How can you say no to smoking without willpower?
Below, I’ll show you three little-known ways you can say no to smoking when someone offers you a cigarette or when you are alone and thinking about “just having one”.
And NONE of these includes: Hide your cigarettes, avoid smoking, or cover yourself from head to toe with nicotine patches.
Instead, they will show ALL of you how to use the power of your mind.
Power that you already have but may not know how to overcome this addiction.
In other words, you will be using mind power instead of willpower!
The following 3 strategies will help you:
- Prepare and deal with tempting situations
- Feel more secure and in control
- You will find it easier to defeat this addiction
Tip 1: Imagine saying “no” to smoking.
This will help you prepare for high risk situations before you ever face them, so that if that happens, you can stay smoke-free.
But what is visualization?
Visualization is when you see something in your mind’s eye. It is a mental representation of yourself, other people, an object, an idea or a goal. It’s like fantasy or daydreaming, but you focus on one goal. And your goal is to see how you say no to smoking.
For example, if the feeling of fear and stress is a very powerful trigger for you, imagine that you are in a stressful situation and instead of lighting up, relax without smoking a cigarette.
Why does it help to imagine yourself overcoming temporary situations?
Because your mind can’t really tell the difference between reality and imagination.
For example, when athletes envision themselves exercising and when they actually exercise, the same areas in their brain will light up! The brain doesn’t know the difference because when you visualize something, your mind thinks you are experiencing it.
That is why your mind thinks as you picture yourself looking at triggers and overcoming that this is actually happening. When it happens you feel like you’ve been in the same situation before and conquered it. This gives you incredible confidence to say no to smoking.
What if you can’t visualize?
Now let’s do something together.
Now think about your front door.
Which color is it?
Where is the handle? Left or right?
What is the material of the door?
Is it a big door
Does it have a mat or not?
Now you can see your hands slowly opening the door …
Now, if you’ve done this to me, you’ve made a mental representation of your door, so that’s what you imagined!
So, starting today, imagine yourself saying “no” to smoking in every imaginable situation.
After an argument, when you are with friends, when you are stressed out, when you are at work, when you feel overwhelmed or even feel happy and are celebrating something.
For example, imagine:
A friend offered a cigarette and said no. And pay close attention to how you say it and what your friend says in return.
Drive to the store, go to the counter and feel tempted to buy a pack without buying it. And you buy something else instead, what are you buying?
When you see your partner or friends’ cigarettes lying around and don’t take them. What are you doing instead
If you’re at work and see your co-workers smoke, how do you say no without feeling like you’re missing out?
And include in your visualization what you say to yourself to say no to smoking and how you feel when you say “no”.
I promise if you practice this it can change everything for you. Because when you actually find yourself in these situations it will be easy to say no without using your willpower because you will have experience.
Tip 2: think about what will happen after you smoke.
What I mean?
What makes a cigarette seem tempting is only to think of the next moment. The moment you imagine yourself just glowing, the instant gratification.
A while ago we did an experiment. We interviewed a group of ex-smokers who were happy to be quit and a group of ex-smokers who had problems.
So they came into the room one by one, sat on a large wooden table and I put a cigarette in front of each of them and asked them, “Do you want that cigarette?”
Those who were happy non-smokers said they didn’t want to and didn’t have to use their willpower to say no.
But those who fought said: yes, they wanted the cigarette and they had to use their willpower to say no.
And then I asked, “What do you think when you look at that cigarette? What are you thinking of “
Those who didn’t have to use their willpower thought how awful they would feel if they smoke and break their resignation. They thought how guilty and sorry they would feel afterwards, and how one cigarette could become many.
One is too many and a thousand is never enough
But those who wanted to smoke and had to use their willpower to fight back thought how they would feel right after the first puff. And they justified that they could only have one cigarette.
As you can see, this is a whole different way of thinking.
Those who use their willpower only think about the next moment and explain why they can smoke. But those who don’t want to smoke and don’t need to use their willpower think what will happen after smoking. And they’re more realistic.
I want you to use this lesson and do what people who don’t use willpower do:
To remove the temptation, don’t just think about yourself, create a bigger, longer movie in your head: think about how you feel 10 minutes after smoking, how 1 cigarette the next day makes you feel like yourself yearning for it, and how that could lead to years of difficulty quitting.
Think of the conflict and regret that arises after smoking a cigarette and how one cigarette can easily turn into a thousand.
Because the temptation goes when you think it through. The temptation is when you don’t think what you want right now, but think what you want for the rest of your life.
Tip 3: use your self-talk
Your self-talk is probably the most powerful tool you have in your possession.
When you are addicted to anything, be it nicotine, food, or alcohol, you have two thoughts:
- Your mind
- and the yearning spirit.
Think of the wistful spirit as Gollum, that creature from Lord of the Rings. All it wants is its precious solution.
And the wistful mind communicates with you in the form of a thought.
Because cravings are thoughts.
Cravings are just positive thoughts about smoking that create positive feelings about smoking.
Principles of the CBQ method
Thoughts like, “I need a cigarette” or “A cigarette would make me feel better now” or “I can’t do without them”, whatever it is, they are just thoughts.
And thoughts cannot hurt, break, or make you do anything. But they can be very persuasive if you let them.
How can you deal with these thoughts so that they don’t overwhelm you?
What not to do
You shouldn’t resist this thought because what you resist persists. And when you resist your wistful thoughts, they get stronger.
It also doesn’t help frightening yourself or feeling guilty. Because when we feel anxious or guilty, we tend to return to the illusion of comfort that smoking gives us.
What should I do
Acknowledge the wistful thought.
When your wistful mind tells you, “You need a cigarette right now,” respond to it and say, “Thanks for sharing, but you’re wrong, I don’t need a cigarette.” Or you can say, “I heard you, sssh now.”
Just have a little chat. And then let go of the thought. Because if you have this little conversation and you acknowledge that the thought is there, it will be easier to let go of it.
Thoughts come and go in your head all the time, so don’t hold onto the wistful thought, just tell yourself, “Next thought, please” and your brain will listen, your brain will give you a new thought.
You have a stream of thoughts every moment. So why should you focus on that one thought that makes you feel bad about yourself? Just because your longing mind is suggesting a thought and seeking your attention doesn’t mean you need to listen and entertain that thought.
And the great thing is that the wistful thoughts will eventually disappear.
What if your friends, partner, or co-workers tell you to smoke?
In this case, you need to answer two people: 1) this friend and 2) the wistful spirit. And often when a friend tells you to smoke, you can get defensive or feel pressured, or worse, give you permission to smoke.
So remember that those who smoke like to be non-smokers and tell themselves and others, “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I don’t smoke today”. And if someone insists, just be a broken record. Say “I stop smoking” a thousand times as often as you have to.
To summarize it:
Imagine saying no to smoking in different situations.
Think about what will happen long after you’ve smoked that one cigarette.
And use your self-talk and respond to the desire.
All of the strategies I’ve shared are from the CBQ method. I hope you use them to say no to smoking without using willpower, whether you are alone or with other people.
If you want advice and support on how to quit smoking and stay smoke free, you should join our Facebook support group for more tips and advice on the CBQ method.
Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cbqmethod/