it is bad for us, but we just do not truly grasp it because we still appear relatively healthy. But, there is all sorts of horrible things going on even if you are officially disease-free and the picture of health. When I looked at these images, it really drove home how horrible smoking is.