Are you still in a bit of a love affair with smoking or vaping? Well, if you're super into smoking, what I am about to say probably isn't for you. I have helped over 10,000 people become happy, healthy, non-smokers. And I'm also a former pack and a half a day smoker. So if you are feeling a bit worn down and enslaved by your relationship to smoking or vaping and you're feeling trapped in this relationship, here's the good news…
I am going to tell you how to break up with smoking, and stop smoking cold turkey once and for all. It's actually a five step process. So let's dig into it right now.
The first step that you want to take is to just own the fact that you love smoking or vaping. Why? We have a lot of guilt and shame about smoking. But then there's also this other part of our brain, which is what I call the “smoker brain” or the “vaper brain” that actually will tell us how much we love smoking, right?
I will get clients in my office or people who ask me about my online smoking cessation program Smokefree123. And they will admit that even though they’re sick or even though there's something wrong with them because of their smoking that they love smoking.
So we have this guilt as smokers, but then we have this part of our brain that's telling us, “I love it.” I will often say to these smokers, “Well, what do you love about smoking? You know, I'm curious, tell me.” And then they tell me that they don’t honestly know why they love it.
It's very interesting, but when we really think about it, when we really allow ourselves that space to say, “Okay, I love smoking, but what do I love about it?”, we actually start to see things differently. A lot of the love actually isn't love, but it's just things like our habit of smoking -or we're just used to it- or we associate smoking with other things that we like. It’s actually not the smoking part of it that we like at all.
So if you own it, you take away the guilt. Which then allows you to see smoking for what it is-a controlling, inconvenient nuisance.
Get curious about what it is you think you love about smoking. Do you love your coffee and cigarettes in the morning? Do you love the breaks you’re able to take throughout the day? Do you love coming home and having a glass of wine with a cigarette to unwind? Maybe you love being able to be outside after lunch, having that cigarette and enjoying the sounds, sights and noises of the outdoors?
But each of those things, when you think about it, is a reward act that is very pleasurable in and of itself. Your cigarette itself only opens the gate to that experience. It isn't the experience itself.
So start to observe and look at the things that you think you love about smoking. Get super curious and again, without guilt, and often you will find that what you really love isn't the cigarette or isn't the vape. It is the pleasure of that experience-but your brain is telling you your cigarette IS the experience. Separate the experience from the cigarette and see what the real reward is.
Once you get curious, then you want to start to turn the tide a bit and you want to look at and observe from a nonjudgmental place. Start looking at how smoking owns you. How are you inconvenienced by the habit? Are you having to hide your smoking? Do you have to find a place that smoking is allowed? Do you have to leave conversations or activities to go smoke? Or when you come back in after smoking are you worried about the smell?
Do you feel stressed by sneaking around to keep your smoking a secret from your kids, your partner, or other family members? Are you feeling guilty about how much money you’re spending on cigarettes or remorseful because there’s other things you’d love to buy with that money? So, start to just observe.
And again, I can't tell you how horrible smoking is- because if I told you that stuff, your brain would go, “no, it isn't. No, it doesn't. I love smoking.” It's very funny actually. Because the more that people around us tell us, “don't do it, it's bad for you”, the more our brain wants to smoke.
But if you start to observe it for yourself, and not in a judgemental way, it’s different. Observe how it feels when the urge to smoke comes upon you and you don’t even want to go outside, but that part of your brain that smokes does and that kind of inconveniences you. And then when you go back inside after having smoked, you had to worry about the smell. Just observe that and it will start to poke holes in that aggressive brain, the smoker brain. It will start to take its power away.
This is very important and most people don't do this when they stop smoking, but you need to create a vision of what you want in your life as a non-smoker. When we are trying to quit smoking cold turkey, we are very clear about what we don't want. I don't want to smoke. I don't want to be unhealthy. I don't want to spend all my money on cigarettes or vaping.
But we don't have a powerful vision of how exciting it's going to be to be free and be a non-smoker. So starting to cultivate that vision is one of the critical things that you need to do to be a successful non-smoker. When I work with clients, I give them coaching on how to get excited about the actual process of becoming a non-smoker. And part of that is creating a vision. So think about that.
Think about how exciting it's going to be for you to be a non-smoker, what that's going to look like in your life. Walking without getting out of breath. Staying in conversations or at get togethers without sneaking off. Never worrying about how you smell. Not panicking when the store is closing, or there’s a snowstorm and you don’t know if you’ll be able to go get more cigarettes. Not freaking out when you can’t find a lighter, or your lighter runs out of fluid and the kids are already in bed and you can’t go get another one. Think about all of the things you could do instead of smoking.
And last but not least, when you're breaking up with somebody, you’ve gotta really break up with them. You can't just try not to smoke. You’ve got to say we're done! It’s over! You have to be really clear.
Maybe you had fun in the beginning years of this romance with smoking. But you’ve gotten to the point where you’re just done and you really want to move on and break the attachment. To do that, you have to attach to the vision of where you’re going to go and you have to break up and put that behind you.
Because once you do that, it can be easy. Once you make the decision, they don't own you anymore. You own yourself. Becoming a non-smoker can be powerful. It can be exciting and it can be very freeing and the best thing you ever do in your life, kicking that relationship to the curb.
You absolutely can do this. You can stop smoking cold turkey. If you’d like more help with this process, I encourage you to register for my free masterclass, “How to Stop Smoking Without Withdrawal, Cravings or Weight Gain.” Get the tools you need to put smoking behind you and your healthy future in front of you-once and for all! Register here today.