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Old 06-12-2004, 01:27 PM   #1
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How to quit (for visual learners!)

I didn't realize there was a smoking board here - I usually post in Disbetes and Diet & Nutrition. But I do have a method of quitting that works - it worked for me 14 years ago, and it has helped some of my friends and relatives. I made this up myself, but would still be smoking today if I had not followed this method. I would be interested to hear what any of you think about this...

You will hear a lot of suggestions from a lot of people on how to quit smoking and most of them do not work. I have a method that I created for myself - and it allowed me to quit cold turkey and get through the continuous urges that creep up on you. I still use this method today - yes even 14 years later. Now I suppose it is possible that my magic won't work for you... but I have 2 things to say to that... 1. You have to really love smoking and the feeling you get when you take a deep drag off a cigarette. 2. You have to really want to quit, even though you love that feeling. I smoked 3 packs/day for 16 years. I tried to quit many times using acupuncture, hypnotism, various kits/filters with inhale inhibitors - NOTHING WORKED. These and other methods out there might assist you in some small way but they really don't address the problem - for me the problem was that I loved and missed how smoking FELT. Nothing worked for me except what I am about to describe.

First, think about what feeling it is that you crave when you crave a cigarette? For me it was what I describe as an "inhale hug." Its the sensation I felt when the smoke I inhaled hit the bottom of my lungs. To me it was that sensation that satisfied my craving. It really had nothing to do with my mouth or my hands or the blowing of the smoke - but truly that feeling of the smoke hitting my lungs and creating a sense of fullness at the deepest part my inhale.

Next, close your eyes and imagine that your lungs are so filled with smoke that there is enough in there to keep you going without lighting a cigarette (a horrible visual, I know, but try to think of it in a positive way). The intent is not to disgust you, but to give you a sense of assurance that even without cigarettes, you will be able to recreate that "inhale hug" and you will have an unlimited supply of smoke and niccotine on reserve, already inside your lungs. Imagine that all the smoking you have done to-date has built a reserve of smoke and niccotine in your lungs that will satisfy your cravings well into the future. This is half of the trick. You really have to pretend that this reserve will keep you going without cigarettes. (I will tell you more about my own "smoke reserve" in a bit)

Next step is to practice smoking without cigarettes. And I don't mean play smoking with a stalk of celery I mean closing your eyes and taking a drag of that reserve that is already in your lungs. I will refer to this as the "Inhale Hug Excercise". To do this take a deep deep deep breath - as deep as you can until it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, it's not deep enough. The hurt you will feel at the very deepest part of that inhale should feel VERY similar to that "inhale hug" I described earlier when you take a drag off a real cigarette. When you feel that sensation, try to hold it for a moment - the same way you might hold your smoke for a moment after you have inhaled from a cigarette. Then slowly exhale.

Okay, now you will put these steps together. The next time you crave a cigarette, first close your eyes and bring to mind that reserve of smoke that is in your lungs. Then do the Inhale Hug Excercise - take a single DEEP DEEP DEEP breath - your goal is to simulate the sensation of smoking. Slowly exhale. Repeat several times as if you were smoking an actual cigarette.

It may work better for you if you keep your eyes closed and picture the smoke coming out of your mouth when you exhale. This visualization did a few things for me. It gave me the sensation that I was actually smoking. The visual that there was really a reserve of smoke in my lungs helped fool my mind that I was actually satisfying the craving. It also, in a strange way, tricked my mind into somehow imagining that with each exhale I was ridding my body of all the smoke and poison that I had put in it for all those years.

During the very first week of quitting you will experience some niccotine withdrawal. Buy some of that gum to get you through that. For me that wasn't really the problem... it was that "inhale hug" feeling that I could not get by without - I really needed it. During my first week I found myself doing the "Inhale Hug Excercise" several times per hour - about as often as I would normally have a smoke. It is the only thing that really got me through those hardest cravings.

Believe it or not, by the second week the number of times I need to inhale had reduced DRAMATICALLY. After about a month, I would only really needed to do it at key times - for example after a meal in a restaurant, during a cup of coffee, or when I was really angry about something and my bloodpressure went up.

