Breaking Bad Habits (Smoking) without Struggle
I’m in the process of working on this post. It’s 2am and I’m going to sleep, but I think it has enough to publish what I’m doing so far, I’ll update this throughout the week. And then adjust it again once I become a happy, free, non-smoker.
Based on what I’ve been researching and learning about mindset and nutrition over the past 3 months, I want to create an “anyone can do this” plan to break the smoking cycle and become free, something for those who have tried every method and failed over and over again, like I have.
Since I’m dead-set on succeeding this time, and since I’ve failed over 60 ‘real’ times, read the book ‘Easy Way to Stop Smoking’ over 47 times (all different versions including the extended edition and the dvd), and received a deathly diagnosis and yet still smoke (who does that?), it’s time to plan to succeed.
I’m starting to realize there is a record-playing in my head, “you can’t quit, you’ve already tried, you keep failing over and over and over again, if you quit now, you’ll only fail again”. It’s not that it’s even that difficult when I do decide to quit, I just end up buying another packet again and smoking whenever I feel anything: anxiety, stress, or just have the ‘want’ or that ‘missing’ feeling. I think the record started playing after I quit successfully for 4 years using the EasyWay method, I was happy, I was a superhero who could conquer anything, I never even considering having a cigarette, I knew that just one puff, one cigarette, would hook me again, I had trained my brain over those 4 years that if I just have one cig, I would become addicted again. One day I had an experience where I was humiliated in front of a large group of people, I didn’t “care”, I wanted the feeling to go away and I didn’t know of any way that it could, so I started drinking that night, then I asked someone for a cigarette, then the rest is history. My beliefs became my reality, just one cigarette and I was hooked again.
When I tried to quit, I thought I could just re-read Allan Carr’s book and become a super-hero again, unfortunately it didn’t work the next time, or the next, or the next. I read it 47 times over the next 12 months and lived the last few years in absolute shame of not being able to beat something that I had previously successfully conquered with ease. This feeling has affected all parts of my life, from my work (I started getting tired, losing energy, not being the same gung-ho person I was), to my relationships (confidence, vitality, lethargy, smell, taste), to my friendships and social circles (avoiding non-smoker friends because of the shame, or because I didn’t want to ‘smoke’ around them, feeling guilty on smoke-breaks, choosing places where I can smoke ‘inside’ etc). Whoever thinks smoking doesn’t affect their lives in a negative way is lucky because I knew I was spiralling, I knew that it was affecting me, and my mind, with that mindset, was ensuring that my negative self-loathing and shame beliefs manifested in my reality.
This is for all those who have tried Cold Turkey/Will Power and failed, who have tried patches and gum, Champix, walking, cutting down, increasing, reading smoking books, changing to natural cigarettes, changing to pipes, avoided triggers, hypnosis, NLP, and the list goes on and on. And if it doesn’t resonate with you, then this list is for me. :) This list is to start turning around that never-ending ‘failure’ record-player in my head, to re-train my mind to ‘know’ that I can do it, that I can become a super-hero again.
I’ve tried it your way goddamnit, and if I hadn’t of lived through this experience, I would be you too – I’ve done it before and it was easy and I was successful, for 4 years I was free, and now, I haven’t known why I couldn’t quit with anything that I did, I didn’t realize the subconscious played such an important role until I did all this research. I didn’t realize that I couldn’t just “decide to quit” and then “quit”, I’ve been feeling this shame and defeat for years and it’s time to take my life back, but not with fear, because I now have the tools to change anything in my mind that I choose to change, now I’m devising my own plan for success and hopefully by helping myself with this plan, it will help someone else too.
I think the main reason why hypnosis or even will power doesn’t work for some people is because of the same reason it didn’t work with me. 1 or 2 session(s) of hypnosis or a gung-ho attitude cannot undo years of training the mind to fail, maybe it works with people who have been having the record-player of “I can quit smoking” or similar thoughts for some time, already knowing that they can do it, but it doesn’t work instantly for those who have ingrained ‘wrong thinking’ as a broken-record into their subconscious mind. Without even realizing it, my subconscious has been helping to sabotage my chances of success because I had ingrained in me that it was an impossibility for me to succeed. If you had asked me though, I would’ve not even realized that this was even happening, so my answers would be varied because I still “planned to quit” but my inner-self was knowing that I didn’t think that it would be possible since I had already ‘proven’ to myself that I couldn’t do it this time.
The overview of my Master plan.
