Saturday, October 25, 2008

You Don't Have to Become a Jerk!

In all my years of helping people to stop smoking, this roadblock comes up as often as any other. My clients will talk about how, in the past, when they tried to stop smoking, they became moody, irritable and ill-tempered.

Yes, in their own estimation, they simply turned into great big jerks.

Don't make people cry because you're a jerk.

So you want to quit, but you don't want to be in a bad mood, you don't want to put on an extra 20 pounds, and you don't want to feel stressed, nervous or anxious all the time.

If you take a look at some of the most popular methods used for smoking cessation, several of them attempt to address those physical feelings that directly cause you to start acting like a jerk (sorry, no scientific data to back up that assertion, nor is any needed).

Here are a few options that can help you feel more relaxed:
  • Laser Therapy
  • Acupuncture
  • Wellbutrin (or similar drugs)
  • Hypnosis or Hypnotherapy
Now let's talk about how each of these options have been demonstrated to work.

Laser therapy and acupuncture work in similar ways. They cause you to feel more relaxed, which can be of tremendous value to someone who's been smoking for quite a long time. The feelings of stress, anxiousness and irritability are generally what smokers refer to when they talk about having a craving. If these feelings are reduced, the cravings are likely reduced.

However, many of my clients have told me that although they felt more relaxed, they continued to have a desire to smoke after trying these therapies. You see, because most people try hypnosis as a last resort, I get to hear about their failed attempts at using all the other methods.

Wellbutrin has worked for many people, however as with most pharmaceutical drugs, it also has some negative and dangerous side-effects. All one has to do is visit to hear it from the horse's mouth. Here's one quote from someone who used wellbutrin and who had experienced some success:

"However, now at the end of 3 months, I am feeling extremely depressed, to the point even of contemplating suicide--very unlike me. I also have bouts of extreme almost uncontrollable anger."

Here are two more from people who recently began using wellbutrin:

"had my first panic attack on this drug. shortly after starting it was diagnosed with high blood pressure (at 28)."

"I can't concentrate on anything, I feel like I can't think. I'm dizzy all the time, and nauseous. I have a constant headache in my temple."

There are literally hundreds of similar responses (just at this one website), with more being added every day. Needless to say, even if you stop smoking (which is nowhere near a guarantee), the side-effects should give you pause.

Laser therapy and acupuncture do some of the same things that hypnotherapy can do -- mainly taking away some of the stress and anxiety that often lead smokers to relapse -- but what they don't provide is what generally leads even those who experience short-term success to eventually pick up the habit again... your thoughts.

No matter how relaxed you feel, there are certain times of day, situations, locations, etc., that remind a smoker that he/she used to smoke. Even when the individual is feeling calm and relaxed, if the thought remains, the likelihood increases that a relapse will occur.

Hypnosis, when performed correctly by a trained professional, is the only available method that adequately addresses all the factors that contribute to smoking.
  • Physical feelings (stress, anxiety, etc.)
  • Associations (after meals, while driving, etc.)
  • Thoughts (self-talk, unconscious visualization)
When you not only feel relaxed, but also understand how to focus your attention in a way that allows you to forget about smoking most of the time, while changing how you think about smoking on the rare occasions when it does enter into your consciousness, well... that's what brings about long-term success.

So, if you want to quit smoking but you don't want to become a big jerk, there are several options available to you. It's up to you to choose which is best for you. Hopefully, the information provided here (although not entirely unbiased) will help you make a decision that will allow you to feel confident that you're investing your money wisely.

Be more like this person when you quit:

Because hey, the world has enough jerks already, right?