Help Me Stop Smoking – The Mind Battle to Quit Smoking

I looked for inspiration to help me stop smoking for years. Have you ever felt that you were a special case, it was much more difficult for you to give up smoking than anyone else? Other people could survive for a couple of days without a smoke then relapse, I honestly thought I couldn’t get even that far.

I literally built up to my quit for years, it sounds pathetic but I never even had the nerve to try and quit smoking yet I though about it all the time. I was the master of excuses, how many of these have you used ?

I’ll just wait until after my holidays, so I don’t spoil the break
I’ll just wait until I’ve got over this stressful situation at work and then I’ll quit
I’ll just wait until the winter is over so I can get out and about more and then I’ll quit
I’ll just take a few days/months/years to get in the right frame of mind and then…

Well you get the picture, I was great at excuses but that didn’t actually help me stop smoking. I always thought I was more addicted than anyone else, my life was more focussed on smoking so it would be harder for me to quit than anyone else ! I suspect we all think like that but I honestly thought I’d never quit and my 20 years would turn into 40 years of smoking if I survived that long.

Although in the end I just quit, first time, no relapse, no great problems and I didn’t modify my lifestyle one jot. I still went outside with the smokers at break times, I still sat in the pub with my smoking friends and it didn’t bother me.

The battle to give up smoking is in the mind

I truly 100% believe this, if you can win the battle of smoking in your mind, quitting will be easy. Here’s the deal, smokers think that cigarettes bring pleasure to your life, you enjoy a cigarette with a drink, with your coffee and it helps you relax and cope with life.

Do you know what it’s true!

Smoking does make life easier
A cigarette with that coffee does make it more enjoyable
Having a smoke on your holidays did improve your mood
You are more relaxed when you have just had a cigarette
It’s all true ! But and it’s a biggie, the reason why a cigarette makes a feeling or and an experience better is because every minute of the day that you are not smoking your body is suffering the effects of nicotine withdrawal. The minute you finish that last puff then your nicotine levels are falling and so your craving is increasing. The withdrawals symptoms are those horrible empty feelings you have as if there’s something missing and what’s missing is nicotine, go on have a cigarette it will make you feel better !

However unless you keep smoking forever each cigarette restarts the cycle, every single feeling and experience in your life will be slightly worse when you are not smoking because it is tinged with withdrawal symptoms. That is why smoking gets the credit for good and happy times for smokers because those are the only times when they don’t have to suffer the nicotine withdrawals.

Realising there was no pleasure was the key to help me stop smoking. Next time you smoke a cigarette try and think about the bits you enjoy, is it the taste or the inhaling the smoke, perhaps that lovely smell? Also do one thing for me next time you see another person light up a cigarette look carefully at their faces, do they look as though they are enjoying it or is it the first great drag to calm them down then the rest just smoked out of habit ? Is that a look of pleasure on their face or a look of need as they calm their body down with a burst of nicotine – you decide.

If you win the battle of the mind you can give up easily I promise you. There is absolutely no reason that you shouldn’t stop smoking today. Here’s some of my thoughts on stress and smoking if you’d like to read them – Smoking stress

Hope they help and good luck!

John