Subconscious Brain Re-Wiring
First, since I know that the subconscious mind has a lot to do with the reason why I keep failing, I’m going to start re-training my subconscious mind to think like a non-smoker and to think of success instead of failure over the next 30 days. It takes 21-30 days to change a habit, well I’ve already tried “quitting” and various other things, I couldn’t make it to the 30 days, so this time, I’m going to re-wire the wrong thinking in my brain, replace the bad habit with good ones that will serve me, and change my thinking to be one of success instead of knowing that I’m going to ‘fail’ again. Before I even ‘stop’ smoking, I’m going to just change my thinking about it. Get my brain on auto-pilot. “Brainwash” myself effectively for success. I’m going to think of some affirmations that I’ll say prior to sleeping, when I awake and all throughout the day, I’m going to mediate daily on those affirmations, place them on post-it notes, feel them, believe them, and I’m going to spend 30 mins a day visualizing my health. I am going to re-train it until it doesn’t know the meaning of failure, that it believes more in success than failure.
Vitamins, Minerals, Nutrition
Next, I’m going to start taking supplements (vitamins/minerals) and eating foods that smokers have a deficiency in. These supplements have been researched already and will help support me as it will cause less cravings, and better mental power, less stress, and it will help decrease suffering.
Not only that but anything I do towards my health, instead of ‘away’ from, will help concrete and provide support and conviction behind the new mindset that I’m going to have.
Break the Mental Connection with Nicotine ~ Replace Bad with Good
Next, I’m going to break the mental connection with nicotine. Find my triggers, notice what I’m feeling, when and where I’m smoking, how many, etc. I’m going to record them down to take note of things so that I can “do the opposite” or do something “different/better” when I get the trigger. i.e. I always smoke when I have a hot cuppa, I can either choose to not have a hot cuppa – replace it with something else like a cold drink, or I can choose to decide not to smoke whenever I have a hot cuppa, then the next week, choose to not have a smoke when I “drive”, etc. etc. whatever my triggers are, I’m going to find a way to counteract that trigger and break the mental connection so that it’s not an “automatic” habit to smoke in those situations – again, training my subconscious mind.
Finally, I’m going to detox my lungs. So even before I put that last cigarette out, I’m going to start to detoxify my lungs – get all that tar and evil crap out of my lungs.
Step One: Identifying my personal/meaningful benefits of quitting to re-wire my brain / re-train my subconscious mind to be “on my side” and support me when I quit.
We all have our reasons for staying a smoker and for quitting smoking. We share the obvious ones, but here are the things “I” personally want to achieve from quitting smoking. The most important ones for me, they may be different than what you would normally see on these types of pages, these are the crux ‘true to me’ fears:
- To breathe – I want to be able to breathe all the way in without coughing and wheezing. I want to wake up in the morning not sounding like I’m 150 years old.
- To reverse copd and asthma – I want to be able to cure/reverse emphysema and asthma, I want to re-wire my brain to direct my cells to get them working to rebuild my lungs.
- To not fear death and disease – I want to know that I’m doing all that I can for my body to be healthy, and not fear death and disease. I want to stop ‘feeling’ different ailments in my body and worrying about the next disease I ‘might’ have. I was fearful of getting emphysema, and then I bloody got it. I know that fear manifests itself in the body, and now I feel something in my neck, I feel lumps on my body and get fearful of cancer; I just want to stop the fear and therefore stop the manifestation of the fear into disease and death. I don’t want to fear the doctor’s office; I want to not even have to go to or even think about going to a doctors office.
- I want to stop feeling disappointed in myself. I want to stop giving myself such a hard time. I want to stop blaming my life failures on smoking. I want to stop feeling humiliated and defeated and stuck. I want to be strong and confident; I want to feel like a super-hero again.
- I want to smell nice – trivial maybe but I know how much smokers stink, their mouth, their clothes, their car, their belongings, their hair – everything stinks. I know that I can’t smell it but that non-smokers can; I remember how badly smokers used to stink when I was a non-smoker, it was disgusting. I want to be able to pick up my nephews with love and not worry about what they can smell when I come near them. I want to be able to do courses and teach without bothering non-smokers (which are surprisingly non-verbal about such a disgusting smell). I want the ability to have non-smoker passengers in my car so that we can travel together instead of taking separate vehicles. When I had a partner, we stopped kissing when he quit and I stayed a smoker, it affects your love-life, you taste disgusting and you smell terrible.
- I want to stop wasting money on something that is destroying my life. I can’t believe I actually spend money on something that is killing me. I can’t believe that I have chosen cigarettes over food, over presents, over rent, petrol, bills, over everything. I can’t believe that I would allow this drug to control me and to take such precedence over other important areas of my life.
