For decades the world smoke cigarettes without a care in the world. Even doctors were roped into posing for adverts by big tobacco, in order to convince the public that smoking was healthy.
By the end of the 1960s, nearly 60 percent of adults smoked, taking a terrible toll on the nation’s health. But in 1969 the Surgeon General released a report on the damaging effects of smoking, and ever since then, the appeal of lighting up has been on the decline. Now a little under 20 percent of people call themselves regular smokers.
What’s more, the vast majority of those people want to quit the habit before it gives them some awful disease. But how? The advice out there is so generic and never seems to work. Here are some unusual ways to give up smoking that actually work.
Measure Victory In Small Increments
When you want to change a habit, try not to think in terms of “forever.” For instance, imagine if you were trying to improve your diet. It would be psychologically much harder to say to yourself “I’m never going to eat meat again” than it would be to say “I’m going to try a vegan diet for three weeks to see if I like it.”
When it comes to smoking, try the same tactic. Instead of telling yourself that you’re going to give up smoking forever, tell yourself that you’re going to try out going smoke-free for three weeks. There’s a good chance that once the three weeks are up, you’ll have broken the habit and won’t want to go back to cigarettes.
Use Aversion Therapy
If you’re struggling to give up smoking, consider aversion therapy to help. Aversion therapy has been shown to be an effective way to change your habits, no matter how ingrained you may think they are. The therapy uses techniques that help patients feel less averse to something in their lives - in this case, giving up smoking. It’s a type of therapy that combines chemical with sensory stimuli to try to change the patient’s perceptions.
Keep Track Of Time Distortion
When a smoker gives up smoking, the cravings can be tough to overcome through sheer willpower alone. One of the reasons for this is because when the brain is craving stimuli, our experience of time passing slows down. We may only be craving another cigarette for a few minutes in real time, but for us, it can feel more like hours. A good piece of advice, therefore, is to keep a watch nearby so that you can track how long your cravings really last.
Quitting smoking is difficult and so many people rely on crutches to get them through. The only problem is that these crutches can end up replacing the first addiction with something else, leaving you no better off.
Beware of alcohol when you’re coming off cigarettes. Many people turn to alcohol to help themselves get rid of their cigarette cravings. But alcohol itself can have very damaging effects on your body and your overall life.