Trauma and Traps: How to Quit Smoking & Fight Addiction Naturally?
Updated: Apr 13
“Smoking Kills” is a phrase that we all have heard time and again - before movies, on poster boards, next to the roads and even in books. Then why is it so hard for us to dissociate from the habit when we are stuck with it. Why do we not learn from our mistakes? The truth is, we try. So many have tried to quit smoking, but something pulls them back and behold! They are stuck in this vicious cycle.
Did you know? According to the Department of Health and Human Services of USA in 2014, an average male smoker loses 13.2 years of his life and an average female user loses 14.5 years.
Puff! Puff! Blowing all the way!
Puff! Puff! Your life is going astray!
Smoking - A Chemical Addiction
Imagine - You have decided to quit smoking. You have not smoked a cig in 3 hours. Suddenly, you feel low, sad. Your mind takes you back to wanting that one smoke. What is happening to you? You don’t understand. You are done fighting and give in.
What is it that is forcing you back? “Nicotine” - The primary culprit behind this addiction. It is more dangerous than most drugs. Nicotine affects your dopamine system, a neurotransmitting hormone that controls your emotions and decisions. It completely takes over your ability to derive pleasure from other activities, thus, giving satisfaction only after a smoke.
Nicotine de-addiction cannot be forced on you. You are the master of your brain, it has to be your initiative.
Smoking - A Psychological and Social Trap
You might wonder “I have tried so hard, and got so far, in the end, it doesn’t even matter!” (line credits - Linkin Park). This is a common question in the mind of every smoker. The answer is rooted deep within your psyche. A smoker’s mind is full of fallacies. They believe that they cannot live smoke-free. Each and every activity they perform on a daily basis feels right to them only if they take a smoke. This thought, this notion needs to be plucked out from the roots. You need to build conviction towards the belief that you do not like smoking.
Another major factor that influences people to smoke is peer pressure and media. When young teens have access to unlimited internet and watch content that promotes the use of cigs by labeling it as ‘cool’ or ‘rebellious’, they gravitate towards it. A sense of belonging overpowers senses of rationality. They mimic what the celebs/influencers do, to feel that they are a part of something important or to have fun.
Smoking - Misconceptions vs Reality
Smokers live under the misconception that they have to smoke if they want their day to pass successfully and at ease. The nicotine in their bloodstream forces them to believe that their performance during the day will be affected if they don’t smoke. Under this fear, every smoker who tries to quit, relapses. You might also have the same thoughts.
Contrary to popular beliefs, smokers who think they enjoy smoking, do not actually derive any pleasure from it. It is only the effect of nicotine dulling your senses, as a result of which other pleasure-deriving activities seem ineffective. Another myth is that smoking helps in mood enhancement. The truth is that it is extremely harmful for you. It, like any drug, gives a temporary high, which makes you feel on top of the world. Smoking does not help when you are hungry either. Infact, it deprives you from enjoying the actual flavour and aroma of food, which in turn affects digestion. Smoking cannot be used as a tool to overcome emotions like sadness, fear or anger, rather it draws you back into its clutches. Scientific studies prove that most smokers suffer from depression and anxiety related conditions due to lack of control on emotions as a result of smoking.
Our point here is, WHEN YOU SMOKE, YOU ARE NOT IN CONTROL. SMOKING CONTROLS YOU. Should this dynamic not change? Dispel these misconceptions. Let the role reversal happen. This will only work if you are determined to quit smoking. Embed this in your brain, condition yourself.
“You do not need to smoke to be happy, It is not cool!” - Say it again!
What will work for YOU?
At QuitSure, we believe that the most efficient way to get rid of addiction to smoking is altering the subconscious mind. There are two parts of the brain that are continuously at work - the conscious and the subconscious. While the conscious mind heavily relies on awareness, the subconscious is innate. It functions on behaviour and habits that we have internalised. In order to quit smoking, you have to tap into your subconscious and pick out the thoughts that are forcing you to smoke. Set a timeline to quit smoking. You can read more on how to avoid procrastinating the decision to quit smoking.
Some of the most effective ways are mindfulness and behavioural conditioning. When you smoke, instead of just doing it for fun, feel what it does to your senses. When the flavour of tobacco lingers on your tongue or when the smoke clogs your nasal passages, your attitude towards smoking will change and its harmfulness will be exposed. People find it difficult to quit because smoking becomes a habit. Tools like Behavioural therapy, under guidance, can be used to change smoking habits and provide permanent solutions to quit smoking.
When you have dealt with your smoking addiction, you will realise that you have more control over your life than ever before. You will make rational decisions, have improved focus and concentration and feel better about yourself in general. It is not going to be easy, the urges might attempt to drag you down. But hey! You are worth the fight. Your aim is a better life. By tuning your subconscious into accepting that smoking is not doing you any good, you will be able to talk the talk and walk the walk. We, at QuitSure, are here to help with the right techniques and information, in the right order, at the right time.
Every step taken towards quitting smoking is important. And so are You. Remember, only You can bring the Change!