“I’ll start on Monday,” said every addict ever. It was no different for my mother, who had started smoking in her early twenties. Whenever she was stressed, which was often, out would come a cigarette. With the need to live on a fixed budget, a box full of sugarless lollipops, and a little bit of counseling, she found the motivation to quit after 30 years of nicotine dependency. She overcame her negative emotional habits, was able to have a more comfortable retirement, and live a healthier life. So how can an individual overcome their addiction to smoking? Here are three motivational ways to do it.
Don’t say, “I am quitting smoking,” say, “I am not a smoker.”
The most powerful sentence in the human language is “I am.” It is defining and definitive. If you think you are something, then you are. If you say to yourself, “I am angry,” then you will remain so until you decide that, “I am happy.” Feelings are the worst things that can happen to you. All emotions proceed from one source, your thoughts. Regardless of your circumstance, you create a thought then assign that thought an emotion ―thoughts ALWAYS precede actions. Then, voilà, you experience the results of your emotional decisions.
Whether in pain or joy, escaping emotions doesn’t solve anything. Various forms of escapism are a commonality among people who are addicts. Instead of facing struggles, they hide in smoking, drinking, drugging, porn-ing, over-exercising, eating, etc. If you want to stop smoking, stop hiding from your emotions (or blaming others for your emotions) and change your thoughts.
The “Older” You
Aging happens. There is no getting away from it. Think about the life you want your old self to experience. Do you want to retire early? Travel? Be out of debt? With the average pack of cigarettes or chew sliding closer and closer to the double-digit mark, it’s an easy place to cut back on.
Let’s say that you started smoking or chewing 20 years ago, smoking a pack a day, and say the average pack was hovering around $5. If you had instead taken that $5 and invested it in a retirement fund ($35 x 4 = $280) at an interest rate of 6% annually, you would have at the end of that time $64,685.73. Money talks. Start saving now. Play with the numbers by going here.
For Health’s Sake
I will let the statistics speak for themselves. Good luck!
Cigarette smoking is the leading preventable cause of death in the United States:
• Cigarette smoking causes more than 480,000 deaths each year in the United States. This is nearly one in five deaths.
• Smoking causes more deaths each year than the following causes combined:
o Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
o Illegal drug use
o Alcohol use
o Motor vehicle injuries
o Firearm-related incidents
• More than ten times as many U.S. citizens have died prematurely from cigarette smoking than have been killed in all the wars fought by the United States.
• Smoking causes about 90% (or 9 out of 10) of all lung cancer deaths. More women die from lung cancer each year than from breast cancer.
• Smoking causes about 80% (or 8 out of 10) of all deaths from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
• Cigarette smoking increases the risk of death from all causes in men and women.
• The risk of dying from cigarette smoking has grown over the last 50 years in the U.S.
For more information on the hazards of smoking, go here.
Contributed by Angelica Mecham