Are you ready?
Change is one of the constants in your life and getting ready to quit smoking signifies the start of your journey. Over 20 years ago two alcoholism researchers, Carlo C. DiClemente and J. O. Prochaska, developed a model of change to help with addiction problems and motivation to change. Discover how ready you are, how you can move forward, and the right mindset. It was my heart attack that catapulted me to the action stage, don’t wait for a life-changing event first.
This term is used by therapists and is the process of discontinuing tobacco use. In layman’s terms, it is quitting or stopping smoking. The more options to help you quit smoking the more successful you are likely to be. Getting ready to quit smoking is a crucial part of the process. Whilst stopping smoking is simple, it is maintaining it that can be complex. Get your headspace right first.
Tobacco smoke contains nicotine, which is addictive. Its nicotine withdrawal makes quitting very prolonged and difficult. The next steps are breaking the habit, and changing your beliefs. Then the emotional attachment to smoking must be dealt with.
Trying to kick the smoking habit?
You’re not alone.
When asked nearly seven out of 10 smokers say they want to stop.
Stopping smoking is one of the best things you can do for your health. Inhaling nicotine and all the other harmful chemicals harm nearly every organ in your body, including your heart.
Nearly one-third of deaths from heart disease are the result of smoking and second-hand smoke.
Secretly other smokers won’t want you to quit. It’s nothing personal and it’s about them and not you.
This doesn’t sound very supportive! It’s not meant in a mean way. It really is worth bearing in mind though. It’s not about you it’s about how they feel about themselves. Seeing and hearing you quitting makes them wish they could too. Deep down inside most smokers really would rather they didn’t smoke and don’t know how to stop. And yes, I do realise this is a generalisation but it is what I have found when talking to smokers and ex-smokers.
How ready are you?
If you are thinking of kicking that smoking habit then consider this, it really isn’t worth considering if you:
- feel like you should quit, but really would rather not
- aren’t ready to quit
- want to quit for someone else
Are any of the above the reason why you are thinking of quitting? If this is the case then there is some work for you to do. Getting ready to give up smoking can only be achieved if you are doing it for yourself. Yes, you may want to please others, and you may know it is what you should do but you will only half-heartedly try unless you get your head in the right place. Take a look at the following four stages, where are you? If you’re not at the action stage, maybe you could work with your Doctor or find a therapist that can help you move through the stages until you are ready to take action.
The stages of change
You will need a change in mindset first. Research has found there are five key stages that you go through when making a change to a habit. It is really useful to be aware of these so you know where you currently are as you start getting ready to quit smoking. These are:
During this stage you do not even consider changing. Smokers who are “in denial” may not see that the advice applies to them. Even people with high cholesterol levels may feel and believe it won’t happen to them, the health problems only happen to others.
At this point, you may be undecided about changing and stopping smoking. Giving up an enjoyable behaviour causes you to feel a sense of loss despite all the obvious gains. You may find yourself considering all the barriers such as: how will you enjoy yourself, how long it takes to get over the withdrawal, the cost involved and the hassle and fear etc.
You might hear yourself saying “I know I need to, but …” and at the same time knowing the true benefits of change.
This is where you might prepare to make a specific change. You may start to experiment with small changes as your determination increases. For example, changing to a different brand of cigarettes or decreasing how much you smoke. These are the signals that you have decided a change is needed.
It all happens here, it’s the stage that I am truly eager to see you reach. This is where you will be taking a definitive action to change. Read on to find out more methods to help you do this easily and effortlessly.
5. Maintenance and relapse prevention
This is an area that I will discuss in a later post, so keep your eyes peeled but for now read on …..
Once your head is in the right place and your mind is set on change, find out the best way to quit for you. You can find out more in my posts the easiest ways to stop smoking, and how to stop smoking naturally, take a look as they include a number of options and choices for you to consider.