How to Stop Smoking: 3 Mindset Shifts

Smoking, smoker, stop smoking,

After two decades as a smoker and ten years trying to stop, I finally smoked my last cigarette. I didnt do it with nicotine supplements or by setting a stop date. I change my mindset towards smoking. To stop smoking, I had to keep smoking. Instead of marking a day to stop smoking, I chose a day to change the way I smoked.

In my journey to freedom from life as a smoker, there were three crucial mindset shifts. It wasn’t about changing my actions. No. It was about changing my mindset. Here is what I discovered.

1. Enjoy Smoking

To start, I began smoking mindfully. I smoked with intention. I chose to sit back, relax and enjoy my cigarettes. I watched it come towards my lips, inhaled slowly, tasted the smoke as I blew it out and watched the smoke leave my lungs. I used mindfulness and being in the present moment. We are chatting, zoning out or multitasking when smoking. We say we need to smoke not want to smoke. By mindfully smoking, I realized I did not enjoy smoking. I did not want to smoke.

2. It’s not Nicotine

I learned “nicotine addiction” wasn’t the problem. There was no physical pain without nicotine. I kept waiting for it. I had the thoughts, “I want a cigarette” but I did not hurt. I didn’t need to smoke. This led me to treat my cravings as thoughts; not physical pangs. I thank this realization to Alan Carr’s, The Easy Way to Stop Smoking. In the book, he points out that the physical nicotine cravings are gone after 3 weeks and start going away immediately. If I could just get to 3 weeks, I knew the need would no longer be there.

3. The Beginning of the End

Finally, I realized I would never smoke again. I couldn’t be a part-time or occasional smoker. This time it wasn’t about cutting back. It was about stopping, completely. I was not going to try to stop. I was stopping. Once that three week mark had passed and I intellectually knew that the physical desire was gone, I did not want to start over. Again, I thank Alan Carr for this because it is a primary principle of his book.