Every year, millions vow that they will give up smoking, and yet the percentage who succeed in quitting remains alarmingly low. It can take up to seven attempts before the average smoker is able to shake the habit, and many never succeed in sticking to their plan.
Here are five effective techniques to help struggling smokers to achieve their goals and kick their addiction for good.
Rid the house of smoking supplies
It’s virtually impossible to smoke a cigarette if you don’t have one in your hand. The first step is to root out all the hiding places where you’ve been stashing your emergency supply. Get rid of ash trays and cigarette lighters. The fewer of these items you have around, the more inconvenient it will be if you ever decide to succumb to temptation in a moment of weakness.
Cut it off at the source
It requires some discipline to resist the temptation of buying a packet of cigarettes, especially if it’s become your habit to stock up every time you go shopping. However, simply refusing to allow yourself to buy cigarettes is far easier than attempting to deny yourself a cigarette if you already them in your pocket. Rather than having to deal with cravings every minute of the day, you only need to overcome this temptation once or twice a week, at the point of purchase.
Interrupt the pattern
Psychologists agree that one of the most powerful techniques for breaking any destructive habit is to recognise the circumstances which trigger it and create a ‘pattern interrupt’. Often, this involves creating a distraction, to refocus attention away from the undesirable behaviour.
Team up with a friend
For sociable smokers, the idea of teaming up with a ‘quitting buddy’ will fuel your determination and ensure that you stick to your plan. The two of you can offer moral support to keep each other on track.
Consider hypnosis or acupuncture
Many thousands of people have achieved success by turning to alternative therapies such as acupuncture and hypnotherapy.