To stop smoking is a tough challenge. Like most negative habits, it’s easy to start but hard to stop. What works for one person doesn’t always work for another. The key is to keep trying; eventually you will find what works. Persistence pays!
My husband Mike is a reformed cigarette smoker. You would never guess it by meeting him now. Like many kids, he started smoking at a young age – it seemed like the cool thing to do for an 8th grader. He likely viewed it as a badge of independence and maturity. By the time he got to college, he regretted the nasty, expensive habit, but he was hooked physically, but more importantly, he was hooked psychologically. He tried many times throughout college, his tenure in the Army and then in his career as a stockbroker to stop smoking. Mike knew that smoking would not help him to LIVE YOUNGER and he said that he was embarrassed at his inability to “just stop. He would be doing well in his efforts of cessation, but then a stressor would come along and he would need “just one cigarette”. Oops! Hooked again.
So, what finally worked for Mike? He said that he decided to start viewing the habit from the vantage point of repulsion. He intentionally concentrated on smoking as “repulsive” rather than looking at it as “relaxing”. During his other attempts at quitting, he had the mindset of feeling deprived and believing that a cigarette was good for relaxation. When something stressful happened, he naturally felt like he deserved a cigarette. When he changed this outlook and viewed cigarettes as repulsive, his desire for cigarettes as a coping mechanism disappeared.
This applies to many other habits that we as humans try and try to break. From Mike’s experience with smoking cessation, I have learned:
- It is easy to innocently fall into a habit that steals your money and your health.
- It may take many attempts to stop the habit, but take heart, you will eventually succeed.
- Change your mindset first.
- Behavior change follows an attitude change.
START SOMEWHERE today to stop smoking. Reframe mentally how you look at the behavior you want to change. You are worth it and you can do it.