Stopping smoking is difficult, but we know that the more resources you are willing to use, the better the chance that you can stop.
One powerful tool for stopping smoking is your "thought process." Positive thinking can help build confidence and can also help improve attitude and mood. We know how important it is for people to focus on behavioral coping skills and substitutes such as chewing gum, squeezing stress balls, etc. But, another tool that can be used is monitoring thought patterns.
It's a natural human tendency to talk to ourselves. If your mind is hearing you say, "I can't do this, it's too hard to quit," it can have an impact on our ability to utilize our other coping skills. Having an awareness of your self-talk is crucial. Once you are aware of your negative self-talk, the next step is to take steps to change it. So, when you hear yourself thinking negative thoughts, change that thought to something more positive such as, "I CAN do this."
Some other positive self-talk statements that you can tell yourself include:
- "I happily see myself smoke-free."
- "Smoking is no longer an option."
- "I feel so much better when I practice healthy behaviors."
Another tip is to write down positive messages and read them throughout the day as a reminder about how important it is to stay positive during the process of stopping smoking. Remember to continue going to the BecomeAnEX.org Web site and work through your plan.
Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org