Stop Smoking Now - A Motivational Approach

Having taught motivational psychotherapy for many years at university I believe this is probably one of the best ways to give up smoking. It doesn't rely on teaching you stuff you already know or assuming that you don't know how to give up, but aims to kick start your intrinsic motivation so that you really, really want to stop smoking.

Let me ask you a very important question; what do you like about smoking? Think about it hard, and don't say "nothing." If that were true you would have given up by now. The reason that you haven't is because you still get something from it, be it the nicotine rush or relaxation or a hundred and one of the other things that cigarettes provide. Write out, or think about, a list of what smoking gives you and be honest with yourself. Include all the things that you feel you shouldn't own up to; be as honest as you can.

When you have your list begin to think about the other side of the argument, what does smoking take from you, what don't you like about it? Again be honest and don't just write things that sound good but you don't really have any connection with. Write down the things that you really don't like.

Once you have all this information you have in front of you, you will have a much clearer idea about what is going on. When we really want to change something we usually do, when we don't really want to we usually don't. It is this simple idea that underpins most motivational approaches

Another useful motivational strategy is to ask yourself, on a scale of one to ten, how confident you are in stopping smoking, and how important it is for you to stop. The higher the number (with ten being highly confident and very important) the better placed you are to stop. Research shows that unless you are scoring at least eight out of ten on both scales it is unlikely that any change will happen.

If you are scoring less than this ask yourself what would have to happen for your score to increase by one or two points. What would make you more confident about giving up smoking or for it to be more important to you.

The final strategy is to imagine that you have stopped smoking. That you have quit for good. It's now a couple of years into the future and you are looking back to this time when you finally managed to stop smoking. How did you do it? What exactly did you do, that made the difference this time from all the other attempts.

This retrospective thinking allows you to access your own advice and proper self help. If you are doing this properly you will be able to tell yourself exactly what you need to do to stop smoking, whether it's avoiding certain situations, getting some nicotine gum or patches.

I hope these ideas help. There are many, many other strategies and ideas from motivational psychotherapy that are used on a daily basis around the world to help people quit smoking as well as making all other positive life changes. Remember, you will stop smoking as long as you keep trying. The most important thing is not to give up.

Article Source: Alex Gunn

No comments:

Post a Comment