An amazing thing will start to happen as time passes. Suddenly, your need to do the "Inhale Hig Excercise" diminishes. I would say that after 6 months or so I really never thought much about smoking. But this is really really important - you must remember that you still have that reserve of smoke in your lungs to get you through furture cravings. They will creep up on you at the oddest of times and completely out of the blue. Its difficult to know what even triggers the cravings. But even now, 14 years later, I still refer to my reserve of smoke in my lungs that I can inhale if I do get a craving. Another funny thing happens... as years go by that you do not smoke, when you do the Inhale Hug Excercise it will hurt a lot less and you will suddenly notice that you can breathe much deeper. Its very encouraging and helps incent you to stay clear of smoking.

As I mentioned earlier, you MUST want to quit from the bottom of your heart or this will not work. Also, with each day that passes, you must remind yourself that you have one more smoke-free day under your belt and cheating now would only mean you would have to start over from the beginning.

I hope this doesn't seem too crazy to you - you do need to be a little creative and have a good ability for visualization. Also remember that my method of quitting smoking is FREE and if it worked for me it is truly magic. I never thought I would be able to quit.

 
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Old 06-12-2004, 05:02 PM   #2
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdimassimo
I didn't realize there was a smoking board here - I usually post in Disbetes and Diet & Nutrition. But I do have a method of quitting that works - it worked for me 14 years ago, and it has helped some of my friends and relatives. I made this up myself, but would still be smoking today if I had not followed this method. I would be interested to hear what any of you think about this...

You will hear a lot of suggestions from a lot of people on how to quit smoking and most of them do not work. I have a method that I created for myself - and it allowed me to quit cold turkey and get through the continuous urges that creep up on you. I still use this method today - yes even 14 years later. Now I suppose it is possible that my magic won't work for you... but I have 2 things to say to that... 1. You have to really love smoking and the feeling you get when you take a deep drag off a cigarette. 2. You have to really want to quit, even though you love that feeling. I smoked 3 packs/day for 16 years. I tried to quit many times using acupuncture, hypnotism, various kits/filters with inhale inhibitors - NOTHING WORKED. These and other methods out there might assist you in some small way but they really don't address the problem - for me the problem was that I loved and missed how smoking FELT. Nothing worked for me except what I am about to describe.

First, think about what feeling it is that you crave when you crave a cigarette? For me it was what I describe as an "inhale hug." Its the sensation I felt when the smoke I inhaled hit the bottom of my lungs. To me it was that sensation that satisfied my craving. It really had nothing to do with my mouth or my hands or the blowing of the smoke - but truly that feeling of the smoke hitting my lungs and creating a sense of fullness at the deepest part my inhale.

Next, close your eyes and imagine that your lungs are so filled with smoke that there is enough in there to keep you going without lighting a cigarette (a horrible visual, I know, but try to think of it in a positive way). The intent is not to disgust you, but to give you a sense of assurance that even without cigarettes, you will be able to recreate that "inhale hug" and you will have an unlimited supply of smoke and niccotine on reserve, already inside your lungs. Imagine that all the smoking you have done to-date has built a reserve of smoke and niccotine in your lungs that will satisfy your cravings well into the future. This is half of the trick. You really have to pretend that this reserve will keep you going without cigarettes. (I will tell you more about my own "smoke reserve" in a bit)

Next step is to practice smoking without cigarettes. And I don't mean play smoking with a stalk of celery I mean closing your eyes and taking a drag of that reserve that is already in your lungs. I will refer to this as the "Inhale Hug Excercise". To do this take a deep deep deep breath - as deep as you can until it hurts. If it doesn't hurt, it's not deep enough. The hurt you will feel at the very deepest part of that inhale should feel VERY similar to that "inhale hug" I described earlier when you take a drag off a real cigarette. When you feel that sensation, try to hold it for a moment - the same way you might hold your smoke for a moment after you have inhaled from a cigarette. Then slowly exhale.