- I want to choose “non-smoker” when I’m filling out forms, whether it be insurance forms, medical forms, internet forms, dating sites, rental properties, and more – everytime I’m faced with the question: Smoker/Non-Smoker, I want to be able to proudly select the “non-smoker” option. I’m so ashamed of my habit.
- I want to be free and I want others to be free. I want to find the formula for any smoker to be able to quit. I want us all to feel the freedom instead of the trap. I want to stop being a slave to nicotine; I want to end nicotine slavery.
- I want more energy & stamina – I want to be able to live life; to run if I feel like it or go to places ‘out of the way’ without fear. I want to go to countries and places where no hospital is nearby. I don’t want to worry about health at all and I want the energy and confidence to go after any goal/experience that I choose/desire.
Step Two: Turning the above into Affirmations/Visualizations
Now I’m going to turn the desires into Affirmations and put them everywhere. I’m going to meditate on it, I’m going to look-up and see it, I’m going to put it on my cigarette packet, I’m going to put post-it notes everywhere. I’m going to visualize health and all the things above, I’m going to see myself as free. First, I’m going to hunt down affirmations online that match my desires above, then I’ll adjust them to create a meaningful, powerful ‘to me’ couple of affirmations to spread everywhere, to start feeling and ‘being’.
Affirmations to match my goals: (Repeated throughout the day)
- I breathe deeply and relish in the sweet fresh air.
I breathe easily and without effort because my lungs are healthy and clean.
I breathe deeply and every breath energizes me.
I breathe slowly and deeply and love the feeling of breathing clean, fresh air.
- My body is healed, restored and filled with energy.
Every Cell in my body vibrates with energy and perfect health
My body heals quickly and easily I have the power to control my health.
I am in control of my health and wellness.
I have the power to control my health and My body heals quickly and easily.
Every cell, nerve, tissue, and muscle of my lungs are now being made whole, pure, and perfect. My whole body is being restored to health and harmony.
- My body is healing and regenerating itself everyday.
I am healthy, happy and radiant.
I radiate good health.
My immune system is very strong.
I choose to be healthy and treat my body with respect and love.
- I am well, I am whole, and I am strong and healthy.
I am of a strong heart and steel body. I am vigorous, energetic and full of vitality.
I am my own Superhero
I believe in myself.
I choose to be the best that I can be.
- My breath, my clothes, and my hands feel and smell fresh and clean all the time
- I love and accept myself exactly as I am now.
- I am proud of my achievements.
I joyously release the past; I live my life in the present moment.
- I always take good care of my body.
I am aware that by helping to heal another, I also heal myself.
- I am healthy, and full of energy and vitality.
I have all the energy I need to accomplish my goals and to fulfill my desires.
I have abundant energy, vitality and well-being.
Step 3: Visualizations: (30 mins of Neural Reconditioning every day)
Daily Visualizing exercises that I will weave-in to my conscious & sub-conscious:
- Making myself a coffee and drinking it inside, chatting to my sister or nephews, reading a book, listening to a podcast, smiling.
- Making myself a tall glass of fresh, clean, life-giving water, feeling it’s healing powers and feeling every cell of my body say ‘thank you’.
- Making myself a big cup of apple-cider vinegar, honey and warm water, and feeling the health benefits of this super-drink, soaking up all the healthy enzymes and vitamins. My digestive system and circulation is healthy, I am at my goal weight, my body is free of toxins, I am giving my body the ability to deflect infections & viruses; my skin, tissues and joints are youthful, my body’s organs thank me as they are able to function with vitality, my brain is stimulated.
- Driving in my freshly cleaned car, a non-smoker friend gets in the car happily and we drive safely to our destination.
- I’m eating an apple and enjoying every bite, not only is it delicious but I know that my body is healthy, my heart is healthy, my colon is healthy, my lungs are healthy, and my teeth and gums are healthy.
- I go outside, the sun is radiating warmth, I hear the birds singing their tune, I see myself feeling the sun on my skin, soaking up the healthy rays, and doing a relaxing tai-chi routine that fills me with peace, love, and joy. After I finish the routine, I feel re-energized and able to confidently create the rest of my positive day.
- I go outside, I notice the garden, the rocks, the healthy green lawn, and feel full of peace, I sit down and meditate, thinking of gratitude, and positive affirmations. I am happy, calm, and relaxed. I smell and breathe in the fresh, clean air and life-giving oxygen reaches my cells and repairs & restores my body.
