Okay, I know what you’re saying: “Oh, please not another article telling me the same things about how smoking is bad and that I should stop.”
Sure, it’s no secret, smoking is bad for you; even the box itself is littered with warnings! It causes a magnitude of health problems, including 90% of all lung cancer. It is also a fact that that it’s expensive and that it makes everything around you reek. So then, why doesn’t everyone quit?
Thing is, the best way to quit is a subject on which every health expert has their own opinion. Nicotine gum, prescription treatments, cold turkey… there are so many options for someone looking to quit. However, if there were a one-size-fits-all solution, the number of smokers would be a fraction of what it currently is, don’t you think? Fact is, nicotine addiction is a tough one to beat, no doubt about that!
Here’s the good news: new studies suggest there might be an alternative way to stop using tobacco by tricking your brain. Smoking tobacco is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit. On the one hand nicotine provides a temporary and addictive high, and eliminating that regular fix will cause your body to experience physical withdrawal symptoms, but because of nicotine’s ‘feel-good’ effect, you may also become accustomed to smoking as a way of coping with stress, anxiety, and even boredom. And yes, studies have proved that you can override the need for a powerful drug like nicotine by tapping into the power of your brain.
We have a few tips on how to outsmart your brain:
- Adjust your attitude. Change your point of view to that of a non-smoker. Stop saying: “I’m giving up smoking.” Giving up implies a loss, but the reality is that you’re gaining so much more; your health and energy, money, self-control, and the self-respect that comes with creating your own reality.
- Commit. Don’t make it easy for yourself. Be accountable; tell friends and family, and post it on social media.
- Identify your triggers. Do you smoke a cigarette with you morning coffee, or with a glass of wine in the evening? Many smokers smoke without realising it. One way to avoid triggers is to shake up your routine or by adding an activity. Replace negative habits with positive ones. Brush your teeth, text a friend or take a walk.
- Delay, delay, delay. When the urges come, have a plan. Do what works for you. Take ten deep breaths, drink water, or go for a run. Take it one urge at a time. You can do it!
- Get moving! In a 2006 Austrian study, 80% of smokers who combined exercise with nicotine replacement therapy successfully quit. The success rate was only 52% for those who used nicotine replacement alone.
- Get rid of that familiar scent on your clothes, in your house, and in your car.
- Don’t even take one puff, nope not ever! Your mind will trick you into thinking that one cigarette won’t hurt. Don’t give in. One puff WILL HURT! One leads to two and the rest is history.
- Reward yourself. Take whatever you would have spent on cigarettes and put it in a jar. This is your “Rewards Jar.” Go crazy! Celebrate your successes, you deserve it.
Every day without a cigarette is a success. It’s like riding a bike, there’s no shame in falling, as long as you get back up and try again. You can do this!
From January 2018 Fedhealth members will be able to join the smoking cessation programme to help them quit smoking. For more information click here.
Source: www.webmd.com, www.helpguide.org, www.psychologytoday.com, www.treated.com, www.mindfithypnosis.com, blackdoctor.org, whyquit.com, www.verywell.com, www.nerdfitness.com, zenhabits.net, www.dovemed.com, www.mindpowernews.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.