Alternatives for Giving Up Cigarettes
Have you tried unconventional approaches to stop smoking?
Hypnosis: Heightened Awareness continued...
individuals are taught to relax and enter an attentive, receptive state.
"Then," says Carmody, "they're given suggestions for focusing on
and strengthening their reasons for quitting smoking, and picturing themselves
as nonsmokers effectively overcoming and reducing the experience of urges or
cravings to smoke." The UCSF participants are being asked to practice the
self-hypnosis technique at least once or twice a day, as well as use it as
needed to successfully manage situations where they may experience a desire to
component of the UCSF study is that it is not relying solely on patient
self-reports of successful quitting. "Our patients who say they have quit
provide a saliva sample, which is analyzed for the presence of cotinine," a
chemical byproduct of nicotine, says Carmody.
A Picture's Worth a Thousand Words
If you can
mobilize vivid images in your mind at the drop of a cigarette ash, guided
imagery may be a technique worth trying. Using this method, individuals enter a
state of relaxation and then create mental pictures that help tap into their
unconscious mind and reprogram the nervous system to resist the temptation to
imagery is most helpful in preparing people to quit smoking," says Bresler.
It can help them get ready on the inside, clearing away internal conflicts and
obstacles that can block the path to quitting.
notes that many people are attracted to smoking by Madison Avenue's imagery
that has convinced them that they can feel cool, macho, or seductive if they
smoke. Guided imagery, he says, taps into a person's own imagination and helps
them create other images that can counter the purported appeal of smoking,
showing instead that it is a toxic poison that you're inhaling. "The key is
to break the habit, break the addiction, and recognize that you don't need a
cigarette to feel cool," he says.
guided imagery's power is its ability to instill strength and resolve to toss
those cigarettes aside. "It is a means of learning to relax, talking to
your creative self, and mobilizing and growing your determination and will to
make changes that are important to your well-being," says