How to Become a Non-Smoker Like a Pro:
I have a confession to make as a former smoker. No, I’m not talking about barbecue. I’m talking about the evil little things called cigarettes. I smoked for 10 years starting in college. I was enamored by the “look” of movie characters and how they made it appear so “cool.”
Frankly, it was 10 years of hell. I was a puppet controlled and harmed by a drug. A drug pushed by an industry that has no problem contributing to the death of millions. Where’s the FDA when you need them?
It was a time where I couldn’t care less about having smoker’s breath, my clothes being infused by rancid smoke, having brown teeth, coughing up phlegm, being unable to breathe, and simply not caring about my well-being. I was hooked. That was the goal of the tobacco industry. I lived from one cigarette to the next. That was my goal in life.
Perhaps its acceptance was also reinforced by my aunts and uncles who smoked heavily during the late '70s. So heavily that it was done at the dinner table – while the entire family (kids and non-smokers) was eating. There was a cloud of smoke that joined us at every meal as if it were a dinner guest. I have no resentment towards my family of smokers – this was at a time where I feel people were being mislead by the “smoke and mirrors” (pun intended) of the industry.
I started by smoking a few when my college friends and I went to the bars on weekends. It morphed into a few smokes every day of the week, until I was a hard core – 3 pack a day smoker while trying to do my job in the financial service industry. I was a zombie, drawn to the spell of nicotine. I felt as though I was screwed. When I attempted to quit, I would go to the trash and try to get one more draw from the butts that remained. I was ready to smoke the damn filter (do not do this).
Smoking kills. It controls. It ruins. I smelled. I coughed. I was being asphyxiated slowly – constricted as if I was to become the meal of a Boa.
Another major side effect was intense anxiety. The anxiety was driven by two forces: the emptiness and desperation after running out of smokes as well as the stimulating effects of the nicotine. I was already dealing with panic attacks. The smoking only added to them. Yes, many smokers say it “relaxes” them. Ironically, it’s not the cigarette – it’s the deep breathing that relaxes them.
So how did I quit? First and foremost, it took multiple attempts before I finally kicked the habit. Do not lose hope if you don’t succeed the first go around. It was pure hell. I tried the patch, then the gum to no avail.
I needed inspiration to change. It finally came when I watched Wayne Gretzky’s induction to the Ice Hockey Hall of Fame. I wanted to be “Great” like the “Great Gretzky.” I know, it seems funny, but it doesn’t matter where or from whom you receive inspiration – as long as you make a concerted effort to seek inspiration.
After the “Gretzky Moment,” I finally decided to do something!
The demon was finally exorcised.
It’s been 23 years since I smoked my last cigarette.
Hypnosis has been my shortcut for changing my relationship with cigarettes. I encourage you to take the first step toward freedom. You can do this! ~ Ted
2. Become a Non-Smoker: Prepare Before You Go Cold Turkey
There’s more to it than just tossing your cigarettes out. Smoking is an addiction. The brain is hooked on nicotine. Without it, you’ll go through withdrawal. Line up support in advance. Ask your doctor about all the methods that will help, such as quit-smoking classes and apps, counseling, medication, and hypnosis. You’ll be ready for the day you choose to quit.
3. Become a Non-Smoker: Lean on Your Loved Ones
Tell your friends, family, and other people you’re close to that you’re trying to quit. They can encourage you to keep going, especially when you’re tempted to light up. You can also join a support group or talk to a counselor. Behavioral therapy is a type of counseling that helps you identify and stick to quit-smoking strategies. Even a few sessions may help.
4. Become a Non-Smoker: Give Yourself a Break
One reason people smoke is that the nicotine helps them relax. Once you quit, you’ll need new ways to unwind. There are many options. You can exercise to blow off steam, tune in to your favorite music, connect with friends, treat yourself to a massage, or make time for a hobby. Try to avoid stressful situations during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.
5. Become a Non-Smoker: Meditation & Hypnosis
Stress and anxiety can have an effect on the immune system, adrenals, and blood pressure. This tends to amplify and increase pain, creating a vicious cycle of ever-increasing stress and pain.
Closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for 10 minutes does wonders to calm down your nervous system and regulate your blood pressure, which may translate to reduced pain.
Most of us spend the majority of our time in front of screens. Don’t you deserve a 10 minute break to just… be?
Hypnosis allows you to talk to the brain's gatekeeper. That part of your brain that keeps you stuck in old, sometimes unwanted, behavior. Hypnosis allows you to quit smoking without relying on willpower but rather on brain power. By talking to the subconscious, or emotional part of the brain, you're able to "get on your own side" very quickly. Hypnosis allows you to become a non-smoker, rather than an ex-smoker who's constantly battling the urge to smoke. Instead, the idea of smoking becomes simply irrelevant to you.
6. Become a Non-Smoker: Avoid Alcohol and Other Triggers
When you drink, it’s harder to stick to your no-smoking goal. So try to limit alcohol when you first quit. Likewise, if you often smoke when you drink coffee, switch to tea for a few weeks. If you usually smoke after meals, find something else to do instead, like brushing your teeth, taking a walk, texting a friend, or chewing gum.
7. Become a Non-Smoker: Add Aromatherapy
The use of the right essential oils allows you to quickly calm down the brain's amygdala (the worry wart/drama queen). When you breathe in therapeutic oils, you reach the olfactory bulb within milliseconds. Not only that, but some essential oils have been shown to curb cravings for nicotine. So, when you combine aromatherapy with hypnosis and the right environmental changes, it only accelerates your ability to quit smoking quickly and comfortably.
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