One of the most important things I did to stop smoking was I changed how my mind viewed the smoking experience. When I would see someone smoking it would trigger a thought that I wanted a cigarette, and it was impossible for me to smell cigarette smoke without wanting to light a cigarette. That needed to change or I’d be really fighting an uphill battle.
I started to look at people who were smoking and with conscious determination I’d say things like “look how stupid she looks with that white stick hanging out of her mouth, too bad, she’d be pretty if she didn’t look so silly sucking on that cigarette,” or “what a pity that he is so dependent on that cigarette, he doesn’t have any control over his own body, he’s given that control to the cigarette companies who are making millions of dollars off weak people like him,” or “that poor woman is paying for the ability to flood her cells with toxins that will suck the life right out of them.”
Now, obviously, I wasn’t putting myself in that stupid or dependent category, I was mentally making myself stronger because I was in the process of breaking that addiction. This is an important part of the process…don’t belittle or berate yourself! In this situation you are an observer, not an active player, of the slavery of smoking.
I would look at their skin, with the pores open trying to get some oxygen into the body, and that sallow color that happens to people who have been smoking for a long time. I’d look at the tiny lines that pointed to their lips because they kept “pursing” them as they sucked on the cigarette. Each drag of the cigarette making the lines deeper and deeper. I’d look at how they appeared washed-out, not vibrant and alive. Even their hands show the stains of smoking.
Young people don’t show those signs…yet. I looked at myself in the mirror, really searching for any of the signs that showed the changes on my skin, and fortunately they hadn’t started to appear…yet. Now, I know they were getting ready to appear, I was already in my 40’s, I wasn’t 25, so the damage had already started but it wasn’t showing on the outside yet. Of course, what was happening on the inside was well underway, but the outcome of that problem ended up good because I finally broke the addiction and started to heal.
Regardless of where you stand on the spectrum of damage, the body is incredible and stopping smoking asap will change your life radically. It’s amazing how the body will reverse damage, or at the very minimum it will halt it right where it is (those lip lines won’t disappear, but at least they won’t get worse and worse). The most important thing is how your lungs will start to heal, your breathing will improve, and even your taste buds return (you may not have even realized you weren’t tasting food normally) and your meals will be so much more flavorful.
Stopping smoking is a really long process, so enough for today, tomorrow I’m going to share how I brainwashed myself in a most positive way.
Wishing you well,