Renowned behavioural psychologist Jo Hemmings really knows what she’s talking about when it comes to quitting smoking cigarettes.
Hemmings knows that committing to quitting smoking cigarettes can seem like a daunting task, but it really doesn’t have to be so hard.
She put together her top and most simple methods to quit smoking cigarettes and she reckons if you stick to them you have a good chance of kicking the habit for good.
Tip One: find a new reward
It’s a common misconception that when give up smoking cigarettes it’s only the nicotine we’ll miss. But it’s also the habits that go with smoking cigarettes. When we smoke cigarettes we are consciously or unconsciously rewarding ourselves with a cigarette. So one of the first things you need to do, is to find a new reward.
‘Defeating the reward mechanism is key to giving up cigarettes,’ Hemmings says. ‘But don’t just form a new, bad habit. Try drinking a glass of water instead.’
Tip Two: get planning
It’s so important to be organized before you quit smoking cigarettes. Write down which are your regular cigarettes and plan what you will replace them with after you’ve quit.
Having that plan ready to go means that you are prepared if you get a craving and can quickly combat it with a new reward.
Tip Three: it might take more than one try to quit
Not everyone quits smoking cigarettes on their first try. But if it’s your second, third or even 15th attempt do not use the same quitting methods you may have tried previously.
‘Each time you try, use a different method,’ Hemmings says.
‘Because if you’ve tried some techniques and they didn’t work, your brain will remember you failed and will probably repeat that pattern.’
Tip Four: keeping anxiety at bay
If you have depression or anxiety and are worried about quitting smoking cigarettes because they may help with those conditions, Hemmings recommends trying an alternative.
‘It might help suppress the anxiety,’ she says.
‘Otherwise try taking a breath for three seconds and hold it for another three seconds.’
If you do that with your eyes closed three or four times, you’re regulating your breathing and sending calming messages to the brain.
Tip Five: you can do this!
If you want to quit smoking cigarettes, you probably will achieve it.
‘Reminding yourself of the reasons why you want to stop is stronger than just knowing you want to stop,’ Hemmings says.
‘Just acknowledge the fact that you know what it’s doing to you. You know your clothes smell, you’re burning money, your health is bad and it’s almost becoming a socially unacceptable thing to do.
‘Really, you need to dig deep inside you and work out why you want to do it.’
Phillip Morris International is a client of Gay Star News.