Let’s face it, you probably enjoy some aspects of smoking. Some people truly love to smoke. There’s no denying that smoking provides real benefits such as relaxation or feelings of security.
So, how do you quit when you love to smoke?
First and foremost, you have to have the desire to quit. If you love smoking you can still develop the desire to quit. If you honestly do want to quit—even just a little bit—then you have the first and most important ingredient for quitting.
Is it possible to love smoking while simultaneously wanting to quit? Of course! Think about any destructive behavior you or other people engage in. For example, you may love to speed when you drive around town, yet you know it is dangerous and you want to quit doing it. Alcoholics have a love-hate relationship with their drink. You smoke and enjoy it, but you know it is bad for you.
“I love smoking too much to develop the desire to quit,” you may be saying. However, there are some simple steps you can take to create the will to quit.
Once you have a definite desire to quit smoking, it’s time to examine the so-called “benefits” of smoking. By now you should have the “benefits of smoking” list that you made in step 1 above.
You must become very objective when you analyze your list. Is each list item truly a benefit or just a “fix”. If you smoke to relax, ask yourself “how does a non-smoker deal with stress without smoking?” If you smoke to relieve boredom are you benefiting yourself temporarily by smoking, while paying for it with reduced health and expensive cigarettes?
Look at each item in your list from the perspective of a non-smoker. What would a non-smoker have to say about your list? How does a non-smoker deal with the world without smoking? Can you obtain the same or similar benefits without a cigarette?
Remember that much of the “positive” benefit of smoking is temporary. The long-term effects of smoking are nearly all negative.
After examining the benefits you get from smoking, you need to develop replacements for your cigarettes (and their effects) so that you can continue to receive the benefits that smoking provides you, but without the downside.
First, you need to understand that some of the so-called benefits of smoking are really just a cruel lie. As your body has grown accustomed to smoking and the accompanying physical and chemical effects on your body, you have developed a need to smoke to achieve these “benefits.” You feel that the only way you can relax is to smoke, and you do find that smoking calms your nerves. But how long has it been since you relaxed on your own, without the aid of a cigarette? Again, how does a non-smoker relax? Smoking has become your crutch, when your ankle really isn’t broken.
So, on your list of “benefits of smoking” next to each benefit, write down something you can do, other than smoking, that will replicate the benefit.
For example, if the benefit you wrote down was that smoking helps you sleep, you might write down that you would exercise regularly. Exercise can aid your body in so many ways, including better sleep. If you wrote that smoking helps you to get moving in the morning, you might write down that you will listen to your favorite high-energy music while you get dressed.
Be creative! This is the fun part. You get to re-invent your life!
If you love to smoke, you need to begin to despise it.
Switch to a different brand of cigarettes—one that you don’t like.
Look at yourself in the mirror when you smoke. Looks stupid, doesn’t it? No other animal in the world, even the lowliest, purposefully inhales smoke. Why do you?
Look at your hands and teeth. They’re disgusting, aren’t they? You’re not going to get a date looking like that!
And you stink too! Yuck!
The cigarette companies are robbing you of $1,000 (or more ) per year. Are you going to let them get away with that? And your car smells terrible. You won’t be able to get as much for it when you sell it.
You’re a social outcast at restaurants. Nobody likes to smell your stinky smoke.
Get the idea?
You can read this and do nothing or you can follow the steps and take ACTION! Nothing in your life worth doing happens magically. You have to create your own magic by taking action. Action.
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