There are endless good reasons to quit smoking, including reducing your risk of cancer, heart disease and early death. Despite these well-known risk factors, however, many smokers find themselves needing a more personal reason to want to kick the habit; possibly because the threat of "maybe" contracting a deadly disease just doesn't seem likely (the old, "it will never happen to me" syndrome).
This article is going to share some easy steps to help you come up with your own powerful, compelling reason(s) to quit smoking once and for all.
1) First, take a few moments to jot down on a sheet of paper the negative aspects of how smoking makes you feel. You can include actual physical problems like shortness of breath and fatigue; as well as feelings like embarrassment that your clothing and hair may stink; feeling like an outcast stepping outside to smoke while everyone else stays inside socializing and having a good time; or even your fears, like dying young and leaving your children before your time.
Write down as many reasons as you can, and try to make them reasons that really matter to YOU - not just what other people have said to you or you've heard others say before.
2) When you're done with your list, look it over carefully. Read each item on the list, and really think about how it feels to experience that situation in your daily life. Now choose the top three reasons that are most repulsive to you and circle them.
Take another sheet of paper and write a longer description of each of those three items. For example, if one of your top reasons was "to not die young and abandon my children", write a paragraph or two about why that is important to you. How would it affect your children if you died before your time? How will your smoking impact them, now and in the future? Will your smoking addiction encourage them to smoke later in life? Continue writing until you feel you have identified your core reason for wanting to quit smoking. This may seem like a morbid exercise, but it can be incredibly powerful. Being a smoker for a long time desensitizes you to the true long-term effects of smoking. This exercise jars you out of the haze of denial.
Now go through this same process for the other two important reasons on your list.
3) When you've got your three descriptions written, read them over again. Now take a final sheet of paper and write a description of the opposite outcome. When you do quit smoking, what will happen instead of those other experiences? For example, you might write that you will be around to love your children and grandchildren for many years to come, your kids will be really proud of you for quitting, they'll be blessed with a healthy, strong parent that has the energy and stamina to play with them, and so on.
Do this for all three reasons you described earlier.
Carry these lists with you and read them slowly each day, really paying attention to how they make you feel. With enough repetition, you will actually begin training your brain to view smoking as an unpleasant, dangerous activity - which will make quitting easier when you decide it's time.
While this may not remove the discomfort that comes along with nicotine withdrawal, it will certainly help you to stop seeing smoking as a harmless activity and instead see it for what it is: a true threat to your health, happiness and longevity.
If that isn't enough reason to quit, what is?
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