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Quitting smoking easily is every smoker's dream. However, the mere sight of a cigarette triggers a sometimes unbearable craving. When we stop smoking, it becomes our best friend and our worst enemy: we love it as much as we hate it.
Some will try to overcome their tobacco withdrawal by using electronic cigarettes or even nicotine patches. Others will maintain their motivation with other methods allowing them to quit smoking naturally.
Some will try an anti-smoking month, others will get help with hypnosis. Some will fall into the trap of another addiction, like smoking joints instead of cigarettes. Despite everything, quitting smoking easily is possible.
Quitting smoking suddenly is never a good idea, and rarely effective. Quitting smoking is quitting a real addiction, and in order to end a smoking addiction on the first try, there are certain steps that must be taken.
Indeed, this type of addiction is both psychological and behavioral and takes time to disappear. Here are the different steps to quit smoking the first time.
The 6 steps to quitting smoking at once
STEP 1: Renew your motivation to quit smoking
The first thing to do, and the most effective way to quit smoking, is to take stock of your motivation by asking about the benefits of quitting smoking.
It's simple, quitting smoking cigarettes opens the doors to a new, much more fulfilled life, both physically and psychologically. While the symptoms of quitting smoking can be scary, it's best to focus on the benefits of quitting smoking.
After a few hours without cigarettes only, you begin to be better oxygenated. After a few days, you recover your full breath, taste, and smell. After a few weeks, you cough less, you have more energy, and you start to improve your physical performance when playing sports. After a few months to a few years without cigarettes, you reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by half.
It would even seem that this risk is similar to someone who has never smoked. After more than ten years without a cigarette, your body has recovered well, and your life expectancy is back on track with the life expectancy of people who have never smoked cigarettes.
Apart from regained physical health, quitting smoking also leads to the renewal of more stable mental health, with better concentration and regained self-confidence. Motivation is a formidable criterion, the most effective for quitting smoking.
STEP 2: Implement an effective strategy
Quitting smoking overnight, without preparation, is not an effective strategy. Make dozens of attempts to stop either. After taking stock of your motivation, you are normally determined to quit smoking. Now is the time to put a strategy in place.
Here are the questions to ask yourself before quitting smoking overnight, on a whim:
- What type of smoker am I?
- Am I heavily addicted to tobacco?
- Am I an occasional smoker during times of stress?
- Do certain emotions or certain people trigger my urge to smoke?
- Do I need smoking cessation assistance? psychological support?
- Am I comfortable with a psychologist, a doctor, or a hypnotherapist?
- Are stop smoking patches enough for me?
- Do I need nicotine substitutes?
- Do I have any specific health issues?
Once you have answered all these questions, you can put in place a real strategy to quit smoking effectively.
STEP 3: Prepare for your smoking cessation
Once your strategy is in place, you can prepare to implement it. By preparing for this smoking cessation, you have every chance of quitting smoking the first time.
Start by setting a date when you start quitting smoking. Try, if possible, to put this date at a time in your life when you are not undergoing other major changes or a period of stress such as medical examinations, a professional promotion, a breakup, etc.
You can use another symbolic and important date to reinforce your smoking cessation: you decide to quit smoking on your birthday, your wedding day, the day your child is born...
Tell your loved ones about your smoking cessation and see if anyone can support or help you. For example, a spouse who quits smoking at the same time as you. A loved one who can make himself available to start an activity or hobby to do together.
- Rethink your habits: if you used to go have a cigarette with your fellow smoker just after the lunch break, do not eat with this colleague anymore for the first few times. Try to surround yourself with non-smokers from the start, to avoid risky situations.
- Clean your home: Throw away the curtains carrying the smell of your many years of smoking, get rid of lighters, ashtrays, matches, and anything that reminds you of cigarettes.
Step 4: Deal with the effects of withdrawal
Quite often, quitting smoking leads to withdrawal effects that are more or less easy to live with. Nevertheless, there are several tips that can help you better your life through this period, so that you are not tempted to throw in the towel on all your efforts.
1. Hydrate yourself and play sports to facilitate the regeneration of the respiratory system
Among the effects of withdrawal, there is in particular the better oxygenation of your body, which could cause you to feel dizzy for a few days. Your respiratory system will regenerate, and your bronchi will free themselves. To do this, you will surely cough for a few weeks.
Drink plenty of water and engage in regular physical activity to get rid of it faster.
2. Prefer full nights of sleep
You may experience physical fatigue for 2-4 weeks. Your body will gradually detox from cigarettes and tobacco. He will also have to adapt to the lack of nicotine. Prioritize your nights during this period, rest, and get enough sleep.
It often happens that ex-smokers complain of insomnia for several weeks after quitting smoking.
If this happens to you, and your sleep is disturbed without any other possible cause, use natural methods to help you fall asleep: move around a lot during the day, eat little in the evening, and turn off all your screens at least 2 hours before going to bed.
This insomnia should not last more than two to three weeks.
3. Favor a diet rich in fiber and vitamins
Constipation is one of the possible side effects of quitting smoking. If nicotine stimulates bowel function while you smoke, your body will have to gradually readjust to not having it.
You will therefore spend several weeks feeling intestinal discomfort. Choose fiber-rich foods and stay hydrated.
If you feel that your appetite is returning and you are often very hungry, this is completely normal. By quitting smoking, your senses such as taste and smell will come back. They promote the appetite and the pleasure of eating and therefore encourage you to eat a little more than usual. This feeling of hunger should not last more than a few weeks.
