I was terrified to stop smoking. In fact, if I got down to 2 cigarettes in my pack I would start to get panicky. Has that ever happened to you? You see, I wanted to share with you a little about me and my former smoker self, and a little about the fears that I had about stopping smoking, and how I began to overcome them, so that you can stop for good too.
Though I am regarded internationally as the go-to stop smoking expert and hypnotherapist (people visit me from all over the globe to stop smoking in one session) I was once the biggest smoking fiend of them all.
I moved to NYC from Seattle in the early 80’s to attend college. New York City in the early 80’s was a tough town-muggings, punk rock and lots of attitude and angst! I started smoking, not because I wanted to smoke, but to fit in with all these black-leather-clad New Yorkers who, at the time, seemed so grown-up, sophisticated and chic. Most of the students in my dorm smoked their heads off, including my roommate, who made smoking look so glamorous and cool. She would blow little smoke rings as she put her eyeliner on in the morning-what a talent!
Once I started smoking I was hooked. My friends would laugh at my smoking because I really dragged hard and deep on the cigarette. My best friend would even joke, “Rita, you are the smokiest of them all!”
Through the years I would try to stop smoking every once in a while. But it just seemed too hard. I would go for a few days, but start eating everything in sight and feel like my coping mechanism was gone. I couldn’t survive without my cigarettes. I needed them to wake up, to relax, to think, to drive, to eat and to manage my weight (which was already an issue). So, I kept smoking, thinking that I liked smoking, but the truth was, I was just plain afraid to stop.
Maybe you can relate? Most people know that by stopping smoking they could save money and feel healthier and add years to their life. Why do people continue then? I'll tell you why. It’s because of FEAR. The fear is that that when you stop smoking it will leave a huge void in your life that needs to be filled.
The truth is that up until I started smoking I didn’t need cigarettes to cope. I just coped. Our mind goes where we lead it. When we try to stop smoking, our mind now focuses on the gaps left behind where cigarettes used to be, and perceives that there is something missing. For example, we experience a stressful moment and because we still buy into the belief we need a cigarette to calm down, we panic and become even more stressed.
The truth is once we DECIDE to BECOME a NON-SMOKER (rather than “trying” to quit smoking) our mind will quickly refocus on learning new ways to manage our weight and alleviate stress as a non-smoker. But until we make that decision 100%, our mind will just focus on the lack of cigarettes and we will continue to be a victim of the illusion that cigarettes do everything for us!!
Once I decided to be a non-smoker, with the use of hypnosis, I learned to manage my weight as a non-smoker (I even took off 40 pounds and have kept it off all 23 years that I have been a non-smoker) and I learned to manage my stress. I needed to make the decision 100% that I was done and that I was more powerful than a stupid cigarette.
If you're trying to quit smoking, I have a PDF called “Slimming Stop Smoking Solutions”, it will give you some very easy and effective tools to avoid gaining weight after you decide to become a non-smoker.
The truth is that your mind is so powerful! You are just one impactful decision away from unlocking the prison door of your smoking habit and stepping into a new free and healthy life. Don’t let old useless myths and fears stop you from being your best self. I believe in you and know you can become a happy, healthy non-smoker!