No matter what you tell yourself, it’s never just about quitting smoking. Obviously when you make the decision to quit that will appear to be your primary focus; however there are so many more elements which will determine both your short term and long term success.
- Where are you on the 4 step change process? In pre-contemplation you probably haven’t thought too much about. In the contemplation phase maybe you have spoken to ex-smoker friends, done a web search on quit practitioners or just feel worried about your wellbeing.
The 3rd phase is preparation and perhaps you have made a quit appointment, and you are mentally preparation to quit, even if the anxiety of being without cigarettes seems to be greater than your resolve.
The 4th phase is action. You glare at your smoking self in the mirror and declare you will succeed, you turn up for your quit appointment comply with any requests, and you simply expect it to work. Technically there is a 5th step, that is sticking to being a non-smoker and believing in yourself.
- Seeking support, from friends family or work mates. Especially from those who smoke, you will need them to back you up and to not make it harder for you. If they do try to undermine your efforts then you may need to avoid them for a while, and perhaps consider their place in your life. Sometimes it’s best to tell no-one, if you believe that is best, if so you must get very clear on the following.
- Understanding yourself and becoming very clear as to why you are quitting. Vague thoughts about health or family aren’t nearly powerful enough. Your reasons must evoke some strong emotion. This will carry you through any tough times. Please take the time to do this properly or you will be likely to fail.
- Understand that some things will change. Sure you will have more money and better health, but your social life may be dramatically interrupted. Especially those times you enjoyed with fellow smokers, gathered around a bin or standing in a grubby lane by the restaurant.
- What about the comfort that smoking offers. So many times you sought the comfort of a cigarette in times of stress anxiety or loneliness, curled up on the couch enveloped in a cloud of toxic smoke, somehow imaging that smoking is making you feel better.
To quit you need to decide, prepare and take action, using every strategy at hand and following all recommendations your quit therapist suggests.