Needless to say, this process (and having a cigarette) was on my mind all of the time, every day, all day. But as a part of my brainwashing, every time I’d think to myself that I wanted a cigarette I’d say to myself, “Julie, cut it out! These cigarettes are poisoning my body, and I’m PAYING for the right to die young.” Then I would visualize myself hiking up a mountain, which is something I love to do and couldn’t because of my breathing, or I would close my eyes and feel myself scuba diving again…another thing that was currently impossible. Postponing the next cigarette became easier each time I did my visualization, the addiction is so mental, even more than physical. In fact, I read that nicotine is out of your body in just seven days (I don’t know about the other toxins they put in the cigarettes) so it’s most important what is going on in your mind.
In the morning I’d wake up wanting a cigarette, so instead I’d lie in my bed and pretend I was on a beach and I’d see and mentally feel myself going swimming and then walking along the beach just enjoying the day. All the things I loved had pretty much stopped because I couldn’t walk 20 feet without panting for breath. As unhealthy as I was at the time, there isn’t a doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t be alive today if I hadn’t stopped smoking!
I had read how advertisers get into our mind by repeating the same thing over and over and over. Even though this ad hasn’t been on TV or radio for 20 +/- years, I bet a lot of people can finish this – “Winston tastes good like…” Did you say “cigarette should?” If you’re old enough, the odds are you did. That’s because advertising is gently brainwashing us, especially when we aren’t really paying attention. So, I decided to brainwash myself.
One day I put on Pachelbel and just listened and relaxed to it for a while. Then I got the idea to brainwash myself the way the advertisers brainwash us. So, I decided to write a “congratulations” script for myself. I started off by writing a full relaxation script which has ultimately expanded and has become an MP3 I now sell called Be Still. Relaxing Into Your Perfect Body (click on it, you’ll see the button so you can hear a sample) and then I wrote a long script that started with “Congratulations on my wise decision to stop smoking! This decision will add years to my life, and give me the ability to hike, swim, scuba, and just have fun.” The script went on for 30 minutes (it was a 45 minute tape, but 15 minutes was the relaxation portion).
In my script I first wrote about the ugliness of smoking: the smell in my hair, my clothes, my car, and my apartment. How little accidents would burn my clothes and furniture. The expense of cigarettes and how I would much rather use that money to enjoy fun adventures. I spoke about how my lungs were turning to black gooey tar, choking me and stealing my breath. I made this 10 minute portion as horrible as I could imagine (and since I was still having breathing problems, it wasn’t hard to do). Then I made the switch to the positive.
I spent the remaining 20 minutes talking about how my lungs were returning to healthy pink and my skin was getting brighter. How proud I was of myself because I proved that I was strong and I was in control of my body. It went on and on. If you decided to write a script you’ll see how long 20 minutes really is when you are complimenting yourself and saying how healthy you are.
After I finished my script and read it with the music playing so I could smooth out any bumps, I was ready for the next step.
I got two tape recorders and a tape player (I guess now it would be a digital recorder and CD player). Playing the beautiful music in the background I spoke my script into the recorder. When it was finished I put another tape into the second recorder and copied it, then I turned the original tape over and copied the entire thing on the back of the first tape. My intention was to have the same thing on the front and back side of the tape.
Next I took a 30 minute tape and skipping the relaxation portion of the original, I copied from “Congratulations…” onto the second tape. Then I took a third tape, and did all the steps so I’d have a tape with the same message on both sides. In the end I had two cassettes, one was 45 minutes with the relaxation and Congratulations on both sides, and the other was 30 minutes with the Congratulations on both sides.
At night I’d put in the relaxation tape and fall asleep to it. It would auto-reverse and my brain would be listening to it over and over until sometime in the night I’d wake up enough to just shut it off. The other tape was put into my car and it played over and over. It was the only thing I’d play in my car so eventually I just tuned it out mentally – but it was now going into my mind subliminally, which is exactly what I wanted. I was now brainwashing myself, just like the professionals did when they advertised the glories of smoking on TV and radio. And, it worked!
That’s enough for today. I hope you’re picking up some good ideas of how you’d like to change your thoughts to help you stop smoking. You certainly don’t need to do everything, but it definitely took all of this (and a lot more) for me because I had such a heavy habit.
I’ll be back in a few days with more hints. It’s now Memorial Day weekend and I’m sure we all have things to do that are more fun than reading a blog. See you on Tuesday!
Have a great day,