However, if you feel an irrepressible urge to eat particularly sweet foods, eat low-calorie sweet fruits to avoid overindulging. Indeed, sugar cravings are very important when a person decides to quit smoking: sugar replaces the pleasure and gratification you felt when you smoked.
4. Resist the urge to smoke
An irresistible urge to smoke is the most common symptom. You will suffer it at least two weeks after the beginning of your stop. You will have it because of great stress, difficulty in changing your habits, difficult situations … but also because your body does not yet produce enough endorphins. This craving can last for several weeks, so hold on!
STEP 5: Use nicotine substitutes
The symptoms of tobacco withdrawal are sometimes unpleasant. It is for this reason that one should not hesitate to seek help from a doctor or a psychologist if the addiction has been present for many years. Nicotine substitutes greatly reduce the lack of nicotine and the associated symptoms.
Nicotine patch or patch: these are reimbursed by health insurance if prescribed by your doctor. It is a simple patch to stick on your skin at the beginning of the day and to keep for 16 to 24 hours. Oral forms: tablets and lozenges to suck or let dissolve under the tongue when you feel a strong urge to smoke.
There are also nicotine sprays to spray directly into your mouth as well as inhalers allowing you to inhale droplets of nicotine. There are also other treatments available only on prescription and which must be monitored by a doctor because of possible side effects.
STEP 6: Don't feel guilty in the event of a crack!
You've decided to quit your tobacco addiction and it's a huge life change for both your brain and your body. Quitting smoking is no easy feat. Have you smoked a little cigarette again after a long meeting? It does not matter.
Don't be too hard on yourself: you've already done the hardest part by starting your stop and preparing it rigorously.
Try to understand the triggers of the small relapses you may have: is it because of work? From your spouse? Stress caused by daily responsibilities? By understanding why you smoked a cigarette, you gradually ward off these dangers.
Having smoked a cigarette should absolutely not discourage you or make you feel guilty. You smoked one, two, three cigarettes, that's ok. You smoked for a few days because the period was very bad, that's also ok.
The important thing is to realize this, to ask yourself the right questions, and resume your stop calmly. If you relapsed very easily or your steps turned into many quit attempts, talk to a healthcare professional.
How does hypnosis help quit smoking?
There are many alternative methods to quit smoking. Among them, are meditation workshops, relaxation, support groups, the anti-tobacco laser method, or even the best known to the general public: hypnosis. All of them are valuable aids that can help you in your tobacco detox.
Hypnosis is often seen as an effective method to quit smoking and some ex-smokers claim to have succeeded in quitting smoking on the first try thanks to a single session of hypnosis.
Hypnosis works on any smoker, whether they have been a heavy smoker for several years or an occasional smoker. The length of time and intensity of smoking, therefore, do not take into account the effectiveness of this therapeutic method.
During the session, the hypnotherapist will gradually change your perception of cigarettes. Doing this will put you in a very deep state of relaxation. A state called the altered state of consciousness, thanks to the voice.
During your session, the hypnotherapist will work on the causes of your addiction to cigarettes, as well as the triggers that push you to smoke.
It is also there to gradually change your fears and beliefs. Hypnosis allows you to project yourself into a pleasant, fulfilling, cigarette-free future.
The state of hypnotic trance allows you to modify your smoking behavior
After a detailed discussion of your problem with your hypnotherapist, he will settle you down and place you in a state called the hypnotic trance state.
Although the word sounds a little barbaric, it is a perfectly controlled state, which does not resemble anything that can be observed in television programs or hypnosis shows. You will find yourself in a semi-conscious state, of great relaxation during which the hypnotherapist will, thanks to the voice, create a kind of verbal passage, in order to access your unconscious.
Once there, he can “reprogram” you and free you from tobacco. At the end of the session, you will gradually regain your consciousness and, from the end of this first session, the perception of tobacco and cigarettes will be partially or completely modified.
Are there any risks in using hypnosis to quit smoking?
Choosing the right practitioner is essential. The ideal, not to be mistaken, is a qualified clinical psychologist. Better yet, a clinical psychologist trained in hypnosis.
You will also find general practitioners, midwives, or other paramedical staff trained in hypnosis.
Hypnosis being a rather special complementary practice, it will be necessary, in addition to skills, to look at human qualities. It is essential that you feel good and confident. There are no particular risks to the practice of hypnosis to quit smoking, as there are no contraindications.
However, psychologists tend to say that hypnosis is not recommended for people with psychotic issues. This is why, as with any medical practice, it is important to take stock of one's physical and psychiatric history before implementing a new therapeutic practice.
Are the various hypnosis videos and podcasts available online effective as a real hypnosis session?
These videos and audio podcasts available in large quantities on platforms such as Youtube and Spotify can help you quit smoking.
It is a complementary means of reinforcing hypnosis or psychotherapy sessions but it does not replace them entirely. By using only these videos to put an end to your addiction to cigarettes, it will be very difficult to achieve alone the hypnotic state necessary to carry out a complete and effective therapeutic work.
I strongly advise you not to call on outside people without training, because not only is the success of the hypnosis session not guaranteed and certainly very expensive, but this person will not be able to help you carry out the overall therapeutic work. required to stop an addiction as strong as the addiction to cigarettes.
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