Okay, now you will put these steps together. The next time you crave a cigarette, first close your eyes and bring to mind that reserve of smoke that is in your lungs. Then do the Inhale Hug Excercise - take a single DEEP DEEP DEEP breath - your goal is to simulate the sensation of smoking. Slowly exhale. Repeat several times as if you were smoking an actual cigarette.

It may work better for you if you keep your eyes closed and picture the smoke coming out of your mouth when you exhale. This visualization did a few things for me. It gave me the sensation that I was actually smoking. The visual that there was really a reserve of smoke in my lungs helped fool my mind that I was actually satisfying the craving. It also, in a strange way, tricked my mind into somehow imagining that with each exhale I was ridding my body of all the smoke and poison that I had put in it for all those years.

During the very first week of quitting you will experience some niccotine withdrawal. Buy some of that gum to get you through that. For me that wasn't really the problem... it was that "inhale hug" feeling that I could not get by without - I really needed it. During my first week I found myself doing the "Inhale Hug Excercise" several times per hour - about as often as I would normally have a smoke. It is the only thing that really got me through those hardest cravings.

Believe it or not, by the second week the number of times I need to inhale had reduced DRAMATICALLY. After about a month, I would only really needed to do it at key times - for example after a meal in a restaurant, during a cup of coffee, or when I was really angry about something and my bloodpressure went up.

An amazing thing will start to happen as time passes. Suddenly, your need to do the "Inhale Hig Excercise" diminishes. I would say that after 6 months or so I really never thought much about smoking. But this is really really important - you must remember that you still have that reserve of smoke in your lungs to get you through furture cravings. They will creep up on you at the oddest of times and completely out of the blue. Its difficult to know what even triggers the cravings. But even now, 14 years later, I still refer to my reserve of smoke in my lungs that I can inhale if I do get a craving. Another funny thing happens... as years go by that you do not smoke, when you do the Inhale Hug Excercise it will hurt a lot less and you will suddenly notice that you can breathe much deeper. Its very encouraging and helps incent you to stay clear of smoking.

As I mentioned earlier, you MUST want to quit from the bottom of your heart or this will not work. Also, with each day that passes, you must remind yourself that you have one more smoke-free day under your belt and cheating now would only mean you would have to start over from the beginning.

I hope this doesn't seem too crazy to you - you do need to be a little creative and have a good ability for visualization. Also remember that my method of quitting smoking is FREE and if it worked for me it is truly magic. I never thought I would be able to quit.
There is no sure fire way of quitting smoke. For yrs drs and scientists have devised and researched to the heavens to asst. people in quitting smoking. Smoking, like eating disaorders is a personalized thing. No one thing is guaranteed to help every single person. As a smoker for over 35 yrs, i promise you i've tried every witch doctor cure out there. Even my health risk hasn't stopped me. As my group sponsor stated, the first step to quitting is the individual must first decide to stop. Then pick a stop date. then blah blah blah. This board is for support.

 
Old 06-12-2004, 08:46 PM   #3
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Sorry... I was just trying to share what worked for me and what has worked for many I know. I had it written up and wanted to share. If I should not have posted this I could delete it... should I?

 
Old 06-12-2004, 09:50 PM   #4
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Don't delete it! Every one of us is different, and we all find our own way to quit. We learn from one another on this board, and your post could very well give someone else an idea on how they could quit. Thanks for posting it. (I don't think jtu was trying to be critical)
DEDA

 
Old 06-12-2004, 11:31 PM   #5
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Okay, well I hope someone can benefit. If there was ever an addict it was me. When I did quit it was primarily because I was scared to death - thought I was dying. And I was the type of smoker who would, with a 103 fever and pneumonia, get in the car, go and buy a carton because I only had 10 cigarettes left. I also used to reason with myself that when I was that sick the cigarettes would help me "cough up" and clear my lungs... When healthy, I would wake up in the middle of the night to smoke, and I would chain smoke 6 cigarettes in the morning before getting ready for work. I was a mess.

