Becoming a Non-Smoker: Establish New Habits
The positive intention of that smoking habit
Last week, we explored the positive intention of that smoking habit and what benefits it offers you.
When I talk to many people about why they continue the smoking habit, I hear all manner of reasons.
Some will say that it gives them an opportunity to socialise with other people while some, ironically, will say that it gives them an opportunity to get away from other people. Some people will believe that it relaxes them and helps them to manage their stress, while others have even offered me excuses like ‘sex is always better when you have a cigarette’. I kid you not.
Regardless of the reason why you began to smoke, there was some benefit that you received from it so strong and positive that you made the decision that this was a behaviour you were going to commit to as a coping strategy and manage to find the will power and strength to maintain that habit several times throughout the day. That’s pretty impressive, so who says you don’t have the resources available already to flip it around and use those same skills to become a non-smoker?
This week, we’re looking at how you can replace those old habits with new habits as part of my stop smoking D.R.E.A.M. process. Check out my blog section or the end of this article to find the links to the previous articles in this series.
Step 3: Establish new habits to replace the old habit.
Research has shown that you can’t delete or erase habits, you can only replace them.
With that in mind, you need to consider what new habit(s) you will do to replace the old smoking habit.
A quick search online will find no shortage of suggestions that people have used to help replace their smoking habit and to help them with any potential feelings of cravings or the withdrawal that they might experience shortly after becoming a non-smoker.
Consider for a moment, what others ways can you get a similar positive outcome as to the positive intention that smoking habit offered you?
If you’re one of those smokers who doesn’t even enjoy smoking anymore and who is doing it out of routine, then this step is really the one that you need to get right. Imagine for a moment that if you were to clap your hands 10 times every time you drank something, it would become odd after a while to NOT do that behaviour if you wanted to stop. Of course, clapping your hand 10 times every time you drank something makes absolutely no sense, but then neither does inhaling a toxic stick of 4000 chemicals several times a day.
Remember earlier in this blog series when I talked about something interrupting your morning routine and it putting you ‘out of whack’? This pattern interrupt is what you want to do with your smoking habit, and there are several simple ways that you can do this. All you need to do is consider one small thing that you would do differently to the pattern routine that you have established, such as smoking with your other hand or any other behaviour that consciously reminds you of the behaviour so that you can remind yourself to stop.
TAKEAWAY POINT: As habits can only be replaced instead of erased or deleted, you need to consider what new habit you will be doing to replace the old smoking habit.
Step 4: Access internal resources to build motivation.
Now it is time to ensure that you can access your internal resources to build motivation and to stay on track.
The easiest way to do this is, of course, hypnosis. Hypnosis will allow you to access some of those existing internal strengths that you have and to build up that motivation to continue making positive choices as a non-smoker.
As an example, try this exercise as you go to bed and enter that ‘sleepy state’ just before sleep. Imagine looking at a movie screen and watching a film of yourself during the day at a point where your trigger would’ve occurred but this time, you’re a non-smoker. You want to make sure that your picture is bright, focused, colourful and sharp. You’ll want to see what you would see, hear what you would hear and feel the feelings you would feel being a confident and happy non-smoker in that moment.
Next, imagine floating up so that you can see all your future and all your past on a line beneath you. This is your ‘timeline’. Imagine taking a camera snapshot of that image of you as a non-smoker and going forward in your timeline now to some unspecified time in the future where you’re going to drop that image as it slots into your future timeline. After you’ve done that, you can imagine floating back to your present moment and coming back to now. With practice, this process should only take a few minutes and can help you to really reinforce your ability and belief as a non-smoker.
Yes, there might be moments of temptation where you think having one might not be bad.
Do you really want to give in to the trick? Do you really want to fall for that trap? If you’ve ever been in a bad relationship before, you’ll know what I mean here. You might’ve cared for them once but you know when bad news is bad news and sometimes it is easier to just be strong, to find that inner strength and to stand firm on your resounding ‘no more’.
TAKEAWAY POINT: You have all the resources you need right now to build motivation and resilience in being a life long non-smoker. Tap into those benefits and stand your ground that your relationship with smoking is over.
Next week, we’ll look at the final step in the D.R.E.A.M. process and bring this all together.
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You may also like to read:
Breaking Addiction Through Counselling and Hypnosis
The Truth About Hypnotherapy and Smoking Cessation
Facts About Habits That Might Surprise You
What Does That Smoking Habit Want For You