Cindy Tincher

Nicotine-Free Living
(aka Smoking Cessation)

If you want to really put a positive spin on your "stop smoking" suggestions, call it Nicotine-Free Living. Whatever you do, don't say you're "quitting smoking". Nobody like a quitter, especially your subconscious mind. So, talk about living nicotine free.Freedom is something we all enjoy!

You will need to apply autosuggestions at least once daily for 30 days for maximum effect against a deeply ingrained habit and addiction such as smoking and nicotine addiction. Few drugs affect the brain more than nicotine. While crack cocaine and meth might pack more punch than nicotine, some research suggests nicotine lights up more neurotransmitters than heroin. And, while a smoker may fire up a cigarette 10-20 times a day, no other addict feeds his or her habit that often in any 24-hour period. It's important to know the strength of both the addiction as well as the habit.

You should set a date, and make preparations in advance.

One week before you stop smoking, clean out your car and its ashtrays, and declare your car a nicotine-free zone. You can smoke all you want before and after driving, but no smoking in the car.

Three days before you stop smoking, clear out all the ashtrays from your home and declare your home a nicotine-free zone. If you can, steam clean the carpets.

Write down all the triggers for smoking: after eating, after sex, after drinking. While socializing or when alone. Feeling anxious, stressed, or angry. Whatever your physical, emotional or psychological connections are to smoking, write them down — and Keyword those triggers as CONNECTIONS. You'll use this later.

The day before you stop smoking, make sure you have enough of a Vitamin C based juice in the house (orange, tomato, grapefruit, etc.) to have 2 eight-ounce servings a day for four days. This will accelerate your metabolism and help flush the nicotine from your system more quickly. (You can skip this part if you are using nicotine patches or gum.)

Here is some imagery you can use:

A Grave Situation

Visualize going past a cemetery after sunset. There is a heavy pall in the air, a grey smoke that lies low to the ground like fog. You see an open grave filled with all the cigarette butts from all the hundreds, the thousands of cigarettes you've smoked in your lifetime. Imagine the stink of all those old butts wafting up from that open grave.

You start shoveling clean, fresh dirt over them, covering them up. When you are finished, you walk all over the grave, stomping and tamping it down. You can even visualize pouring concrete over the plot, really sealing it in. Then, you walk away, leaving that old, stinky, disgusting, nasty habit buried. Dead and buried.

Bad Connection

Visualize a houseful of old, non-working appliances plugged into every electrical socket in the house. You can't play your CD player or MP3 because there is a beat-up old 8-track player plugged in to that socket. You can't play your DVD or DVR because there is an ancient Betamax plugged into that other socket. Here there is a non-working toaster. There, an old vacuum cleaner that makes a lot of noise but doesn't pick up dirt from the carpet. There are alarm clocks that blink and can't keep time, microwaves that light up but don't heat food, reading lamps that light up but flicker constantly. All these appliances are using up energy, but no longer serve their purpose.

Maybe smoking served a purpose in your life in the past. Maybe you took it up to rebel against the parents. Maybe you took it up because all your friends smoked and you wanted to fit in. Maybe you've been smoking to relieve anxiety (which is a hoot since it accelerates the heart rate and you've been anxious about its effect on your health.) Maybe you thought you wanted or needed a cigarette after a meal, or after completing a project, or after a drink, or when you were socializing. Whatever those connections were, they aren't good enough reasons to keep smoking anymore. Smoking is just sapping your life, your health, your energy, your money, your time and your peace of mind just like old, worthless, decrepit appliances — sucking up power.

So visualize going around and pulling the plug on all those useless appliances. That's right, just yanking the plugs out of the sockets. Break the CONNECTIONS between eating and smoking. Drinking and smoking. Sex and smoking. Emotions like anger or anxiety and smoking. Breaking all those old connections. You've already made the association between the keyword "connections" with all those old triggers. A=B. Breaking the connections in your visualization means breaking the triggers that created urges or cravings to smoke, so those actions or experiences are no longer related to smoking or cigarettes in any way.

Now you've got room for new connections. You can plug in to life more. You've got more money. More peace of mind. More energy and health and time to do things you want to do. No longer dictated to by some old, outworn habit telling you to leave the restaurant table to feed it. Making you make room for cigarette packs and lighters and forcing you to carry your old habit around, treating you like a beast of burden. Making you leave events, movies, parties and gatherings to go meet it outside and devote all your time and attention to it — and it alone. Nobody likes being led around by an old habit like that, and you're glad to be free of it.

Only You Can Stop Forest Fires

Imagine walking through a forest that has been ravaged by a forest fire. Blackened tree stumps dot the landscape, dark skeletal remains of trees stand against the sky. A sickening smell of smoke still lingers in the air. The earth is scorched, without a blade of grass. A sluggish brown stream choked with ashes and debris wanders aimlessly through the devastation. There are no scampering or scolding squirrels, singing birds or other signs of wildlife.

This is the type of havoc smoking wreaks on our hearts, lungs, throats, tongues, noses — even eyes and fingertips.

Now visualize coming over a rise, and seeing where the fire was battled and put out. Some blades of grass still peek out here and there, and some trees still stand — with withered leaves and scorch marks — but still alive. A bird flies from one tree to another. It calls out, and there is an answering song in the distance. The brown stream joins another little brook that runs clear, and the ash becomes more diluted, the flow less hindered.

As you journey on, you begin to walk on a lush, verdant carpet of grass. Wildflowers bloom, and you hear lizards, chipmunks and rabbits scurrying through the tall grasses. A squirrel chatters at you from high in the branches of a tall oak as you pass under it. The canopies of the trees are full and shady here as you walk, and you watch the sun through the leaves dapple the path before you. Jays scold you from above, and you hear the song of mockingbirds nearby. The wind sighs through the leaves of the trees, and brings the scent of pine and green growing things to your nose. You see a flash and sparkle just off to the side, and come upon a deep, spring-fed pool in a glade. The water is so clear and clean you can see the fish swimming in the depths, even the rocks resting at the bottom of the pool.

This is life, free of the old destructive habit of smoking.

As you continue walking, you leave that old destructive habit further and further behind. You ford a stream. You choose a path from a crossroads. You cross a bridge. Every step takes you further and further away from that old destructive habit. You climb up a path, circumventing obstacles such as fallen trees and boulders, until you stand at the peak of a mountain. From here you can see so many roads, leading in so many directions, all of them going somewhere. Where smoking was only a deadend, now you have so many new paths open to you. You have only to choose, knowing you will never turn back to that old habit of smoking. You will continue to move forward with new energy, vitality, strength, freedom, confidence, health and well-being.

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