How to Quit Smoking Cold Turkey. A Series Outling Ways to Increase Your Chances of Success

Quitting smoking by going cold turkey can be an easy process. Although most smokers won’t believe that. To understand how to quit cold turkey successfully, we just need to look at those people who have achieved it, and not only achieved it but with very little discomfort.
It is also interesting to note that the same people who once found it difficult to quit at an earlier stage in their life, can find it a simple process at a later stage. For thousands of people quitting, there are minimal cravings or difficulties. So what is happening here?
Each article in this series is going to give you the information on how to successfully quit smoking going cold turkey. In Part 1 we look at the difference in the mindset between those who quit with little discomfort and those that seem to go through agony.
Part 1. The Tug of War
How a person thinks about their behavior of smoking is constantly evolving as they weigh up the pros and cons, the benefits and disadvantages. It ‘s like a tug of war, two thought process yanking on each side of a rope.
The ease of quitting isn’t determined by the length of the rope. But by the amount of tension in the rope caused by the strength of the two opposing thought processes on either end.
A person who has decided they enjoy smoking, or who thinks smoking helps them relax, de-stress or is their best friend, would have a sumo wrestler of thoughts yanking on the keep smoking side of the rope.
Alternatively a person who found smoking boring dull a waste of time would have a small disgruntled child unwillingly pulling on the keep smoking side.
To pull the child over would require a short sharp tug. And you win. You are a non-smoker. The amount of tension is small. However to pull over the sumo wrestler requires a whole lot of effort. To pull him over requires a greater amount of strength (will power) and time(persistence). That is not say you can’t win against the sumo. People do, but they went through a whole lot discomfort to do so. When a smoker has thought processes of the benefits of smoking as large as a sumo wrestle, they need to summon up an equal and greater amount of thought, motivation and will power to counter it on the non smoking end. This then creates tension between two equally powerfully thought processes and is experienced in the form of discomfort or cravings.
However when you see the cigarette as small and insignificant you don’t even have to bother playing the game of tug or war at all, because you know you will win. There is no tension. Instead those that quit with little cravings or discomfit just drop the rope and walk away.
And this is the secret when deciding to successfully quit when going cold turkey. To succeed you must either summon up the will power and perseverance to counter everything you think a cigarette means to you. Or realize a cigarette doesn’t mean anything at all and is just some dried burning leaves stuck in your mouth. To achieve this means taking the time to remove or the myths you have created in your head about cigarettes. It’s like deflating the sumo wrestler, until he is a whole lot smaller.
The amount of internal tension that can be expected to be encountered while quitting can be guessed at by how a person justifies their smoking behaviour.
Justification 1: I had a cigarette to be cool, join in with friends, experimentation. Having fun at party. It is what my friends do Add something to my life.
If this is the first few cigarettes a person has had, stopping now would be a simple process. Smoking is yet to define the person. There hasn’t been time for any other justification or meanings to be attached to the cigarette, except for the original cause that had them trying a smoke in the first place.
Justification 2: I smoke because I have fun with my friends. It relaxes me. Helps me distress. It is part of who I am. It is my best friend. It’s how I like to end my day. I like to celebrate by smoking. It relieves boredom
Inhaling smelly, disgusting fumes doesn’t make any sense so the smoker needs to to justify why they smoke. Or the ways in which smoking gives them benefits in life they would otherwise be unable to achieve. The justifications become ingrained and meanings and significance become attached to the cigarette. Health warnings at this stage are ignored or overlooked. Difficult period to stop. Justification 3. Same reasons as above, such as helps me concentrate. Relieves stress. Is my best friends. etc But also begin to include statements like. I have to start thinking about my health and the kids. Still able to justify smoking as having a benefit in their life. But can also weigh this against the possibility of some future health affect or negative impact smoking is now having in their life. As the worries about health increase it can progressively become easier to quit if the positive benefits diminish with it. At this point there is a sumo wrestle stuck on one side of the rope and there is know tension building and pulling against him. Difficult period to stop. Justification 4. I only smoke because it is a habit or I am addicted.
Smoker is becoming bored, with smoking. It is like a daily ritual that does not seem to do anything for them. Noticing the hassles of money, bad smell and wasted time, is now out weighing any perceived benefits. Any meaning behind why they smoke has been stripped away. And the behavior is described as it is.
Justification 5. Smoking is just dumb stupid a waste of time. I am an idiot for smoking. I am smarter than this.
Now there is new meaning being attached to the behavior of smoking. This meaning pushes in the same way as the desire to quit, which increases the likely hood of success. At this stage the smoker may also become annoyed or angry at themselves for this on going behavior, which can lead to a spontaneous decision to go cold turkey with a good chance of success.
Simply put the quicker a smoker realizes that smoking doesn’t help them do anything. Despises and becomes angry with their own behavior, the simpler the process it is to quit cold turkey. In part 2 of the series of how to quit smoking cold turkey we going to look at some common thought processes about cigarettes that trip people up. What to look out for and how to change them.

Paul Dixon practices Hypnotherapy in Auckland Helping people stop smoking. Paul has written many articles of the uses of Hypnotherapy for quit smoking and other applications of applying hypnosis to create rapid change.

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