We all know that smoking is an addiction which, for some people, is deeply lodged in their subconscious mind. So, when wanting to know how to give up smoking, it’s necessary to examine our thought procedures to see if we can change some engrained beliefs as another line of attack against addiction.
In order to understand how thought procedures or thought patterns take a hold of our minds it’s necessary to imagine our brains as a cornfield in high summer. Every time you have a thought, it’s like you running across the cornfield taking a particular path.
Every day we have, literally millions of thoughts, millions of paths through the cornfield. And when you have the same thought twice, you go across the cornfield along the same route two times. And then, if you have the thought a few times, that particular path becomes well worn. The corn is trampled down along this route and therefore it’s easier to run through it.
So, if you have the same thought a few times, it become easier to think it again – just as it’s easier to go through a well-trampled path through our cornfield.
This is how repeated thoughts become beliefs. But, these beliefs don’t have to be true!
Watch what you think!
When I discovered this, it was actually a life-changing moment. Maybe you were told when you were in school that you weren’t very good at something, for example, a teacher told you that you weren’t very good at math, not very good at spelling, not much when it comes to sports, or maybe, as I was, you were told your weren’t much good at anything!
We naturally believe our teachers when we are young as they are older than us.
This being the case, it is quite possible that you could go through your life thinking that thought, perpetuating the belief that you’re not good at such-an-such, until one day – you’ve thought it so much, it might as well be true!
Trust me, if you think you’re no good at something, the chances are, when you try to do that thing, you’ll be no good at it!
However, I’m a great believer in taking life at face value. If you want to do something like math, reading, writing, sports, anything, just try to do it with an open mind and don’t let any past baggage get in your way. So what if you’re useless at something? Don’t let some idiot teacher from your schooldays stop you from doing anything in later life!
What has this got to do with giving up smoking cigarettes?
You may well ask, and please excuse me for going off-topic!
However, I want you to think of any common thoughts you may have that are causing beliefs that you would like to change.
Here are some thoughts that you may have thought recently:
- the only way you can give up smoking is by having tremendous willpower
- it’s impossible to stop smoking
- you get pleasure from smoking a cigarette
- you’re going to put on weight if you stop smoking
- you’ll suffer physically by quitting because of the withdrawal pains
- you can’t relax unless you have a cigarette
- you can’t enjoy a good meal unless you have a cigarette afterwards
- you’re never totally free from an addiction, like other drug addicts are never really free
Now, the thing is, none of the above statements are actually true!
They are just little thoughts that were some of the millions of thoughts you thought one day. Only, these little thoughts were thought again and again and then perpetuated by some “expert” on TV or some “expert” you happened to talk to.
Slowly over the years some of these little thoughts became beliefs.
What you should do now?
Observe your thinking around cigarettes (and anything else!) see if you have thoughts that you think often that are detrimental to you, or to you giving up. And, when you find yourself thinking them, gently move your mind off these thoughts or counter them with an opposing thought. For example:
“it’s impossible to stop smoking” – hold on, is it? Millions of people have stopped smoking, so why can’t I?
Move your mind toward positive thoughts of accomplishment.
Watch yourself become more positive over the next few weeks after doing this!