October is nearly upon us and what an auspicious month it is; not only does it contain Halloween and my mum’s birthday (Happy Birthday Mum!), but it’s also the month that the NHS invites you to quit smoking (Stoptober) But, can it be done? Can you successfully ditch the cigarettes and remain a non-smoker in just one month?
The short answer is yes. Smoking, whilst containing addictive elements is, essentially, a habit. And habits are not so hard to break. I wrote extensively about breaking the smoking (and drinking) habit in a blog this time last year (click here).
The benefits to quitting are both well known and well-documented and include, among other things, lowering the risk of lung cancer and heart disease, living longer, breathing better and enjoying a better sex life. Oh yes!
When it comes to smoking, three is the magic number. If you do not smoke for three days, you will have broken your addiction to nicotine. If you do not smoke for three weeks you will have broken your smoking habit and built a new one, the ‘I don’t smoke anymore’ habit.
So, if you successfully quit for the whole of October but, start again in November, it wasn’t the cigarettes, or the cravings, or even the stress of life that made you do it, you will have made a conscious decision to break your new no-smoking habit. Which means you can also make the conscious decision not to. More power, as they say, to you!
Hypnotherapy is a very excellent and very powerful tool (backed up by scientific research) to help you stop smoking. It’s considered to be more effective than using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and way better than quitting cold turkey.
And the benefits to stopping start within the first 20 minutes and go on for years. Just check out the graphic below.
By the by, October is also the month that Macmillan challenge you to stop drinking for charity (Go Sober for October). Whereas the NHS would like you to stop smoking forever (because, Cancer), Macmillan is only asking you to remain dry for a month. Not only will this detox your system, but it will also raise some much-needed cash for a worthy cause.
Either way, whether you choose to stop smoking or stop drinking, don’t go it alone, engage the support of your friends, your family and, better still, a qualified professional to help you on that journey.
Finding a therapist is easy (I’m one, for a start) and breaking a bad habit is easier than you think.