Are you the type of person who craves a cigarette immediately after you say you are going to quit? Are the scenes of your life tied together with smoke breaks? Is it hard for you to imagine a life free from tobacco? If you manage to quit for a time do you frequently look back longingly as if you lost a family member or a dear friend?
If you answered yes to any question above then for you quitting smoking is like hitting the “pause” button until you are ready to start again. Furthermore, you are not seriously contemplating quitting forever.
1) You must get off the island
Resisting the Gilligan mindset. Do you remember the Gilligan’s Island TV series that ran in the 1960s? Did you know that this show was originally sponsored by Philip Morris & Company? Yes it was. I don’t know if it was intentional or not but the sitcom is a perfect metaphor of people who are stuck smoking. Let me explain, you have on the island, and a small diverse group of individuals. The rich and the poor, the brilliant and the dumb, the beautifully gorgeous and the plain Jane, all representing a microcosm of our society. And of course, they are all stuck on the stupid island.
2) You must quit without regrets.
The psychology of quitting for good tell us that you must resist looking back. You must resist the incorrect belief that you cannot live life without nicotine. If you quit the action of smoking but continue to crave nicotine in your mind you are not quitting you are regretting that you stopped smoking. If you quit smoking and start to regret it is like paddling off the island on a boat wondering if you are going to make it, worried about what you may encounter. Eventually you paddle the boat back to shore and you tell yourself some lie(i.e. the water was too rough and choppy) to feel better.
3) You must quit with your body and mind.
As I said before you can stop the action of smoking and never really quitting in your mind. Your mind is trapped by the lie you have told yourself many times: “I need to smoke.” You must free your mind from the lies.
4) You must quit and NOT look back.
You must quit with your gazed fixed in the distance looking at the wonderful life you are about to begin free from the shackles of tobacco. You have to love this bright future more than the dingy past of smoking. Remember the lesson of Lot’s wife, you love what you choose to put your gaze upon. If you love the smoking life more than the smoke-free life you will look back and eventually get drawn back to the island.
5) You must quit with joy in your heart.
You have to be happy that you quit and full of joy about your tobacco free future. Tears of joy should be streaming down your face. No regrets, no looking back, just moving forward toward the light.