A Psychological Approach to Quitting Smoking
As with all addictive habits, quitting smoking is not easy to do, regardless of what factors motivate you. However, applying some of the lessons you learn in psychology may make the process a bit easier. Here are some techniques worth trying!
Learn what to expect when you’re quitting and all of the ways it will benefit your health and your overall quality of life. Write down the consequences of not quitting, so that when you have a craving, you can refocus on these negative outcomes.
Understand Your Triggers.
Think about what triggers your desire to smoke. Is it stress, boredom, drinking, the smell of cigarette smoke, or something else entirely? If possible, find a way to eliminate these triggers from your life or at least reduce their occurrence. Of course, you can’t eliminate every trigger, but you can prepare for these situations and create a plan for how you’ll overcome them. Plus, if you know what your triggers are, you won’t be caught off guard when the craving hits and you’ll be ready to tell yourself no.
Seek out Social Support.
Find a support group of other smokers who are trying to quit or talk another friend who smokes into quitting with you. If you quit alongside someone else, you’ll have someone to support and encourage you when it gets difficult. Be sure to also tell others about your plan; your family, friends and even social networks can help you in making sure you stick to your new plan.
Find a Substitute.
If you have to, substitute your smoking habit with another habit. Try exercising, chewing gum or having a mint, when you feel the urge to smoke. Sometimes, it can help to have something to keep your hands busy like reading or crocheting.
Remember, the first time might not be the time you get it right, so there’s no need to throw in the towel if you slip up. In fact, don’t think about it as a failure. It’s actually a learning experience; a relapse can help you better understand your triggers. Look at what occurred, try to understand why it happened and decide what you’ll do differently next time. Just keep trying until you kick the habit for good!