Many are fearful of quitting smoking because they don't know what the result will be. Cigarettes give the illusion of having control over emotions and stress. People don't want to give that up.
A more probing analysis reveals that cigarettes actually take control away from us rather than enhancing our control. They make us dependent upon poisonous chemicals in order to make us momentarily comfortable in tense situations. We ask the question, "Is this type of control worth losing our health?"
So as we consider quitting we can't help but wonder what the future holds without the known effects of "lighting up" to help us make it through the day.
If you are a person who wants to quit but doesn't want their life to change, then it is time to develop some faith in your ability to adjust to a new format. Get ready the results will surprise you.
As you are getting ready to quit, make notes on exactly what you don't want to change. These instances may be:
- I like the feeling of contentment after smoking.
- Cigarettes enhance my ability to imagine better times.
- Cigarettes help me to remember past emotional experiences.
- Cigarettes are a shared pleasure with a loved one.
- Cigarettes keep me from feeling lonely.
So as you look at your list, ask yourself, what makes me content? Obviously, it isn't cigarettes anymore. Give yourself a time frame to "re-achieve" contentment after you discard the cigarette crutch.
What would "better times" actually look like? What is the first step in the real world toward these times? A phone call? A plane ticket? Acknowledge that cigarettes are, to an extent, hallucinogenic. Better times don't have to be a fantasy.
Are past emotional experiences taking up a lot of your emotional energy?
It may be worth an actual visit to the remnants of that experience to see if your mind has recorded the experience or just rewritten the past. Probably a little of both, but sort out whether the fantasy has gained too much power over your creativity.
Learn new skills
If sharing things with a loved one is important to you, then what better time to share that you are thinking about quitting smoking.
You will get a reaction. The resulting interchange will be significant. The best outcome would be the development of a strategy where both of you can quit. But you won't know the outcome without the input.
All of the above scenarios will help to abate loneliness. And as a non-smoker, it is easier to meet new people. You will be developing skills to enhance your existing relationships.
Beginning to travel this road will change your life. If you are successful there is no way to avoid that. But the changes themselves will be changes that you choose and implement because you want them.
You have to give yourself permission to be brave enough to start.
Contact us for information about the effect of quitting on your specific situation.