- I go outside full of vitality, I do some yoga stretches, deep-breathing and some lunges. I feel my muscles, they know that soon they will be toned, my organs thank me for the stretches and oxygen, as they know that they are being detoxified. I then go for a nice, long walk, enjoying the health benefits and knowing that my body is thanking me for looking after it. The fresh, clean, air fills my lungs and my body is full of energy and vitality.
- I’m on a walk, my body is enjoying the day, I walk to the middle of the lake and sit on a tree-stump. This is my happy place, my place of peace, relaxation, and calm. I meditate and visualize here, this is my secret, magic place. I watch the sun-set and then walk home, knowing that my life is great, and that it is getting better and better, I walk with a skip-in-my-step as I’m joyful and happy.
- I sit on my computer inside, I am productive and get everything done for my clients and my sites, I am providing a good service and my clients are happy with me. I am helping people.
- I pick up the phone and it’s someone I really like. I listen to them intensely and have a great conversation. I walk around the inside of the house on the phone.
- There is a huge cigarette, wearing boxing gloves, bullying me. I am punching and kicking back. I am growing larger and stronger and gaining more confidence than the cigarette, I am now wearing the gloves, I am powerful, super-human, and one big blow and I’ve knocked it out! – Modified from source: health.com
“Sleepy-state” Visualizations (Upon Waking/Upon Retiring):
1. Take a look at the problem.
2. Turn to the solution or way out known only to the subconscious mind.
3. Rest in a sense of deep conviction that it is done.
“My body and all its organs were created by the infinite intelligence in my subconscious mind. It knows how to heal me. Its wisdom fashioned all my organs, tissues, muscles, and bones. This infinite healing presence within me is now transforming every atom of my being making me whole and perfect now. I give thanks for the healing I know is taking place now. Wonderful are the works of the creative intelligence within me.”
“I fully and freely forgive myself. I completely forgive myself. I am free. It is a marvellous feeling. I release anybody and everybody who has ever hurt me, including myself and I wish for each and everyone health, happiness, peace, and all the blessings of life. I do this freely, joyously, and lovingly, and whenever I think of any doubt, I say, ‘I am released.’ I am free. It is wonderful!”
Step Four: Diet/Nutrition/Supplements
To help support my new mindset, I need to become the new healthy version of myself. I’ve already got the research for getting the right supplements into my diet and I’ve already started on the new diet. It took time, I added a few in each day, as in, I started having porridge for breakfast daily, then I started purchasing the other things slowly and started having salad for lunch, then I started making a big salad/cabbage and making “that” my main meal with any other meal that I had. i.e. if the house was having curry for dinner, then I am basically having a plate full of my greens as the ‘main’ meal, with a side-dish of curry on the same plate. My main for (almost) every meal is my salad creation which is designed for smokers, addictions & copd.
I’ve added these supplements to my diet:
- Apple Cider Vinegar
- MicroPlex VMz
- Flaxseed Oil & Flaxseed Meal
- GNC Vitamin C 1000
- Chromium Picolin 500
- Fish Oil 1000mg
- Swisse Ultivite+Energy &/or Vital Greens &/or
I’m yet to add the following supplements which I haven’t yet purchased:
NADH, Siberian Ginseng, Magnesium powder & L-Tryptophan.
I’m also in the process of replacing supplements with food where possible, (and juicing would be an ideal way of accomplishing that as to get that amount of supplements into a regular diet without juicing would be next to impossible) so that I choose nutrition over supplements gradually as I get used to my new diet and add super-immunity foods to help with overall health and disease prevention.
My main source of food is a combination of the following:
Olives, cabbage, lettuce, canned chilli tuna, green beans, baby spinach leaves, rocket, asparagus, coriander, parsley, fresh curly kale, fresh garlic, fresh chilli, turmeric, radishes, hommus, nuts, cayenne pepper, coconut oil (hardly ever), pumpkin or sweet potatoes or eggs.
I steam the vegies (beans, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, cabbage), and then chop up all of the salad/herbs listed above, mix it altogether in a salad bowl, and bring it out for each meal, adding a tin of tuna and hommus, and sometimes dry biscuits (Soy & Linseed). This is my “main” for every meal (except breakfast which is always porridge).
I currently still have 2-3 cups of coffee in the morning which I need to replace. I have warm Apple Cider Vinegar (capful) mixed with honey and hot & cold water with breakfast daily.
It was easy to add these to my diet because I did it gradually. I was wanting to create a “health on auto-pilot” kind of plan, so I started with buying the flaxseed oil and adding that to meals, then by doing one healthy thing with ease, I was able to add in other things. It wasn’t really a case of giving up anything because as I “added” things, there was really no room for the old stuff, I was too ‘satisfied’ with the adding of new stuff and had no cravings for the bad.
