Reprogram your thinking

Man, I miss the good old days. This sucks, I wish I could smoke. I miss my fags. I used to be able to deal with this. This is too hard. Why should I struggle. This will never get easy. I’m getting fat. I want my old life back.

This is what gets most of us, thoughts of defeat.... it’s nicotine monster whispering, it’s your old addiction wanting to be fed. It’s the psychological triggers that mess us up. Add a physical trigger such as an event, a death, an illness, a lay-off, or maybe just a bit of sun-shine on a vacation, and we’re back to smoking.

I learned that reprograming your thinking is everything to a quit and the only way to maintain it. Those negative thinking patterns and associations to smoking have to be broken or changed. That takes time and the willingness to confront craves as they are opportunities to work on the reprograming. Each time you succeed the craves lose some of their hold over you. After a good year of practicing, thoughts of smoking will have mostly disappeared from your life and not smoking becomes ridiculously easy.

I’m a firm believer of hypnosis to reprogram your thinking. That can come in many forms though. You can get an actual hypnosis cd and listen to it every time you struggle, or you can go see a hypnotherapist. There are other ways, too, reading a book like ‘Allen Carr’ can hypnotize you and change your thinking, or you can follow this forums lovely rule of ‘read, read, read, and self-educate. Helping others, posting encouragement, sharing your journey all helps with the reprograming. Some may need more help than others. I was a stubborn one. I had to read Allen Carr not once but probably 10 times, I listened to my cd probably more than 100 times, and lets not talk about how many hours I spend on here. The point is, some just quit and move on and that’s it..... some have to put some work and even suffering into it. It can be done though, have NO doubt about it.

So if you lost your quit, take heart, it may be next time you quit will be a different experience. All it takes is time and reprograming, and every stumble you have will be your reminder that there is still some reprograming to be done. The thoughts triggered by addiction are strong but so are you.

9 Replies

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  • I am starting to dislike the smell of smokers and sometimes even feel sorry for them huddled outside in our weather so perhaps thats the start of reprogramming

    That most definitely is the start of reprogramming, Una! Keep going that direction, each month will get easier and soon you will feel utter joy that you don't have to smoke any longer as the hold of addiction lost the hold over you. That moment is worth every minute you suffered and fought! Keep it up, Una :)

  • i completely agree with your post bellablue i absolutely feel like i am gradually reprogramming myself bit by bit

    understanding why i feel like i do seems to be my key

    i have read allen carr twice also and read read read on here i am interested in how our minds work anyway so this quitting experience has given me an insight into the mind in a way i never thought about

    una u are doing so well

  • Really well put Bella. It's what I'm battling with at the moment - it's hard when your mind contradicts what you know is the real truth.

    Another 'way' of reprogramming your thinking I've found useful is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) techniques - I've had CBT for depression and it works in the same way. I think some NHS trusts offer it in their stop smoking clinics. It was certainly useful for my depression. A lot of it is common sense, but it helped me to just have some guidance.

    It's funny, I never liked the Allen Carr book, but I do use a lot of his logic. The only major disagreement I have is that I think it's better to tackle the psychological addiction before the physical.

  • Una, of course you can call me Jen! :)

    I've definitely found conversations on here have helped me loads, just knowing what you're feeling is normal is a relief.

    My poor other half is sick of me telling him my progress and what I'm finding difficult/easy. He's never smoked apart from one week when he was 19, so it baffles him. Not that it stops me though :D

  • bellablue:)

    brilliant post . You mentioned Allan Carr.

    It's the second time that I been reading Allan Carr. The first time it didn't do anything for me (that was some years ago) . This week I gave it another go. I am now 3/4 through and I am getting it. I understand properly what he is talking about and I think it's working . I think it takes the anger away and the feeling you missing out when you stop smoking. (My biggest problem)

    It's defenatly worth trying.

  • the feeling you missing out when you stop smoking

    That feeling sucks and it gets reinforced by physical craves, by the addiction, by all the associations.... plus we always want what we can't have, therefore feeling deprived... if you go that route you won't enjoy your quit, it will be damn hard (although I've seen some pull it off that way anyways).

    It's really, really hard to think positive all the time during the beginning stages.... it's challenging to think 'yay, I don't have to smoke anymore' when all you can think is 'damn, I need a smoke' but that's why the forum is so amazing. You make friends, you create bonds, you discuss and support, and you just get through it together. When enough time passes, the addiction lifts, and you'll feel better. You guys are all great, keep supporting each other and learning together :)

  • Well Written Bellablue

    I'm always glad to read peoples philosophys

    anything that might help me survive another day :)

    All I know is that 'I' my intellectual self .. ?? Doesn't ever want to smoke again

    but my body has got used to the habit ..

    and needs to 'unlearn it'

    we have had to unlearn a lot of things

    screaming with rage ..like a toddler .. when you cant get your own way .. etc

    hmmmmmm

    so .. it is entirely doable

    Ha'

    good luck to you all xxx

  • I had a thought last night that it was easier to think of quitting as 'letting go of a burden' rather than trying to be excited about the quit, certainly in the early days. I'm finding it hard to be super upbeat, so it's kind of a middle ground.

    Sorry that probably doesn't make any sense, I'm full of cold so my head's a bit woolly :o

    Seems the cold season is upon us, I notice a few of us have got one :(

  • I had a thought last night that it was easier to think of quitting as 'letting go of a burden' rather than trying to be excited about the quit, certainly in the early days. I'm finding it hard to be super upbeat, so it's kind of a middle ground.

    Sorry that probably doesn't make any sense, I'm full of cold so my head's a bit woolly :o

    Seems the cold season is upon us, I notice a few of us have got one :(

    letting go of a burden is a perfect way of discribing it if i think back to my smoking days it was one hell of a burden the time it took up, the situations and stories i had to think up to have a sneaky fag, the hassle of buying more wen i got low etc etc etc i feel life is so easy and relaxing these days

    not to mention the physical burden i carried around the cough the wheeze the wondering when i would get cancer or have a heart attack u know as a smoker i used to think a heart attack would be easier as it would be over and done with where as cancer would be harder to cope with, OMG wat a way to think but i did think that, now tell me thats not a burden

    physically i feel unbelievably well [apart from my cold which by the way i still dont have a cough with it, result]

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