Did you know that you can use the power of habits to not only quit smoking but get rich too. Yes, there are many studies that are being done right now that show by implementing simple habits like doing push ups can help you save thousands of dollars a year.
We are going to take a look at the power of habits and why so many of them are so hard to break. We will then take one habit which can be fatal and see what you can do to change your habit of smoking.
Old sayings, valid meanings
“Old habits die hard” and “It’s a hard habit to break” both spring to mind when you are thinking about habits, and how valid they are. A habit is a routine, or something you do regularly. Quite often you do it without even thinking, and while it may be difficult to break a long standing habit you should also remember that you can create a new habit which is a positive one.
The old habit will not disappear, but it will be tucked away so you should not have to worry about it resurfacing.
Smoking is a very bad habit!
There are some habits which may annoy you or others – such as nail biting or twisting your hair, however, these are not potentially life threatening as is the case with smoking.
Indeed, whether you care to admit it or not; smoking is an addiction and the quicker you accept this the more likely you are to do something about it.
Do many people smoke?
The figure may astound you. Globally it is estimated that 1 billion people smoke with around 25 pct of these being women. This should tell you it is a massive problem and that nicotine is one of the most addictive drugs there is.
“Leave me alone – I will smoke if I want to”
You may well have said this if you are a smoker, heard it if you live with one, or have tried to tell friends who smoke what damage they are doing to themselves. The fact is that those who say this are 100% correct.
It is their right to smoke and inhale around 4,000 chemicals EACH cigarette with 40-60 of these being known carcinogens that can cause cancer.
It is also their right to increase the possibility of becoming a diabetic or having serious lung and cardiovascular problems, or being one of more than 5 million people a year who die due to factors related to tobacco smoking.
More Americans than ever before are kicking their habit, and the tobacco companies are reducing the amount of tar in cigarettes, and yet smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death.
Steps to stop smoking
The first basic principle of your nicotine habit is that you must want to give up. Don’t waste your own time if there is not full 100 pct commitment. If you need spurring on a little please take a look at some of the adverts on the internet at the fairly graphic, but real images of people dying from tobacco related disease. Not pretty or pleasant, and if that does not persuade you then very little will.
It is NOT going to be easy!
The power of habits is particularly strong when linked with smoking. Your body and mind is addicted to a very powerful drug. This means you need to be clear in your mind that it will be a struggle.
That struggle will be at its peak during the first 72 hours and the first two to four weeks will test you at every turn, but the positive news is that you can get the toxins out of your body and things will get easier on a day to day basis.
Cravings and triggers
About a 7-10 days before you stop smoking create a diary of every cigarette you smoke during this period and note the time of day, where you are, and whether you are smoking because you are really craving for a cigarette or whether it is just habit.
You will fairly quickly get a picture of what triggers your mind to light up. Common situations are just after a meal, when you are drinking alcohol, or when you are with friends who smoke. Once you understand these ‘trigger situations’ then you need to be particularly on your guard during these times and do something other than dwelling on how much you need a cigarette.
Get rid of every single cigarette
Don’t keep an emergency pack ‘just in case’. If you do you are tempting fate, and fate will generally come up trumps. Get all tobacco products out of the house, out of the car, and out of the garden shed if you have one! You may need to cut back on the alcohol if that is a major trigger, and change your first month’s routine in terms of meeting up with friends who smoke. Find a quit buddy
If you do have a friend or friends who are looking to quit smoking then consider doing it together. This can help in terms of moral support when you or they are weakening. You will be stronger at separate times so this could work to both your advantage.
Keep yourself occupied
These craving periods only last for around 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes can seem like a lifetime if you are just sitting waiting for one to pass. Get yourself interested in something. Reading can help greatly, exercise is another option, and if things seem to be getting on top of you get up and go for a brisk walk.
It is important that you stay positive and go for results on a day to day basis. One day down is one more victory, and while we would all like to quit first time round, and that should be your target from the outset DO NOT beat yourself up, or treat yourself as a failure if you relapse.
Turn such a relapse into a positive by looking back at what you could have done in a better way, and plan for your next attempt.
If at first you don’t succeed
We mentioned an old saying at the beginning. Well, stick with another one until you overcome your nicotine addiction. The power of habits has everything to do with you and smoking, so counter that with your mantra of; if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again!