In the previous part of the article we talked about what personal qualities and habits make the smoker smoke.
This is the fourth part of stop smoking posts.
In order to return to tobacco use never again, you need to refine yourself, to develop important personal skills and eliminate psychological preconditions of the addiction.
Is it necessary to change your personality in order to stop being addicted?
I published this article on the Russian version of the website long time ago (i will pass to 6 tips after this introduction). In addition to grateful comments, I received some negative comments as well. Their message was that a person, who visits my website, wants just to quit smoking, while I suggest changing his personality! Isn’t it too much?
I do not think so. Any addiction is based on in-depth properties of our personality. This is the reason why people get so addicted to alcohol, smoking, marijuana, food, sex, etc.
If we correct these personality properties, then the need for addiction will disappear. It is an obvious thing to me. I do not drink, do not smoke, do not use other drugs and do not feel any desire to do it. But some time ago I smoked a pack of cigarettes per day and drank 3 – 4 liters of beer per day.
If I had not solved my psychological problems, I could never get rid of bad habits.
If you want fast and easy solutions and you do not want to refine yourself, there is a good likelihood that you will start smoking again after you quit it or you will be uncomfortable without your friends-cigarettes. Then my articles won’t be suitable for you.
But if you need to be sure that you will never return to tobacco, that will not replace one bad habit with another one and in general you will be less subjected to all the other addictions, – then you will have to correct the existing habits and character traits.
You can really do it. If you accept this point, chances are that the problem of alcohol or excess food will exist for you no longer. You will not only get rid of addictions, but also develop important life skills, elicit your potential and learn a lot of new things about yourself.
Drug of choice
Although all drugs are different, the preconditions of addiction formation, in principle, are common.
The heroin addicts represent a very large percentage of those who have once smoked marijuana. This does not mean that you will immediately want to shoot heroin after you smoke one weed joint, as you might have heard on TV.
This happens due to the fact that these people are initially in need of drugs to satisfy their desires. Perhaps, they received little joy from their sober life, maybe they were alone, maybe they were not able to live without pleasure, maybe drugs relax them and help them forget themselves, or maybe they were just curious.
It is a matter of taste or just a coincidence, what drug they will choose in order to solve their problems and satisfy their interest. A person, who uses one drug substance, has a tendency to all other substances from the list of drugs.
This happens not because of the fact that he has tried one drug, but because of the psychological preconditions, which made him try it. These preconditions were present even before he took a pull at joint for the first time.
I am sure that among heroin addicts the percentage of those, who have once smoked (or still smoke) cigarettes or often drank alcohol, is not less than the percentage of those who smoked marijuana.
6 Tips, which you should know, before quitting smoking
1: Quitting smoking is much easier than you think
Tobacco smoking has long been a very common ritual. The popularity of this drug reveals not only a fast and strong addiction; it also reveals the fact that smoking ritual has got into many aspects of our life.
Smokers associate a cigarette with the most pleasant things: with an award, with rest, with calm, with communication. Nicotine pulls the set of small strings, each of which is tied to a small desire of our personality.
Your task is to stop associating nicotine with these things. You will have to refine yourself and change your personality in order to achieve this. But sometimes it is quite enough simply to wean off things you are used to.
If you smoke, you get on the dopamine hook. Your body is telling you that smoking is important and it needs smoking, because nicotine managed to trick your brain. Nicotine – is like a computer virus that makes your brain reproduce the same process constantly. But this virus is written in the chemical bonds’ language, not in the programming language.
This is another reason why you are afraid to quit smoking. Your brain convinces you that you need it, even though it is not so. That is why it is so easy for you to fall for the most ridiculous and absurd excuses of a smoker, which justify your tendency to tobacco usage! The freedom from this ailment appears to you like some kind of a tragedy.
Keep that in mind. Your addiction exaggerates the complexity of withdrawal. The body begins to panic: “No! Do not quit it! It is vitally important! You will not live without it!” This is a deception, resist it.
It’s not as scary as it seems to be now. Quitting smoking is much easier than a heavy smoker thinks, while he is under strong addiction. Once you wean off the drug, the idea that you can live without it will become much more real.
Remember, you have nothing to fear!
I have written about this in the first part of the article, but the repetition is relevant. Do not be afraid of the prospects of life without tobacco. Now, when you are still addicted, this perspective seems a picture drawn in dark colors.
But once you lose the addiction and learn to cope with your life’s difficulties without cigarettes, you will realize all the advantages of solutions to finish with tobacco. Smoking is unnatural and abnormal.
2: No “I will do it later”
Do not procrastinate forward the decision to quit smoking: next week, after the birthday, after New Year. There is no need to connect this decision to some event: when I will have less work to do, when I will go to rest, when I will not see all my smoking friends.
Quit smoking right tomorrow! You have to learn to live without cigarettes in the conditions in which you want to smoke most of all. Do not try to create for yourself a supposedly favorable environment for quitting smoking.
Cigarettes are suitable for any occasion: when you are up to your ears in work, you smoke to de-stress. When you have little work to do, you smoke because of boredom. When you are with friends, you smoke to accompany them. When you are alone, you also smoke because of boredom. When you relax, you smoke because you are resting. What rest without a cigarette?
We can say that all the conditions are almost equally favorable for withdrawal from cigarettes. Therefore, do not wait any particular day. Smoke your last cigarette tonight, and wake up tomorrow being a non-smoking person.
It would be better, if you choose a less favorable environment for your withdrawal from cigarettes.
