Maybe you’ve tried to quit, too. According to Psychcentral.com, when you attempt to change a self-destructive behaviour pattern — such as cigarette smoking — research has shown that you will go through quite predictable stages of change on your journey to recovery.
These stages of change were first identified by Prochaska and DiClemente in 1982 and since then hundreds of studies have validated their original findings.
STEPS TO RECOVERY
The stages of change are: precontemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance and termination.
If you’re in the precontemplation stage of change, it means that you’re not yet ready to change because you haven’t acknowledged there is a problem and you’re in denial.
At the contemplation stage of change you’re thinking about the pros and cons of continuing the problematic behavior vs. quitting, but you’re still undecided.
In this stage of change you have decided that quitting is the way to go and you are preparing yourself for taking action on your decision.
In this stage of change, you are already changing.
In this stage of change you need to continue to reinforce, support and encourage the behavior changes you have already made. It’s still early days and temptations may still loom, although probably not with the same strength they used to.
Congratulations, the behaviour is no longer a problem for you!
FACTS & TIPS
Facts: According to Cancer.org, smoking increases the risk of macular degeneration, one of the most common causes of blindness in older people. It promotes cataracts, which cloud the lens of the eye. It also causes premature wrinkling of the skin, bad breath, gum disease, tooth loss, bad-smelling clothes and hair, and yellow teeth and fingernails. Tips: If a craving creeps up on you, try and think positively and find healthy outlets for stress or anger. If something bothers you, learn to relax quickly by taking deep breaths. Take 10 slow, deep breaths and hold the last one. Then breathe out slowly. Remember: To ensure old habits don’t resurface, rid your home, workplace and car of any and all smoking paraphernalia including, matches, lighters and ashtrays. 1 Year after Quitting: Your lungs are now healthier and you’ll be breathing easier than if you’d kept smoking. Furthermore you have saved an average of $9,125 (based on a pack a day at $25).