Documentation of smoke behavior
In the past, I had written down so many times why I smoke. So I was well aware that I smoke mainly because of stress. I smoked when I was tired and wanted to keep going. I didn’t take any breaks or time-outs.
The difference to the present situation, however, was that I “had” to share this information with the others from the group. So far, I have always been able to accept the reasons and then forget about them. Now I had to deal with it actively and could not simply push it aside. That helped a lot.
Of course, I have already created lists countless times that deal with the following questions:
- What are the advantages and disadvantages of smoking / not smoking?
- Why do I want to stop smoking?
- What am I looking forward to in my smoke-free life?
No matter how many attempts I’ve had, I’ve been at a different point in my life each time, so I had to create new lists every time.
Here is a selection of alternatives that can be distracted from smoking:
Doodling/Mandalas, play with a ring/stone, brush/floss your teeth, body care (Body lotion, manicure, pedicure…), inhale through a straw, breathe consciously, drink tea/smoothie, relaxation exercise, yoga, sports, peppermint oil on your forehead (wakes you up), sudoku/crossword puzzles, go for a walk, take a showe/bath, sauna, clean your apartment, series/films/books…
As we had documented our smoking behavior for two weeks, I was able to better assess my risk situations and I made a list of what I could do in those situations. For example, I looked for Kundalini yoga exercises for those mornings when I was already awake at 5 o’clock and had a lot of time until I had to go to work.
Shopping list for the first days
What do I have to buy (aids) to be prepared for the first few days?
Peace and quiet
Rescue Remedy for the day, valerian for the night. Since I had extreme sleep disturbances (max. 4-5 hours of restless sleep per night) up to sleepwalking, I bought sleeping pills, which I fortunately didn’t need this time. Sleep deprivation was one of the main reasons why quitting was so difficult for me in the past.
On some days I’m so nervous that I can’t concentrate after work at all. Some are plunging into sports, I need the opposite: rest. So I do more yoga or more meditation exercises.
On Youtube I found a self-hypnosis video, which helped me quite well (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcosBFS7lA8). During this self-hypnosis session there is one question of imagining two ways.
A “I smoke” way and a “I do not smoke” way. Whether it is a placebo effect or really helps, I don’t know. I only know that when I think of cigarettes, I immediately think of how I’m standing in a dark tunnel filled with smoke without a window and try to find the way out.
Then I calmly revert to the “I no longer smoke” path, passing by meadows, forests, enchanted coasts to the high mountain with a breathtaking view of the world.
I used the straws (cut to cigarette length) only a few times so far, but they help incredibly well in extreme situations!
Acceleration of the detoxification process
Whenever I notice that my body is getting a cold and my immune system needs some strengthening, I take Schuessler cell salts.
For the detoxification of the lungs I would recommend these three salts: #3 Ferrum phosphoricum, #4 Potassium phosphoricum, #6 Potassium sulfuricum. Three times daily two pills each. PLUS: They reduce the sugar craving!
I take #7 magnesium phosphoricum from time to time when I am very tense and my shoulders. 10 pills with hot water and drink it warm in small sips. Works miracles!
You can find more information about the detoxification of the organs here:
Many smokers fear that they will gain weight because of the smoke stop. This concern is not unfounded as the metabolism slows down. My doctor once told me that it was normal to gain weight between 3 and 5 kg.
I still remember how bad it was for me in 2012 to have 6kg more on the scales within 4 weeks. Nothing of my clothes would fit anymore. During my other attempts, I changed little about my sports and eating habits, but I tried to avoid to eat treats when I wanted to have a cigarette. And that was the better strategy for me and my body.
Also, Hummus, kale chips, dried seaweed and licorice work very well! But be careful: Licorice can increase your cholesterol!
On some days my mind is so chaotic that I can’t even concentrate on reading a book in the evening. What helps is doodling (Mandalas) and binge-watch series on Netflix. Yes, on such days I often think “I hope this day will be over soon and when I wake up tomorrow, it’s four months later and I’ve made it.” Haha 🙂
And when my hands are shaky, this helps: Simply fill a balloon with dried peas and you have an anti-stress ball you can knead.
I am a very spiritual person, so I decided to buy a new stone that supports my process positively. My choice fell on Onyx:
“The onyx is a particularly strong stone for enhancing self-awareness and resistance. Thus the Onyx gives its wearer more life-joy and helps to give his life more stability. Strengthened self-awareness always leads to greater inner harmony. In this way the gemstone is also able to help with depression, melancholy or other negative energies. ” (http://gemstonemeanings.us/black-onyx-meaning/ )
If you do not believe in the healing power of precious stones, I can recommend a stone nevertheless, because a stone in your hand can have a soothing effect.
The path is the goal
The right strategy for you is the most important thing. What works for others may not work for you. That is why a good preparation and planning of your smoke stop is so important if it should last in the long term. When you find out why you smoke, you can find corresponding smoke-free alternatives.
Learning new behaviors takes time and does not happen overnight.
Walk one step at a time, not to look all the way in front of you, but to pause from time to time, to perceive the here and now and look forward to a smoke-free life.
Every step is a small success.
And with every step I get to know myself as a non-smoker a little better.
Sometimes, the step away from the cigarette also means taking a step away from people who are not good for you. When I stopped in 2012, I had to let go of a friendship that had been a burden on me for a long time.
And not only people, but also your environment plays a decisive role: When it’s allowed to smoke everywhere and it is largely accepted by society, it is incredibly difficult to remain smoke-free.
Well, if I fail again, I guess I have to move to New Zealand, because New Zealand wants to be smoke-free by 2025 😉