For example, I quit smoking in the middle of my working week. I was in the heart of emergence work. On Monday and Tuesday I was a smoker, but on Wednesday I was already not.
I liked to smoke at work; I talked with colleagues in the smoking room and had a rest from labours. I did the right thing, when I chose not to wait for the weekend, to lock myself at home and save myself from seeing any smoker. I endured the nicotine withdrawal in the conditions of the greatest temptation. And it helped me cope with cigarette cravings in all other “easier” situations.
Therefore, prepare not to smoke namely tomorrow!
3: No “I quit smoking”
No need to set yourself up to quit smoking. Tomorrow you will think about yourself and say that you have quit smoking! It is important to understand that the action has been committed, not being in the process.
If today you are a part of 20 % of smoking population in the world, then tomorrow you will be able to classify yourself to the remained 80 % of non-smokers.
Starting next day, you do not smoke, the other people smoke, but you don’t. You have quitted it!
This will help you follow your own promise more confidently. In the formulation “I quit smoking” some self-doubt is noticeable. As if the phrase means that you are just trying to quit smoking for self-complacency; you do it only for a while, but later you will surely return to the habit.
It is especially more pleasant to classify yourself to non-smokers, then identifying yourself with smokers. Your colleagues, people on the street and people on TV smoke, but you don’t. They do not care about their health, unlike you.
If you are asked: “Will you come to the smoking room?” You shall answer: “I have quitted.” It will be more difficult to you to smoke, when you have told someone that you smoke no longer, then when you say that you “try” not to smoke.
4: Do not identify yourself with “withdrawal sickness”
The first days of withdrawal will be hard for you. The “hardness” depends on your health condition and length of smoking. I smoked 6 years. The withdrawal was not easy, but it was quite bearable.
You have to set yourself up for this immediately, not allowing the strong desire to take you by surprise. You will have to endure the physical and psychological discomfort. You can be more irritable and emotional than usually. And you will want to smoke very much.
I will make here an important amendment at once. It is not you who will want to smoke, not your “true inner self”, but your body, which was convinced by means of biochemical deception that nicotine is a vital substance.
One of the biggest mistakes of smokers is the identification of their body needs to the needs of their “inner self.”
Namely this induces them to slip and meet the arisen desire to smoke, even though they have promised themselves not to do it.
You are not your body with its desires. Your body is just a highly organized, but thoughtless biological machine. Nicotine has integrated into the body processes and makes it signalize the brain about the need for the substance.
The desire to smoke is just a signal, which is sent to you by your body. If your body wants something, then by means of dopamine and other chemical compounds it signalize you about this want, just the same as a car informs the driver about the shortage of gasoline through a glowing indicator on the board.
You are not your desires. If you want something, it does not mean that you need it. No need to follow all your desires.
When your body will have the desire to smoke, resist it, just watch it from the outside. Ask yourself, what happens to your body at that moment? Does your body salivate? Is there some tension in the muscles?
What’s going on in your head? What thoughts are born?
Remain the observer of your body desires, not the puppet. Do not associate yourself with them. Keep your true self aside and endure the persistence of these desires.
Perhaps your well-being will leave much to be desired in the first days of withdrawal. But endure this ailment. This is not the worst suffering that can attack a man.
Think of it as a disease, which you can relieve in no way, you can only wait until it ends itself.
You have no opportunities to interrupt the disease by yourself.
5: Do not listen to your brain!
Remember, you got on the dopamine hook. Your brain will use every trick in the book to convince you to smoke. It can present you dozens of arguments in favor of smoking. And these arguments (“only one cigarette”,”I will quit smoking later, when the situation will be more suitable”, etc.) will seem convincing to you.
That’s all a deception. You have already quitted smoking and there is no point to relapse into smoking! There is no sense to smoke the only cigarette, and there is no use to delay your decision to quit smoking for later. It won’t be easier later, on the contrary, it will be much more difficult. Every day of smoking will deteriorate your health and will increase the addiction.
All these false arguments of the brain are absurd. But it is easy to believe them, because you have a strong desire.
No need to argue with your brain. Just ignore it. Direct all the thoughts that are connected with smoking to an imaginary ban-list, no matter how tempting these thoughts may be.
Set yourself up to the fact that you have quitted smoking and that no argument can make you return to the bad habit!
6: No nicotine patches, nicotine chewing gum and electronic cigarettes
If possible, you’d better not facilitate your withdrawal symptoms. Learn to endure them; learn to control your strong desires. This will teach you to deal with your impulses and will mobilize your willpower, which you will need so much in the coming days.
In my opinion, the use of cigarette substitutes only increases the likelihood that you will smoke afterwards, because they do not teach you to endure temptations, but only block them.
However, when I quit smoking, I was chewing an ordinary chewing gum – “Orbit” – in the first few days of the withdrawal. It somehow helped me. But I have not used any products containing nicotine.
Of course, it is necessary to quit smoking abruptly. No need to reduce the amount of consumed tobacco gradually. It is much difficult to control your weakness, than to give it up!
Try to fill your fridge with your favorite cakes and promise yourself that you will eat no more than one per week! Do not you think that it is much easier not to eat them at all and to fill the fridge with other, healthier food, not allowing the cakes to tease you?
Remember, beginning tomorrow you will be able to classify yourself to non-smoker people. The person, who smokes one or two cigarettes per day, is still a smoker.
This is the main thing you should know before you quit smoking tomorrow. Pass directly to the program. It will “set” you up to your tomorrow feat.