Quitting Smoking the Alan Carr Way
Missoula counselors often hear about people who are are looking for ways to quit smoking! With so many different methods and techniques out there, it can be difficult to know where to begin. But fear not! There’s one resource that has stood the test of time and helped countless smokers kick their habit for good – Alan Carr’s book, “How To Quit Smoking.”
I actually recommend playing the audiobook everyday while you walk!
The Five Stages of Change
One of the major concepts Alan Carr covers in his book is the five stages of change. According to Carr, quitting smoking requires commitment and perseverance at every stage of the process.
The five stages are as follows:
1) Precontemplation – This is when a person isn’t even thinking about quitting yet;
2) Contemplation – The smoker begins thinking about making a change;
3) Preparation – The smoker starts getting ready to make changes by gathering information;
4) Action – This is when a person actually begins making changes in their behaviour;
5) Maintenance – This is when a person sticks with their plan and works on preventing relapse.
It’s important to note that these stages are not linear; rather, people may move back and forth between them as they progress along their journey toward becoming smoke-free.
Creating a Personalized Plan
Carr also encourages readers to create a personalized plan for themselves that outlines specific steps they can take towards quitting smoking.
This could include things like setting a quit date.
It could be stopping hanging out with people who are crazy smokers.
It could be creating an action plan to help cope with cravings, finding social support from friends or family members who can provide encouragement, avoiding triggers that might lead to relapse, and more.
Additionally, Carr recommends seeking professional help if needed. Please give us a call here at Sunflower Counseling MT if you think this is an option for you. The truth is, as you know, is that cigarettes may seem like a “little thing” but getting cancer is not a “little thing”!
He stresses that every individual’s situation is unique and requires its own tailored approach in order for them to successfully quit smoking.
Rewarding Yourself & Celebrating Your Successes
Finally, Carr emphasizes the importance of rewarding yourself along your journey towards becoming smoke-free.
He advises smokers to set smaller goals such as reaching one day without smoking or reducing your number of cigarettes per day over time before reaching the ultimate goal of being completely smoke-free.
Rewarding yourself at each milestone will keep you motivated throughout your journey while also celebrating your successes along the way!
This is where it does help to have a therapist who can help you to create some cool rewards, as well.
I would give myself an actual banana split if I was able to give up cigarettes for a day.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is a thought process that can be used to help break the associations between smoking and other activities, such as drinking coffee or driving. NLP works by changing the way you think about smoking cigarettes.
For example, let’s say you always smoke after drinking coffee in the morning. You can use NLP to change that association by thinking about something else when you have coffee, such as going for a walk or taking a shower. Over time, the association between coffee and smoking will begin to diminish, and eventually, you’ll be able to drink coffee without wanting to smoke a cigarette.
Put another way, when it comes to quitting smoking, NLP can be used to change the way you think about cigarettes. For example, rather than thinking of cigarettes as something that gives you pleasure or relaxation, you can start thinking of them as something that is dirty and unhealthy. Doing this can help to break the mental association between smoking and pleasure, making it easier to quit.
The Nicotine Patch and Nicoderm Gum
One of the most popular methods for quitting smoking is to use an NRT, or nicotine replacement therapy. These products work by providing your body with a small amount of nicotine so you can wean yourself off cigarettes gradually. The patch and gum are two of the most common NRTs on the market; both are available over-the-counter and can be very effective at helping people quit smoking. Here’s a brief overview of how each one works:
The patch is a small adhesive that you place on your skin; it releases a steady stream of nicotine throughout the day so you don’t experience withdrawal symptoms or cravings as strongly. The gum is similar in that it also provides your body with nicotine, but it does so in a more immediate way—you chew it when you feel a craving coming on, and the nicotine helps to stave off the craving long enough for it to pass.
Both the patch and gum can be effective at helping people quit smoking, but they’re not right for everyone. Some people find that they prefer one over the other; others find that neither one works well for them and end up trying another method altogether. There is no wrong way to go about it—it’s all about finding what works best for you.
Get a Therapist
Finally, there’s nothing better than having someone who can hold your hand down the road. And it makes sense, doesn’t it? Quitting cigarettes, they say, is harder than quitting heroin. With this said, the blunt truth is, why mess around with your health? One of our therapists at Sunflower Counseling can help today: 406 214-3810.
Quitting smoking isn’t easy—but it can be done with dedication and hard work! If you’re looking for an effective way to kick your habit for good, consider checking out Alan Carr’s book “How To Quit Smoking.”
John Michaels is a local Missoula author who graduated from Brown University in creative writing. In between raising kids, he spends his time meandering around downtown Missoula, writing screenplays, doing cryotherapy, and playing chess.