When I finally did quit, using the method above was what got me through. I still use it today, though rarely, but I can simulate that feeling of smoking that I loved. I remember wondering why nobody had ever recommended this type of visualization to me before - I had read about other visualization methods where they recommend you picture the awful damage you have done to your lungs so you are repulsed. And of course that never worked - as a smoker I was repulsed by my habit every day and it never stopped me. I needed a way to keep feeling how smoking made me feel, but without the cigs.

Again, I sure hope it helps someone else. It may not even help you quit right away, but it may help you skip a few cigarettes while you are struggling with the decision to quit.

Last edited by modert; 06-12-2004 at 11:32 PM.

 
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Old 06-13-2004, 02:13 AM   #6
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Your smoking habit sounds just like mine was. Itoo would smoke, if I woke in the middle of the night to use the restroom. And I too would chainsmoke 5 or 6 or 7 cigs before I got in the shower and got ready for work. Sheer madness!
And now I'm getting by fine without them. I'm in the habit now of wanting my breakfast when I get up, or at least a protein shake with a banana. When I smoked, I never ate breakfast, (at home anyway). It's been 8.5 months now. How long since you quit?
Cheers...
DEDA
(and yes, I would smoke like a fein even if I was in bed with the flu and a high fever...crazy!)

 
Old 06-13-2004, 05:21 AM   #7
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

I am free for 14+ years. Never looked back!

 
Old 06-13-2004, 05:35 AM   #8
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

wow...GOOD for you!!!! Did you ever relapse in all that time...or crave it? Just curious.
I love to hear the long term quitters stories. Thanks

 
Old 06-13-2004, 06:01 AM   #9
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

I never relapsed, but craved it all the time... The method I posted got me through the cravings. I still imagine I have a "reserve" in case I need it. But I rarely need it any more... sometimes once per year

 
Old 06-13-2004, 02:22 PM   #10
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Glad it worked for you, and congratulations on being smoke free for 14 years now. Awesome! I wish the same for every one of us!

 
Old 06-16-2004, 06:24 PM   #11
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

I used this method of inhaling deeply when I was having a really bad crave. It worked very well for me.

I think the reason that it works is because inhaling deeply causes you to relax. When you smoke you inhale deeply which also causes you to relax.

This method might not work for everybody. What I like best about it is that it can be used anywhere, at any time and no one knows that you are using it.

It relieves your stress and relaxes you just like cigarettes do only its much more healthier.

Those of you who try this method please post back and let us know how it went.

I have been smoke free for 10 glorious months.

To everyone who is still trying never give up. All those attempts are just practice for the big one.

 
Old 06-16-2004, 07:28 PM   #12
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Thank you missylynn! I love hearing that this works for others. I agree that the deep breathing helps to relax -- I viewed that as icing on the cake I really LOVED the fact that I could simulate the feeling of smoking when I inhaled deeply like that. I always wondered why nobody had ever suggested it to me!!!

You're right - it may not work for everyone. But its so easy and painless to try it. Even if a person is not quitting - just skip one cigarette and try this breathing technique intead. See how it feels - you have nothing to lose!

 
Old 06-20-2004, 04:27 PM   #13
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

That was the only method that worked for me too JD, so thanks for posting it for others. Hubby and I went through hypnosis in Jan and deep breathing was our reward (replacement for a smoke). I have some dreams about smoking that keeps me satisfied and on the right path, but if it hadn't been for the breathing substitute I wouldn't have made it. Try anything that you think may help. Quiting isn't hard. Not smoking long term is very difficult. I think about it every day. Good Luck to anyone starting out on their journey.

 
Old 07-06-2004, 04:31 PM   #14
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

I am so glad you didn't delete this. I am a new quit (almost 2 full days now). I am fortunate that I teach and am off for the summer so I can spend all day reading and reading on these boards. Your suggestion is an EXCELLENT one. I tried it. I think this is going to help me. Thanks!

 
Old 07-06-2004, 04:59 PM   #15
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Re: How to quit (for visual learners!)

Congrats on your quitting!!! I wish you all the luck in the world. Its a huge accomplishment but it IS possible. I am so happy that my suggestion is helping you. Keep me posted on your progress!!!

 
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