Every smoker tries to quit smoking at least once in their lifetime. For some, the first time is the last time and they never touch another cigarette. For others it is the beginning of a long period of self-resentment and guilt trips.
Indeed, not many experiences can rival failed attempts to quit smoking, in its ability to make a person feel bad, worthless and totally out of control. The first time the attempt fails, it’s not a big deal. The second time is followed by tiny pang of regret. The third time causes a person to start questioning their resolve. The fourth time comes with a shocking realization of just how little control we can have over our own bodies. And without exception, this is encouraged by people/books/websites that give advice to smokers. “Punish yourself for smoking, reward yourself for not smoking,” is a commonly heard tip. “Put yourself in a situation where you can’t smoke,” is another. I won’t even comment on the “Use electronic cigarettes/nicotine patches” tip – do these people think smokers can fool their bodies so easily บุหรี่ไฟฟ้า?
These tips never last. If a person successfully quits smoking, rest assured, it’s not because of these tips. Why do these tips not work? Because they’re barbaric. Nobody would recommend you to beat your kid, in order to raise him/her. No pet expert will ever recommend you beat your dog/cat, in order to teach it some discipline. No conquered country ever embraced occupants. In the same vein, self-hating punitive methods can not help in quitting smoking.
The way to results
Quitting is actually very easy. It may sound a little cliche, but the trick is to want it. Do you want to quit smoking? Not because mom wants it, or your wife wants it, or because your friends want it. Do you feel like you smoke too much?
If you identify that you truly want to quit smoking, then suddenly it is not a problem. Start by lowering the amount you smoke a day. I used to smoke a pack of cigarettes a day until I realized I want to stop. Overnight I minimized my smoking to a pack a week.
Keep lowering the amount you smoke in incremental steps. When you feel comfortable with the amount you smoke, see if you can lower it some more, then get used to it. After a few weeks of smoking a pack per week, I lowered my amount to a cigarette per week. Then per month. Then – you can guess it – I stopped completely.
One important thing to keep in mind is – never punish yourself for smoking. Would you punish yourself for having messy hair on a Monday, or for falling and breaking a leg? It’ll do you no good. If you suddenly get a craving to smoke – go for it. Smoke a cigarette. And while you smoke, think about how it makes you feel and if it’s really worth it. If it feels worth it, then that’s because it is (at the moment).
By not approaching your smoking habit angrily, you will succeed at lowering the amount you smoke, even if you don’t quit outright. And quitting is just one step from there.