‘I quit smoking with NLP’


I quit smoking while I was taking NLP training. I had a few things going for me at the time.

  1. It is rare for a smoker to succeed on the first try. I was no exception. I quit 15 times over a year, sometimes for a couple of days, sometimes for a month. I found there was an upside to withdrawal. I slept better. I got high on oxygen and my physical activities and sport performances improved. Although I felt like I wasn’t accomplishing much I learned to recognize that I would have to take stress breaks where I did nothing and still got jobs done.
  2. During a reframe I identified 14 good reasons to smoke and worked to develop alternative behaviours to satisfy these needs. I have used reframing to help others quit smoking and found that each person needs to find their own good reasons for smoking.

Some of mine were:

  • social – whether outside the office or at parties sharing smokes was great way to hack our lungs out together.
  • Stress reliever especially when at my desk writing.
  • Helped me cope with my restlessness,(ADD)
  • Love the taste and smell of tobacco and still love the smell of a freshly lit cigarette it.
  • Staying slim. When smoking I was ten pounds lighter. Besides the vanity I was quicker in sport,(but over the years lost stamina).
  • I believed my thinking was better.
  • Smoking urge would insure I took necessary breaks.

Other factors I believe contributed to quitting successfully:

I was a volunteer fireman and got stuck in a couple of fires. I developed claustrophobia. The idea of suffocating to death didn’t appeal to me and since long term chronic smoking will guarantee emphysema 100% of the time smoking lost its appeal.

I was very athletic playing European handball 5 days a week, was a triathlete, and competed in world police games.

Luck plays a big part in it. After 26 years of smoking quitting needs to take precedence over EVERYTHING else for at least 3 months. It takes a year to overcome the effects of withdrawal so you need a window of low stress in your life. Quitting during a period of high stress will guarantee failure. Is this a time in your friend’s life were they are confidently managing home and work? If not wait until they are settled.

Every time I fell off the wagon I would kick myself until I got back on.

Exercise throughout my adult life saved me. Despite years of self abuse not only with cigarettes but food and alcohol as well, I have clear arteries and n emphysema so to me the key ingredient for recovery is activity and goals for that activity such as a triathlon. Team sports or games such as bridge will fulfill the need for social interaction without the alcohol which breaks down the resolve.

Start on a Saturday morning and plan to do nothing all weekend even if others are whining for attention.

Dana Rodden

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