How can you say no to smoking without using any willpower?
Below I show you 3 little known ways to say no to smoking when someone offers you a cigarette or even when you’re alone and you think about having “just one.”
And NONE of them includes: hiding your cigarettes, avoiding smokers, or covering yourself with nicotine patches from head to toe.
Instead, they ALL show you how to use the power of your mind.
Power you already possess but perhaps don’t know how to use to overcome this addiction.
In other words, you’ll use mindpower instead of willpower!
The 3 strategies below will help you:
- Prepare for and handle tempting situations
- Feel more confident and in control
- Find it easier to beat this addiction
Tip # 1: Visualize Yourself Saying “No” to Smoking.
This is going to help you prepare for high-risk situations before ever facing them so that when you do, you will remain smoke-free.
But what is visualization?
Visualization is when you see something in your mind’s eye. It’s a mental representation of yourself, other people, an object, an idea, or a goal. It’s like imagination or daydreaming but you’re focused on a goal. And your goal is to see yourself saying no to smoking.
For example, if feeling anxious and stressed is a very strong trigger for you, imagine yourself being in stressful situations, and instead of lighting up, you relax without smoking a cigarette.
Why does it help to imagine yourself overcoming temping situations?
Because your mind can’t really tell the difference between reality and imagination.
For example, when athletes visualize themselves training and when they actually train, what happens is that the same areas in their brain light up! The brain doesn’t know the difference, Because when you visualize something, your mind thinks you’re experiencing it.
That’s why when you visualize yourself facing and overcoming triggers, your mind thinks it’s actually happening. So when it does happen, you feel like you’ve been in the same situation before and conquered it. This gives you incredible confidence to say “no” to smoking.
What if you can’t visualize?
Let’s do something together now.
Think now of your front door.
What color is it?
Where is the handle? On the left or on the right?
What’s the material of the door?
Is it a big door?
Does it have a mat or not?
Now see your hands opening the door slowly…
If you did this with me now, you created a mental representation of your door, so you visualized!
So starting today, visualize yourself saying “no” to smoking in every situation you can possibly imagine.
After an argument, when you’re with friends, where stressed, at work, when feeling overwhelmed or even feeling happy and celebrating something.
For example, imagine:
Being offered a cigarette by a friend and saying no. And notice exactly how you say it and what your friend says back.
Driving to the store, going to the counter feeling tempted to buy a pack, and not buying it. And you buy something else instead, what do you buy?
Seeing your partner’s or your friends’ cigarettes lying around and you are not taking one. What do you do instead?
Being at work and you see your colleagues smoking, how do you say no without feeling you’re missing out?
And include in your visualization, what you tell yourself for being able to say no to smoking and how saying “no” makes you feel.
I promise you, if your practice this, it’s can change everything for you. Because when you actually find yourself in these situations, it’s going to be easy to say no without using your willpower because you’re going to have experience.
Tip #2: Think of What Will Happen after You Smoke.
What do I mean?
What makes a cigarette seem tempting is thinking only about the next moment. The moment where you picture yourself just lighting up, the instant gratification.
A while back, we did an experiment. We interviewed a group of ex-smokers who were happy about their quit and a group of ex-smokers who struggled.
So, one by one they came into the room, sat on a big wooden table and I put a cigarette in front of each of them and asked them, “do you want that cigarette?”
Those who were happy non-smokers said they didn’t want it and they didn’t have to use their willpower to say no.
But those who were struggling said, yes, they wanted the cigarette and they had to use their willpower to say no.
And then I asked, “what do you think when you look at that cigarette? What comes to your mind?”
Those who didn’t have to use their willpower, they thought how terrible they would feel after they smoke and they break their quit. They thought how guilty and regretful they’d feel afterward and how one cigarette can turn into many.
One is too many and a thousand is never enough
But those who wanted to smoke and had to use their willpower to resist it, they thought how they would feel right after taking the first puff. And they rationalized that they could have just one cigarette.
As you can see, this is a very different way of thinking.
Those who use their willpower, they only think about the next moment and they rationalize why they can smoke. But those who don’t want to smoke and they don’t have to use their willpower, they think what will happen after smoking. And they’re more realistic about it.
So I want you to use that lesson, and do what the people who don’t use willpower do:
To remove the temptation, don’t just think of yourself smoking, instead, create a bigger, a longer movie in your mind: think how you will feel 10 minutes after smoking, how 1 cigarette will make you crave it the next day, and how that could lead to you struggling to quit for years.
Think of the conflict and regret that comes after smoking a cigarette and how one cigarette can easily turn into a thousand.
Because the temptation goes when you think it through. The temptation goes when instead of thinking what you want right now, you think what you want for the rest of your life.
Tip # 3: Use Your Self-Talk
Your self-talk is probably the most powerful tool you have in your possession.
When you are addicted to something whether that’s nicotine, food, or alcohol – you have 2 minds:
- your mind
- and the craving mind.
Think of the craving mind as Gollum, that creature from Lord of the Rings. All it wants is its precious fix.
And the craving mind communicates to you in the form of a thought.
Because cravings are thoughts.
Cravings are just positive thoughts about smoking that create positive feelings about smoking.CBQ Method Principles
Thoughts like: “I need a cigarette” or “a cigarette would make me feel better now” or “I can’t cope without it” whatever it is, they’re just thoughts.
And thoughts can’t hurt you, break you or make you do anything. But they can be very convincing if you let them.
So how can you manage those thoughts, so that they will not overpower you?
What you shouldn’t do
You shouldn’t resist those thoughts because what you resist, persists. And when you resist your craving thoughts, they become stronger.
Also, it doesn’t help to scare yourself or make yourself feel guilty. Because when we feel scared or guilty, we tend to go back to the illusion of comfort that smoking gives us.
What to do
Acknowledge the craving thought.
When your craving mind tells you “you need a cigarette right now” reply back to it and say, “thank you for sharing but you’re wrong, I don’t need a cigarette.” Or you can say “I heard you, sssh now.”
Just have a small conversation. And then let the thought go. Because if you have that small conversation and acknowledge that the thought is there, it is going to be easier to let it go.
Thoughts come and go all the time in your mind, so don’t hold on to the craving thought, just say to yourself, “next thought, please” and your brain will listen, your brain will provide you with a new thought.
You have a stream of thoughts at any moment, so why focus on the one thought that makes you feel bad? Just because your craving mind proposes a thought and seeks your attention, it doesn’t mean you have to listen and entertain that thought.
And the great thing is that the craving thoughts will eventually fade away.
What happens when your friends, your partner, or colleagues tell you to smoke?
When that happens, you have two people to reply to: 1) that friend, and 2) the craving mind. And many times, when a friend tells you to smoke, you can become defensive or feel pushed, or even worse, give yourself permission to smoke.
So just remember that those who smoke, would like to be non-smokers and tell yourself and others “I don’t smoke anymore” or “I am not smoking today”. And if someone insists, just be a broken record. Say “I don’t smoke anymore”, a thousand times, as many times as you need to.
So, to sum up:
Visualize yourself saying no to smoking in different situations.
Think what will happen long after you smoke that one cigarette.
And use your self-talk and reply back to the craving mind.
All the strategies I shared come from the CBQ Method so I hope you apply them to say no to smoking without using willpower whether you’re alone or with other people.
If you want advice and support to quit smoking and remain smoke-free, make sure you join our Facebook support group for more tips and advice about the CBQ method.
Join here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/cbqmethod/