I was recently surprised to read that blind people don’t smoke.
The article didn’t spell it out, but I surmised that those people who had smoked prior to becoming blind, still smoked afterwards. It’s now the time of year when we tend to look at our life and make some New Year resolutions. Especially related to those habits (not just smoking), that can be detrimental to our well-being and potential success.
Habits are learned, and are formed to fulfill certain needs.
For example, after we have been driving for some time, we motor along, sometimes without any conscious awareness of changing gears, where we are, braking and so on. Our driving skills are now operating at an unconscious level. Advanced driving course instructors remind us of the need to still stay alert and be continually aware of potential traffic dangers.
Bad habits too are learned and adopted to fulfill certain needs. Conscious attempts to change a bad habit, always meet with powerful resistance. In fact it increases the desire to continue the bad habit.
Hunger for food for example, may be an emotional need to offset loneliness, depression or a lack of love. After the food binge, one often feels guilty and even worse than ever. The viscous circle continues.
Will power alone doesn’t work.
Where smoking is concerned, to keep repeating “I will not smoke anymore” doesn’t have any effect unless one has super human will power. Experience shows that good intentions alone rarely last.
If one is serious about stopping smoking, it is imperative to sit down and list the reasons why one smokes.
It could look something like the following:
Another list that is worth doing is writing down the reasons why one should give up smoking. This could read:
The really important list is where one writes out the needs that your habit is fulfilling.
It might look as follows:
The key, if one really, really wants to give up smoking and it’s your idea, is to find a substitute behavior that can fulfill those same important needs. For example for stress, someone showed me a special local Gimli stone from the lake with a hole in the center that they carry around and rub when they are tempted to smoke. It makes a good topic of conversation as well. To substitute the warm feeling, chew some mints or breathe in deeply several times.
For self-confidence, it can help to work on ones appearance, (a new outfit or hairdo can make one feel more up-beat.) Also useful would be to build in some simple disruptive routines when one feels like smoking, or at the time of your normal smoke break. For example, simply walk to the water fountain or washroom and take ten deep breaths. Someone else I know has one of those small hand exercisers that they squeeze for a minute or so. These techniques demonstrate that one can defer or postpone the urge. That they are, in fact, in control.
It’s important that one not try to resist too strongly. Give yourself permission to smoke or not to smoke, and gradually the time between smoking will lengthen and the number of cigarettes each day will reduce. Build in some nurturing and substitute habits. If one wakes up in the morning and immediately reaches for a cigarette, set the clock and get up 15 minutes earlier, do some light exercise or embark on learning a new language that would help on your next holiday.
Visualization works well for most people. See the sludge that is dripping into your lungs and flooding your system with harmful toxins. Even more powerful, is to balance this by visualizing the benefits:
See the confident, relaxed individual that is emerging;
Feel the new vitality and taste the fresh air as one embraces the new life style;
Hear the complimentary remarks of one’s family and friends on observing the new dynamic individual you have become.
Finally, a hypnotherapist or the use of a self hypnosis script can provide the additional support and motivation that one needs to finally create the breakthrough in one’s life and enjoy the freedom that follows.
Transform Your Life
The Transform Your Life Journal came about when I was involved as an international life coach for 15 years. A number of potential clients were contacting me from various places around the world. I obviously couldn't visit all of them so I designed the Transform Your Life Journal which would act as a blueprint for future success in their lives. Basically, it's like having your own personal life coach. If you truly want to change your life, this success journal will do it for you... abundantly!
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