When deciding we want to quit smoking a series of thought patterns emerge.How am i going to do this?Why is smoking so addictive?When am I going to do this? How will I cope with the withdrawal symptoms? My life is too stressful to stop smoking right now, I will wait for a better time to quit.
All of these thought patterns are linked to the pain around quitting. Psychologically we are inadvertently telling ourselves that quitting the habit of smoking is painful. Think back to when we first picked up our first cigarette. Why did we do it? Maybe our friends were doing it and in order to feel cool we decided to try it. Maybe a stressful event caused us to light that first cigarette. For many it may have been unenjoyable the first time we took that first drag. We may have coughed. We may have felt dizzy. Then there are those of us who enjoyed it right from the start. Maybe we felt more confident and social with a cigarette in our hand .
Whatever happened our first cigarette was linked to an emotional response either to our circumstances at that moment or our state of mind. For many of us smoking started slowly and gradually progressed into a habit that over time changed the way we think and react to situations . Consider this for a moment. If you are now smoking 20 or 30 a day ask yourself how did i get to this?If we could go back to the beginning would we have ever considered taking a full pack of 20 and smoking them all? I doubt it. We would have thrown up.Picture oneself the first time we tried a cigarette. Can we honestly see ourselves surrounded in billowing smoke as we plough through cigarette after cigarette until the box was empty? I doubt it.
So what happened? Why is smoking so addictive ?
ITS ABOUT THE HABIT. Thats what happened
Slowly over time we developed this new habit. The problem is this. That initial habit which took years to solidify started with a pleasurable feeling every time we smoked. And the human brain loves pleasure in every form.The more pleasure we get the more we want. Sadly though over time the pleasure receptors in our brain become used to the feeling. So much so that they do not react the same way as they did when we first started smoking. As the habit forms it links itself to momentum and as momentum gathers speed it only moves in one direction and that is forward.Forward momentum is powerful.
Think of a small trickle of water that starts at the top of a mountain.It may start as a few drops, forms a trickle,then develops into a stream and then a river. It then gathers momentum in one direction and becomes powerful. That is in effect how a habit begins. It starts small gathers momentum and becomes super entrenched.
As Humans we all have habits that started as a trickle , gained momentum and gather speed. Some of these habits serve us well and some do not. And that is why is smoking so addictive In my next blog I will write about what we need to do to form positive habits. I hope you enjoyed reading this. Please feel free to share your story or email me email@example.com
Craig Theobald “The End of Smoking”