4 Steps To Obtain A Smoke-Free Healthier, Happier Life

Photo: Getty 
4 Things You Can Do To Kick Your Smoking Lifestyle NOW

“I can’t stand that I’m throwing my money away on cigarettes. The smell is awful and embarrassing! But I just can’t quit,” Frannie, a successful and well-sought after financial advisor lamented to me. Frannie had tried everything to quit on her own—from pills to patches to gum to white knuckling it—but under stress, she always found herself racing back to her familiar comfort—cigarettes. By the time she came to me for hypnosis to quit smoking, she was sick and tired of being addicted to what her sister called, “cancer sticks.”  Yet as intelligent as Frannie is, she could not seem to make progress to break the nasty habit and improve her lifestyle. 

If you can relate to Frannie’s dilemma, here are 4 things you can do today to kick the habit for good and set yourself free.

1. Start to notice how your subconscious mind works.

Subconsciously, we always move towards pleasure and away from pain. We can’t change that. It’s the way the brain is wired. The good news is that we can change what we associate pain with and where we perceive pleasure. As a smoker, you associate the cigarettes with pleasure, freedom, and relaxation. This isn't the truth. In reality, cigarettes don’t bring you pleasure. They cause you pain, either physically by having shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and compromised health and/or psychologically by experiencing guilt and shame.

Cigarettes don't give you the perceived freedom they promise. Rather, they put you in a prison. Although you may associate your cigarettes with relaxation, physiologically they are doing the opposite of relaxing you—they cause your heart to beat faster, your blood vessels to constrict and create tension in your body. Associate the cigarettes with the pain they actually cause, rather than the illusion of pleasure that you're subconsciously seeking.

2. Write down the reasons you want to quit. 

We never do anything without a motive. Why do you go to work? To contribute, help others, be intellectually stimulated, engage in social interaction, and to collect a pay check.  Your reasons are important, because they motivate you to do what you consciously want to do. 

Similarly, writing down the reasons you are determined to be a non-smoker will impress those reasons on your subconscious mind and make it easier for you to naturally feel driven to take actions that reinforce your new self-image as a permanent non-smoker. Be as specific as possible. Rather than just writing down, “For my health,” include details that your subconscious mind can immediately relate to. Try something like, “I don’t want to end up like Aunt Sharon and have to drag around oxygen or be like Dad with a heart attack at age 54.” By thinking about why you’re determined to quit—rather than what you are afraid of—will make it easier to move in a new, more positive direction.

3. Run a mental movie that supports your goal.

Your subconscious mind thinks in pictures. To succeed in creating a new self-image as a permanent non-smoker, create and repeat mental movies where you're the hero or heroine. Imagine yourself as confident in all situations, especially the ones where you used to “need” a cigarette as a crutch.

If you’re someone who wakes up in the morning and fumbles for that first cigarette of the day as you pour your first cup of coffee, create a new scenario for yourself in your mind.  Imagine yourself bolting out of bed, energized and happy and looking forward to the day. You smell and feel clean and confident as a permanent non-smoker. Imagine being able to breathe easily and fully, move your body, and feel younger and healthier than you have in a long time. Picture yourself acing that presentation and feeling like a winner because you are now a permanent non-smoker. Visualize your love life ramping up, because your confidence is now at an all time high. Your mental movies create your life story, so be conscious and aware of them. Adjust them to achieve the results you want.

4. Change your behaviors.

Create a new routine. Put a glass of water with Slender Cider next to your bed, so you can drink it down first thing in the morning for healthy cleansing, alkalizing, and energizing. Set your alarm twenty minutes early and go for a brisk walk or run outside or do 50 jumping jacks in the house. Every hour, stop what you are doing and take 3 deep breaths. Deep abdominal breathing is a wonderful way to relax yourself and dissolve physical and mental tension.

Your subconscious mind is like a computer that runs on programming. Studies show that it takes about 30 days to make or break a habit. The old you is in the habit of reaching for a cigarette. By realizing how your subconscious mind works, you are going with the flow instead of against it. Associate pain with cigarettes, not pleasure to ensure long term success. To do this, write down the reasons why you are determined to no longer let that nasty habit control you and make sure all your mental movies and inner dialogue support your conscious decision to live your life as a non-smoker. Finally, shift your routines to create new, positive habits. 

Congratulations on your decision to live your life healthy and free as a permanent non-smoker. I’ve seen smokers who had been addicted for 40-50 years, sometimes smoking 4-5 packs a day quit. If they can do it, you can too!

Sign Up for the YourTango Newsletter

Let's make this a regular thing!

Rena Greenberg has helped over 100,000 people stop smoking in over 75 hospitals since 1990 using hypnosis and cognitive conditioning. She is also a successful author and wrote The Craving Cure: Break the Hold Carbs and Sweets Have on Your Life.

YourTango may earn an affiliate commission if you buy something through links featured in this article.

This article was originally published at Easy Willpower. Reprinted with permission from the author.