If you've been trying to quit smoking and haven’t been successful, you may have begun to notice that what you need is more of a mental edge over stopping, rather than just focusing on nicotine. And you are absolutely right. More than 80% of stopping smoking is mental.
In this blog, what I'm going to go through are three mental meditations that are going to really give you a mental edge over stopping smoking so that you can go out there and practice these and begin your journey to becoming a happy, healthy non-smoker.
“I want to stop smoking so bad, I know it's bad for me. I know I shouldn’t be doing it, but why do I keep doing it?”
The fact that you are still smoking is really not your fault. It's not that you lack discipline or willpower. It's just the way the mind is constructed. The conscious mind is very small, it’s only 12%. That 12% of the mind is the conscious willpower part of the brain. So when you're trying to quit smoking, that is how much of your brain really, truly wants to quit smoking. This is the part of your brain that wants to quit smoking.
Now, the other 80% or so, that part of the brain wants you to keep on smoking. It’s not a fact most people like to hear, but it’s true. This is the subconscious mind. Think about it for a moment...at one point in our lives, every person was a non-smoker. But over time, we start smoking and we take on the identity of a smoker. We start to believe that we need cigarettes or vaping for various reasons.
Our belief system becomes ingrained with the habit of smoking or vaping. We believe we need to smoke in order to survive. Even though consciously we know it’s bad for us, we choke, we cough, it smells, it’s expensive...our subconscious brain thinks we need it to live. That part of our brain wants us to continue to smoke. And that’s the part of the brain that we want to impact, that we want to change.
This is where hypnosis comes in, it impacts the subconscious part of your brain. I use hypnosis to get that part of the brain on board with you becoming a non-smoker. These meditations that I’m going to teach you are awesome in that they start to impact the part of your brain that wants to keep smoking. These meditations are going to help you relax the filter between your conscious and subconscious brain, so that you can become a non-smoker.
You probably already do this throughout the day in your life. When you want something so badly, you visualize it. You imagine being in a place you’d like to travel to. You imagine getting that different job, or a promotion at work. You sit at your desk, or lay in bed, and you picture yourself wherever you dream of going. If you dream of going to Paris, for instance, you picture yourself on the streets there, with the breeze blowing in your hair, sitting at a sidewalk cafe.
You can really see it. You can feel it. And that is what we need to do as a smoker. But you typically don’t. Because you see yourself as a smoker, and it’s hard to imagine being a non-smoker. And when you do, you imagine it going badly. Cravings, withdrawal, gaining weight, being agitated.
But what you want to do is imagine it the way you would walking on a sandy beach. Think about taking a deep breath while walking on a beach, filling your lungs with fresh air instead of smoke. Imagine meeting friends for dinner, laughing and talking, enjoying a glass of wine, without having to excuse yourself to go outside to smoke every hour. Create that powerful vision for yourself and do it often.
Most of the time, we smoke in a pattern, right? We wake up and have a cigarette with our coffee. We smoke in the car on the way to work. We smoke on lunch breaks. We smoke when we do certain things, and we end the day smoking on the porch before bed.
So your brain has gotten used to smoking in your smoking pattern. It’s gotten used to having a cigarette at certain times of day, or when you’re doing certain things. So it will bug you for a cigarette when that time rolls around or when you’re doing that particular thing.
What you want to do is start to practice being a non-smoker in your mind. So you want to imagine each of those times that you normally would smoke as your being a non-smoker instead. Then start doing it. So instead of smoking first thing in the morning, imagine what you would do as a non smoker. Maybe you would meditate. Maybe you would exercise. Or read a book. Imagine doing something that would make you feel good instead of smoking.
If you normally smoke right after eating, maybe you take a walk. If you smoke right before bed, maybe you start journaling. This is what I call mental practice daydreaming. Your imagination is very powerful. So use it to start imagining yourself as a non-smoker.
Now we’re going to change the focus. I want you to create a mantra. And a mantra is similar to an affirmation. The problem though with an affirmation is that your brain kicks it aside too easily. It doesn’t impact the subconscious brain like we need it to with smoking. A mantra creates a pattern of thinking. It changes that pattern in the brain. It’s a way of speaking to ourselves that opens up our brain to an idea that we aren’t used to, or that we fear.
Because the main thing that stands between you and quitting smoking cold turkey isn’t willpower, it’s your brain.
So one of the mantras that I love to use in both smoking cessation and weight release, is this…”I am moving in the direction of becoming a happy non-smoker.”
What you’re doing with that is you’re planting this idea of being a happy and healthy non-smoker into your subconscious mind. It won’t get you there all the way, but it’s planting the seeds of belief. Once you start to plant those seeds, your brain starts to think that it sounds interesting and that it may be possible. You know, we can do this, right? It won’t be as bad as I thought.
Practice visualizing being a non-smoker, begin imagining how your life will look and how you’ll feel as a non-smoker, and create a mantra to repeat to yourself so that you can start to get your brain on board.
If you love these tips and want more, I invite you to attend my free online masterclass, How to Stop Smoking Without Withdrawal, Cravings or Weight Gain. It’s on demand, so you can watch it at whatever time fits best into your life and schedule. It’s free and entirely online. Register here today if you’re ready to start your non-smoking life.