For anyone who has been smoking for a number of years there comes a point when you think to yourself: "I really do not enjoy this anymore!"
There is not one person I know who has never felt that way. I can speak from personal experience and know that I felt it when sport became rather challenging. Running after a soccer ball, once an enjoyable pleasure on Saturday afternoon, began to become more a test of endurance. The legs were fine but the breathing was becoming less and less comfortable. I was gasping for air.
Having started smoking at 18 years old and progressed to 20 cigarettes a day I was at 25 feeling the downside effects of all that self-inflated lung abuse. That was back in 1981 and it took another 22 years before I finally kicked the habit for good. In fact I last smoked a cigarette on 14th February 2003.
So what has that got to do with everything?
You see back in those days there just was not the information available for people to easily pick up and act upon it. There was no website that anyone could go to for advice. No forums. No newsletters. Nothing. If you wanted to give up smoking back in 1981 the single most often given advice was "use your will power". Well that's all fine and dandy but when you are surrounded by all your friends and family who smoke, as well your work collections (and this was in the day when you could smoke at your desk) then relying on will power alone was always going to be somewhat problematic.
How times have changed.
Now there is almost information overload in how to give up the dreaded habit. Adverts within magazines and on the television extol how their product is "the one" to break you from the unlenting grip of nicotine. It's a never ending barrage of hype and counter-hype all with the single purpose of fleecing the smoker for more money as they are encouraged to go from one method to the next and then onto the next.
The result being that the poor old smoker becomes confused as to what product might actually stop them from smoking. They never actually stick long enough on one method before they are entrenched into trying another. In the end they give up trying and fall back into the clutches of the cigarette, bitterly aggrieved that they had failed and denied that they would never, ever, break free.
But of course it does not have to be like this.
There is an interesting method that I have discovered which has had some success that does not make use of any particular cessation product and certainly does not use will power. It's not what I used to successfully give up smoking but had I thought about it at the time I would have definitely given it a go because I think it's just so strikingly obvious.
The basis behind this technique or method or whatever you would like to call it is to turn something you enjoy into something you dislike. Okay that sounds hugely simplistic so bear with me a moment while I try to explain.
It works on the opposite principle that parents over the years have endeavored to do in trying to get their children to eat their vegetables. They would use "bribery" in the form of some really tasty dessert such as ice cream to ensure that all the vegetables were ateen.
Now imagine if this was turned on its head. What if the children were told that if they wanted to eat ice cream then they would have to eat their vegetables afterwards! How many children do you think would take up that offer?
So let's apply this same kind of reasoning and method to giving up smoking.
In fact I should warn you that this method positively encourages you to smoke! Bizarre I know but read on to see why.
The next time you need to buy a packet of cigarettes you need to make a couple of different decisions.
The first is that you need to buy this packet from an outlet that you have never used before. Why? You should know by now that smoking cigarettes is heavily tied around routine. You get up in the morning and have a cigarette. You have breakfast and then have a cigarette. You walk to the station and you always have a cigarette. And so on.
And the second thing you need to do is to buy a brand of cigarettes that you know are positively going to loathe!
That's right. You are still going to buy a packet of cigarettes. You are still going to smoke. But you are going to hate every inhalation. Every smell. Every taste.
So for example if you smoke a low tar smooth cigarette then move onto a coarser cigarette such as one of the French brands. Or even a menthol cigarette. The important point to remember here is that you must select a brand that you know you will not enjoy otherwise it defeats the whole point.
This method is real "out of the box" thinking. It does not rely on any purchased cessation products. It does not try to remove the crutch of smoking. It does not rely on only willpower to fight the craving for nicotine. No, it's the exact opposite. It relies on your need to satisfy the nicotine craving and your "love" to be able to do that.
The theory then goes that by trying to satisfy that craving with something that you hate the taste of, then the demand for that craving will reduce overtime because you will be smoking less and less. After all why would want to keep tasting something that you strongly disliked? You would want to lessen the occurrences would not you?
So there you have it. A simple, straightforward method, that's been seen to have worked in many cases. Will it work for you? There's only one way of finding out. But if you do try it then do it honestly because if you do not then you are only fooling yourself.