You might decide one of these days that you’ve smoked enough cigarettes and just call to set up a hypnosis session and be done with them forever. Chances are, you’ve already cut way back and don’t really have much of an addiction to nicotine anyway. The problem is, no matter how bright and knowledgeable we may be about the health hazards and costs of smoking, most of our brain doesn’t care. Psychologists say that the majority of our day we are on autopilot and our subconscious mind is in charge. That is the part that I will be talking to during your hypnosis session, but there are elements you can put into place before your appointment that will greatly increase your success. Give yourself at least a week before your quit date to have enough impact. (Click here for a description of the Technologies of the Self Smoking Cessation Program.)
1. Choose your quit date If you have a work deadline or family holiday coming up, the best time will be after the event, when your stress level is lower and you can concentrate on nurturing yourself for a week or so.
2. On several Post It notes, write the main reasons you want to quit and post them on your desk, your bathroom mirror or on your dash. Keep the messages to yourself positive. Incredibly, researchers have found that signs prohibiting smoking actually start cravings to light up. Review the reasons just before falling asleep. That’s the time of day when your brain waves have already slowed down and your subconscious is most open to suggestion.
3. Figure out the least comfortable place in your house or work environment to smoke. This will be the ONLY place you will be smoking during this final week. Remember, you are no longer smoking for pleasure, you are smoking to QUIT SMOKING. Move everything connected with smoking to this location to make it inconvenient to light up anywhere else. Start thinking before you smoke. Notice what you are feeling, why you are smoking. Ask yourself, “AM I SMOKING BECAUSE I NEED TO? OR JUST OUT OF HABIT? If it’s just out of habit, don’t smoke. Smoke only if you really want to or if it’s a physical need.
4. Find all the cigarettes you have any place around the house, office or car and throw them away. You will not be smoking your regular brand again.
5. Now make the commitment to buy cigarettes ONE PACK AT A TIME. Do not buy a new pack until the last one is totally gone. The first pack you buy for this week will be a brand that you don’t like. Each time you buy a new pack, switch to another brand that you don’t like. What this is doing is breaking the automatic element of the deeply ingrained habit.
6. When you get the pack, cut the cigarettes in half and only smoke the filtered half. Take them out and put them in a sandwich bag. Also, smoke with the opposite hand that you normally do. This is behavior modification, interrupting the subconscious, unthinking behaviors and rituals around smoking to make you more aware and get out of autopilot.
7. Limit your alcohol consumption this week and through the first week following your quit date. Many people associate smoking with drinking and alcohol definitely affects your resolve and ability to stay out of autopilot.
8. Reduce caffeine, too, during the process. Stock up on other beverages, tea, and natural fruit juices that you enjoy and increase your water intake.
9. Create a schedule to allow plenty of time for a good night’s sleep. The subconscious mind takes over much more quickly when you are tired.
10. Make sure to take a good quality Vitamin B Complex a week before your quit date, to help minimize stress.
11. Make a public commitment. This is a crucial element. Do you have friends who know you’ve tried before and might laugh? Tell them anyway, but also tell some new people, especially friends who have successfully quit themselves.
12. Ponder this-what is your deepest desire that you will be able to accomplish by not smoking again. Be ready to tell me about it. What are you passionate about that requires a healthy lifestyle?