I used to be a smoker, a 20 a day addict, and like most people I started in my teens because I thought it would help me to be one of the cool guys at school and because my rock star heroes all seemed to smoke. Perhaps it was also an act of rebellion as it was not allowed at school? Who knows, anyway within a few days I was hooked and few years later really wished I wasn’t!
After many attempts at quitting I finally stopped, for the last time I hope, about 14 years ago and the main method I used was procrastination.
Essentially I just kept putting off having a cigarette and telling myself I would have one later and then whenever the thought or desire for a smoke came up again, I would repeat that process. For the first few days the intervals between the thoughts about smoking were quite short so some determination to keep deferring smoking to later was needed.
After a few days however the intervals between thinking about smoking were becoming longer so I was able to say at the beginning of the day that I would have a cigarette at the end of the day and then if the thought came up… to have one tomorrow or at the weekend.
I had not at that point told myself that I had ‘stopped smoking’ and so my subconscious mind assumed that I would have one at some point and that just as if I had been on a plane or a train or in a restaurant it could therefore forget about it for the time being. This meant that there was virtually no will power, beyond just putting off the first few and I do not recall any significant withdrawal symptoms.
As a hypnotist people often ask me how I stopped and I tell them this story and when I hypnotise them I always include suggestions that they will ‘remember to forget about smoking’ or even ‘forget to remember about smoking’ and to ‘immediately let any thoughts about smoking go’.
So if you are trying to stop smoking, perhaps during stoptober, why not augment whatever method you are using with some procrastination? After all most of us, especially me, are very good at it….