5 Creative Ways To Help You Quit Smoking
Smokers, yuk … stinky stinky smokers. I had a client recently tell me how fed up he was with the smell of his own smoking. On the flip side I also worked with someone who told me how much they love the smell and taste of smoking. Regardless of whether you do or don’t like it there is something annoying about the lingering smell of smoke. Whether it is from the camping campfire or your last cigarette. Those of you who remember when smoking inside was legal will also remember how many days it took to wash the smell out of your hair. This is not a good memory for me but I do love the nostalgia when I walk past someone with a lighted cigarette. There is a story about being a smoker, an identity. It is part of you but it is not a healthy habit and most smokers, whether they admit it or not, do not enjoy the dictatorship that a cigarette holds.
All ex smokers have the best advice on how to quit. Patches, cold turkey, glasses of cold water. If none of these ideas have worked for you, how about trying one of these creative ways to quit smoking.
Take 5 mins Exercise
Many people I work with have the luxury of a private office. Whether it is in your home or the actual office. If you do not, is there the option to step into a meeting room? You can find everything on YouTube including five minute workouts. Not long enough to leave you dripping with sweat and in need of a shower but long enough to give you the boost you need to say no to the craving. If searching YouTube is not for you see how many press ups, sit ups or burpees you can do in five minutes. Then challenge yourself to do more next time. Making this choice will bring you a surplus of benefits such as improved fitness and mental health. When you feel good about and within yourself you will have more motivation to say no to the cigarette. In addition, the snowball effect of improved fitness means that you will feel more desire to maintain your fitness rather than damage it by smoking.
Mindfulness teaches you how to keep your mind in the present moment and take control of your feelings and reactions. Most smokers find there is a constant chatter in their mind that focuses solely on the next cigarette. The chatter quietens only when smoking. When you start to live mindfully your focus will move away from the anxious thinking about the next cigarette to your present moment. You will find yourself so in control that you will stop the thoughts of smoking and instead think about something more beneficial and important. Mindfulness takes practice. Find some mindfulness tools here, look up an online course or a local practitioner. Meditation is a brilliant way to begin your mindfulness practice.
Take a break
Many smokers tell me that the main thing they enjoy about smoking is the five minute break. Whether that is a break from cleaning the house, your friends or five minutes out of the office. It has always felt more acceptable to take a break for a cigarette than for your mental health. Something I object to. Everyone should take a five minute break away from an intense activity, whether that is physically intense or mentally. Sitting in front of a computer screen all day without stepping away is unhealthy in many ways. As is remaining in a social situation when you feel overwhelmed. Set an hourly alarm and take yourself outside for five or ten minutes, whether you choose to take a walk around the block or stand and observe the world it is important to give yourself this time to break and process your thoughts. Quitting smoking does not mean quitting time out.
Make a deal
There are people that make deals with themselves, such as the person who gave their self permission to buy a guilt free lottery ticket whenever she wants once she quits smoking. Or the person that offered themselves one cigarette a week, providing they stop the pack a day habit. Both people are now non-smokers. Some people find it easier to have someone else hold them accountable. Perhaps a friend or your partner will hold you accountable if you make a deal with them, such as you paying for dinner once a month with the money you save from stopping smoking.
Finally if none of the above help you quit smoking, try some hypnotherapy. Hypnotherapy is a controversial option with some saying it does work and others saying there is little evidence to prove its efficacy. When I work with people that want to stop smoking I bring more to the session than a suggestion session. I help my clients find the thing that keeps them smoking so we can find a way to keep it in their life without the cigarettes. We look at ways to remain motivated and make positive changes to enhance their life so they do not feel a loss. I guide my clients with mindfulness and how to learn more than I can give in two sessions, though there is always the option to have more. Hypnotherapy is a great way to help you quit smoking because sessions generally include the benefits of hypnosis and so much more.