Changing a habit is never an easy undertaking but when addiction plays a part, you need to work even harder. This is why giving up smoking can be tricky for some people. Habit changing always involves finding out what triggers the unwanted habit and replacing that behaviour with different, more desirable behaviour to help you stop smoking.
For this purpose, it can be very beneficial to keep a journal for a while. Note the triggers for your cravings first. It might be useful to start the journal while you’re still smoking, so you can record every instance where you light up and what caused you to do so. Triggers can range from emotional states all the way to environmental influences. Here are some examples:
- Emotional: stress, sadness, happiness, loneliness, etc.
- Social: being at a bar or pub, being at a party, hanging out with friends, etc.
- Behavioural: after a meal, while talking on the phone, while watching TV, with a coffee or tea, etc.
- Addiction driven: craving nicotine taste, smelling cigarette smoke, needing something to do with your hands or mouth, etc.
Once you know what your particular trigger points are, you can then choose from a wide variety of alternative behaviour. It’s important to note that each time you don’t give in to a trigger, it becomes less powerful.
- Listening to music or exercising are great for emotional triggers.
- Avoid places that make you want to smoke for a while, until you’ve got a better handle on the situation and ask your friends who are still smoking not to do so around you.
- Find activities that keep your hands busy and change your routine for behavioural triggers. You could, for instance, brush your teeth straight after a meal.
- For addiction driven triggers it’s best to distract yourself.
We have put together 50 tips that will help you overcome the urge to smoke. 50 Tips to Resist the Urge to Smoke – Click to download.
Stop Smoking Apps
Nowadays, there are, of course, apps available that can support you in your endeavour to stop smoking. They can help you to keep a log of your non-smoking success and some of them even add up how much money you have saved since you’ve quit. Here are 3 of the most recommended ones:
Smoke Free – Quit Smoking now by David Crane
This app not only provides trackers showing how long you are smoke-free and how much you have saved so far, it also has a diary functionality and gives you success badges.
Livestrong – My Quit Coach
This app allows you to develop a personalised plan. You can choose to either stop cold or reduce your smoking gradually. There are also reminders, goals and motivation to keep you going. It’s pretty much a virtual coach.
In addition to the usual trackers, this app provides a whole social network of others who are also quitting so you don’t have to go it alone.
How the Live Well Practice can help
Many studies have shown that hypnotherapy is proven to be one of the best ways to help you quit smoking. As a clinical hypnotherapist I have been helping people to quit smoking since 2010.
If you would like to get in touch for a complimentary 20 – 30 minute introductory consultation, you can either email me at email@example.com or call me on 075 222 777 22.