The Great American Smokeout
Every year the American Cancer Society hosts the Great American Smokeout to encourage smokers to create a quit plan and learn about the available tools to remain smoke free for life.
If you’re like most smokers, you’ve probably tried to quit smoking at least once before, maybe even multiple times, and either failed miserably or found it incredibly difficult and frustrating. There’s a simple reason for this; the belief that you’re giving something up.
But it really doesn’t have to be difficult and can even be enjoyable; you just need a bit of guidance to help you on your way.
Follow these 3 tips to start you on your journey to an easy way to stop smoking:
Start with a positive attitude
Attitude is everything. Starting your Great American Smokeout plan with a feeling of doom and gloom or expected failure will make you miserable. Instead, look forward to stopping and finally being free of a drug that takes everything and gives you nothing in return.
Imagine getting out of a nicotine prison that you’ve been trapped in for many years. You’re bound to feel a bit out of sorts for a few days as you adjust to your newfound freedom but would you really want to go back into that prison? No way!
Rather than assume you are going to feel deprived and miserable, just look forward to finally being free.
Focus on why you do smoke rather than why you shouldn’t
I’m pretty sure most people these days already know the reasons why they shouldn’t smoke. But has that stopped you from doing it? If all the bad stuff around smoking was going to make you stop, you would already have stopped.
Rather than focusing on the negatives, instead focus on the perceived benefits and ask yourself, what’s really in it for me?
Just because the manufacturers have told you there’s some good stuff doesn’t mean it’s true.
Realize there is absolutely nothing to give up!
The relief (or what smokers perceive as pleasure) you get from smoking is the same as removing a pair of uncomfortable shoes. Yeah, it feels better but only because it felt bad in the first place!
Think about it. The message from an early age is that cigarettes relax us, help with stress, relieve boredom, help us concentrate, are a social prop and are enjoyable.
You have a tug of war going on in your head of the bad stuff vs the good stuff:
“It stinks…yes, but it relaxes me”
“It’s costing me a fortune…yes, but it’s my time out”
“It’s killing me…yes, but I enjoy it”
In addition to this you’re told it will be difficult to stop, that the cravings will be awful and that you’ll miss smoking for the rest of your life.
No wonder you put off even trying to give them up!
But what if smoking didn’t relax you but instead caused you to be unrelaxed?
What if smoking didn’t relieve stress but caused you more stress and anxiety?
What if you discovered that you didn’t actually enjoy smoking, but were just lighting up to feed an addiction?
And what if smoking was a confidence trick and you discovered that you’d been conned? Wouldn’t it then be easy to quit?
The truth is, smoking IS a confidence trick and through clever marketing and advertising from the tobacco companies, we got conned to believe that it provides some comfort or pleasure.
The key to quitting easily and happily this Great American Smokeout is to understand how the confidence trick works and once you understand it, you’ll never fall for it again.