Step Five: Breaking the Mental Connection with Nicotine & Replacing Bad with Good
To replace my Bad Habits with Good Habits, I am first going to record when/where I smoke and the situation I’m in, things like:
- Every time I have a coffee or hot drink
- Every time I go outside
- Every time I drive
- Every time I go for a walk
- Every time I’m outside with my laptop
- Every time I’m on a phone call
- Every time I feel anxious/stressed
I ‘automatically’ light up a cigarette whenever the above happens. If I avoid going outside because I’m “busy” inside, then I avoid smoking for hours without even realizing it.
So for me, I need to:
- Replace Coffee/Hot Drinks with Water, or choose to do something else instead of smoking with a coffee; break the cycle; break the automatic ‘lighting-up’ of a cigarette whenever I have a hot drink. Since this one seems to be the hardest one for me, I won’t do this the first week because I don’t want to set myself up to fail, I’ll start with the replacing the other ones first and celebrate my successes. The first time I quit smoking successfully, I gave up caffeine at the same time, but I took up white kit-kats and coke. I don’t want to replace bad with bad this time.
- Avoid going outside is an option but not a very practical one, so I will choose to do something else when I go outside rather than smoking; maybe yoga/tai-chi or some form of exercises (lunges, stretches, jumping, etc.); enjoy the sun; meditate; walk.
- Choose to go in non-smokers cars where I cannot smoke; or choose to clean-out my car fully, make it fresh & clean, and decide not to smoke in it; before this, I can maybe stop on the side of the road and smoke instead of lighting up while driving. On short-trips, I can make a mental decision not to lightup automatically when I get in the car or not take any cigarettes with me – put them in the boot or leave them at home.
- Remind myself that ‘walking’ is a healthy exercise and that smoking has no part of the health-plan. Choose not to smoke when I go for a walk, but instead to enjoy my podcasts, audiobooks, visualizations and affirmations.
- Choose not to take my laptop outside. That the laptop should always be inside, where I’m unable to smoke.
- Take phone calls inside the house and not pickup a cigarette automatically when I answer a call.
- Design a few exercises that I can do whenever I feel anxious/stressed. Maybe the visualization exercise, deep-breathing, water, chewing: licorice; nuts; an apple, meditation, affirmations, walking, running, yoga, tai-chi.
- Replace smoking with chewing on a licorice root stick
Step Six: Detox
Following the momentum I gain from eating right and feeling the benefits of the new healthy lifestyle choices, I will do a juice-fast of 15+ days upon quitting. I have heard on a raw-food podcast recently, that after drinking on a juice-fast, that some smokers usually just stop and decide never to smoke again – I think it’s worthy of a try and also quite logical when you think about it. Mindset is different when you are on a juice-fast, as well as you are getting so many vitamins & nutrients from the juices, that you don’t have as many cravings as usual.
There is a great 1 hour documentary that you can watch right now to inspire you into juicing – an Aussie guy went on a 60 day juice-fast over in the USA and spoke with locals along the way, freaking-out some, and inspiring others, in the end, the ‘pay it forward’ mentality was really inspirational, he cured his own auto-immune disease and looks fantastic, and changed the lives of others along the way – check it out here: Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead.
In addition, I will detox my body from various cleanses:
- Colon Cleansing
- Liver Cleansing
- Kidney Cleansing
- Gall Stone Cleansing, etc.
I may or may not get a colon cleanse from a clinic (enema), I am undecided at the time of writing – a little bit freaked out by the thought of someone else shoving a tube up my butt (however the benefits might out-weigh my freak-out as I move closer to the detox phase) – but know that in any case, I will definitely be doing the natural detox cleanses to give my insides a shower and clean-out my body as much as naturally possible.
One of my new year’s resolutions was to “walk daily”. I hadn’t walked in years, and I knew I couldn’t commit to a time, so I didn’t put a time, just made it a very achievable “walk daily”. The great thing with this was that I also started downloading podcasts at the same time, so I ended up putting on a show on my mp3 player while I walked and finding myself walking for the whole hour of the show, I kept walking past my front-door, not wanting to go in until I had finished my show. I now walk between 30 mins and 1 hour daily, only skipping the days that were terribly hot or raining like crazy. I need a “plan” for those times too. Either dusting off my broken treadmill from the garage, or making space for my x-Box Kinect (the game where you have to move your whole body to get through the games) and doing the “kinect” dance / exercises / games, etc, or doing some yoga or tai-chi dvd’s, etc.
I got my inspiration for my affirmation bundle from the following resources: