Have you ever been told that quitting smoking is the hardest addiction to conquer, even harder than heroin? This is a scary thought, but not true. Is it easy? Not necessarily. Is it impossible? No.

I’m sure you’ve heard countless stories and probably known many people who have tried repeatedly and failed to quit.  Heck, some people never try because they think quitting is too difficult. 

However, a lot of the challenges of quitting can be eliminated if you have the right mindset to make the commitment and right strategy to make it simple. This is the reason more people are successfully becoming smoke free through hypnosis. Hypnosis has a 94% success rate with smoking cessation. Nicotine patches, gums and medications don’t offer this high of a success rate. Mind boggling, right? 

Below, you’ll learn how to cope with some common triggers, cravings and detoxing symptoms. 

1. Identify What Triggers You

Trying to quit smoking can be extremely challenging, especially if you have triggers such as stress, driving, consuming alcohol, etc. 

Start by holding your focus on the outcome: living a healthier life. This becomes easier when you understand the challenges you’ll face when you say goodbye to cigarettes.

When looking at your triggers, think back to the thing that makes you want to pick up a cigarette in the first place. 

Were you bored? Stressed? Overwhelmed? Anxious? Were you around certain friends? Consuming alcohol? 

Check in with your emotions, the pattern of your day when you commonly smoke, social triggers, or sensory cues like smelling smoke. 

Each person has a different set of triggers. Becoming familiar with your triggers are will greatly reduce the chances of smoking and help you better manage your cravings. 

2. Manage Your Desire to Smoke

Once you’ve identified your triggers, having a strategy to help you cope will be paramount. One powerful strategy that can help you get through them is this: When the craving strikes, change location and change activity. Changing your environment and physiology resets your brain. 

Since habits are located within the subconscious mind, they function on auto-pilot, you’ll want to start clearing the emotional and mental programming and learn new patterns, attitudes and responses to the cigarettes. With the use of hypnosis, you will be able to access the subconscious mind where the habit of smoking has been installed. The desire to smoke is in your mind, not your body. Since you’ve decided you want to quit smoking, you’ll need to release any internal conflicts about this. You also begin to assume the identity of a non-smoker and eliminate the toggling between “do I smoke?” or “don’t I smoke?” 

3. Know What To Expect

People who believe quitting cigarettes is difficult will often make it much harder than it needs to be. People who simply decide they no longer smoke and do not entertain excuses or thoughts of “just this one” find it easier than they thought it would be. 

The positive news is nicotine is completely out of your system after 3 days. This doesn’t mean the work is over in 3 days – because the urge to smoke is actually coercion of habit, not a craving for nicotine. The difficulty or ease of quitting has less to do with how much or how long you smoke than it does with the kind of mindset you have before and during the process of releasing yourself from that cigarette.

Here is what you may experience when giving up cigarettes:

  • You may be feeling irritable‚ on edge‚ or grouchy the first three days. (Seriously, you’ve had a few cranky days before. You can handle it.)
  • Having cravings for cigarettes (All cravings only last a few minutes. You can last a few minutes, can’t you?)
  • You may have temptations in social situations (A simple “No Thank You” is enough if someone offers. And if you are tempted to “bum” a cigarette from a smoker, remember: You are not a “bum.” Take a deep breath and reinforce your resolve: You don’t smoke.)
  • You may start to rationalize why you need a cigarette (No one ever died from lack of a cigarette. Get out of the thinking mind and get back to doing something else.)
  • Alcohol and certain emotional states may temporarily cause a slip. (Prepare for it in advance, and if you do slip, just get back on course and stay out of self judgement. Instead of courting your disappointment, re-boot your commitment and sharpen your resolve. Consider what you learned from the experience and see it as just part of the journey of learning to let go.)

Ways to handle these feelings involve knowing what to expect. Every smoker has certain routines that incorporate cigarettes, every day, same time and same situation. It could be the first one in the morning, or the one before leaving the house. It may be the one while driving, or talking on the phone, or the mid-morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Many like to light up after meals, or just before bed. 

4. Address Your Stress

Stress is a normal part of everyday life and some people smoke to help deal with the stress. As you probably know, nicotine is a stimulant and that increases a stress response within the body. The reason you may feel more relaxed is due to the long inhale and exhale you take while smoking.  

So instead of deep breathing with a cigarette, try these instead:

  • Breathe and practice mindfulness
  • Decaffeinate and increase your water intake (this also helps flush the nicotine out of your system faster, WIN-WIN)
  • Go for a walk in nature. The frequency of the Earth is very calming, most people notice a significant reduction in stress with a simple walk outside. 
  • Relax with music or a book
  • Locate your stress feelings in your body and let go of the tense areas
  • Exercise
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