Category Archives: Quit Smoking Series

Daniel’s five-part series that gives you the tools to shift your mindset to become a non-smoker. Learn how to create the mindset of a non-smoker to free yourself from cigarettes.

7 Reasons Why Smokers Are Losers Who Die Alone

Question: Why do you smoke?

Answer: Because you are a selfish narcissist. Your world revolves around you. Your family and friends are only an audience to the grand tragedy of your life.

Except in this play, when they bring roses and cry “Encore, encore,” you won’t answer the call. You’ll be dead.

Don’t tell me that you’re addicted to it. That’s a cheap answer; the answer of a victim who gives up his/her power to a piece of paper and leaves.

You smoke because you are selfish. Selfish in the most terrible of ways.

Every time you light up, the message that you send to your family, friends and loved ones is, “I don’t care about you. I want to die rather than spend any more time with you. In fact, I’ll go smoke this so I can get away from you now AND cut my life short later too.”

On top of the time you are giving up now, studies show that you lose an additional 11 minutes of time later in your life for every cigarette you smoke.

You’re saying that a stick of leaves and paper is more important than the love of those who care about you, that your choices are more important than their concern for your health.

You’re saying that a deep breath of fresh air sucks, but becomes delicious when mixed with smoke.

You can tell me that you enjoy it. You can say it relaxes you. But you know that’s crap.

Go ahead and choose to die. We all do it anyway, you’re just stepping on the accelerator. Imagine your speedometer climbing with every cigarette: 45…….50……55…..60…70..80..90.100.

You took the checkered flag! You win! You died first!

If your habit hasn’t driven them away, your family will be excited to see your hearse take your victory lap to the graveyard.

The good news is there is still time for you to stop smoking. You can heal the damage that you have done and live a happy, healthy life.

If you still want to smoke, consider these Top 7 Reason Why Smokers are Losers Who Will Die Alone.

  1. Your breath stinks. No, mints DO NOT cover it up. Get over your denial.
  2. Your clothes stink. As you marinate in smoke in your car on your commute your skin and clothes are soaking up all those wonderful smells. NO, you do not smell woodsy. You reek of death.
  3. Your skin looks like dead leather. Remember the Crypt Keeper from HBO’s Tales from the Crypt? Yeah. You look like him.
  4. Your friends and family are tired of competing for your time. They have lives of their own, they aren’t interested in sitting around watching you wasting yours.
  5. You’re a terrible passenger on a road trip. Stopping every forty-five minutes or hour just makes the trip longer. On top of it, you smell.(Oh, and more regarding #5: when it’s too hot or too cold to stand outside and smoke, you think it’s OK to crack a window and exhale out the door. In a very selfish move, you just kept your driver on the road while forcing him/her to accept your habit because you’re not committed to it enough to tolerate extreme temperatures. Selfish loser.)
  6. You’re a health-risk waiting to happen. It’s bad enough that your family and friends watch you actively killing yourself ten, twenty, thirty times a day or more. Do you want them to watch you waste away in a hospital or hospice bed, struggling to breathe oxygen as your body decays to cancer? Selfish narcissist.
  7. You are pissing away your money. You are literally spending your own good money to kill yourself. Stupid. Selfish and stupid. You could hire a hitman to do it faster and save the rest of us from watching your decline.

I hope I made you feel badly as you read this. If your friends won’t tell you this, shame on them. If they’ve tried and you won’t listen, or worse, protest that smoking is your right and your choice, then shame on you.

If you’re ready see with new eyes and breathe with healed lungs, then it’s time to start creating the mindset of a non-smoker. You can get your FREE e-book here so you can learn how.

Hey, it’s FREE. That’s a lot cheaper than a pack of smokes.

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING, PART 4

 SURROUND YOURSELF WITH FRIENDS AND FINISH WITH SUCCESS

Welcome back!

Let’s start this check-in as we did with Part 3:

How many fewer cigarettes did you have this week than the week before?

Remember, even if that number is just one, you have had success in the week. Build on that win and know that you are moving forward.

Celebrate your success. You have reduced your intake of cigarettes.

Congratulations.

What is your goal for this week? How will you hold yourself accountable and then celebrate your next level of success?

Here’s this week’s challenge for your success : Share your goal with a friend. Ask them to hold you accountable.

A study at Dominican University, concluded that the process of both writing a goal and sharing regular updates with a friend resulted in a 76% success rate, compared to only 43% for those who just thought about their outcomes.

FINISH STRONG

You may be feeling challenged at this point. Your comfort zone that included smoking is falling apart as you reduce, or cease, your intake of cigarettes. Your comfort zone is fighting back to keep you inside of it.

The world outside of it, that world of being a non-smoker, is scary to it. It only knows smoking and how it uses the activity to keep you trapped in comfort.

Newsflash: Comfort Zones Kill Dreams.

Here is where we must tap back into the intention that you agreed to in part 2. WHY do you want to quit smoking? What great things are you going to do with your health?

A PERSONAL STORY OF CHALLENGE

A few years ago, I was out of shape. I was looking for a trainer who would push me hard so that could be healthier.

I was introduced to a man named Fred Ettish.

Fred was part of the UFC in its early days. He appeared in UFC-2.

He is a martial artist, an MMA fighter and inspiration.

Every Monday night for a year, Fred pushed me past my mental and physical limits. Even though our kickboxing drills were incredibly far out of my comfort zone, I enjoyed this challenge to improve myself physically. It’s the only workout routine that I ever stayed with for more than 3 or 6 months.

I sure that I was a challenging student: Mid-40s, uncoordinated, confused and weak-minded. But Fred never gave up on me. He coached me through my perceived shortcomings with the compassion of a drill sergeant during training and the understanding of a best-friend after the timer rang.

Fred is driven man; absolutely no-nonsense during training sessions. In his view, we are training to protect ourselves or our loved ones. If we ever found ourselves in a real fight, our attackers would not step back if we said, “I’m tired. Give me five minutes.”

They, like cigarettes, would continue to kill us.

One night of particularly hard training, I was wiped out. I remember saying to Fred, “I can’t” when he gave me the signal for the final five minute round. In my mind, I was tired and done.

Fred pushed me, not so gently, to keep going. I remember him saying, “Your mind will give out before you body. Keep going. Your body can do it.”

And you know what? I did it.

Another night as we were going through a conditioning routine, he saw I was fading in intensity and form. He shouted, “It’s only two minutes. You can do anything for two minutes. KEEP GOING!”

And I did. It may not have been my prettiest performance, but I completed the program and time.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because it applies to your process of quitting smoking.

You can do it. Stop listening to the voices between your ears that tell you to crave a smoke.

You do not need it.

You have the endurance to keep going in your non-smoking life. The life that you committed to last week.

If you are experiencing challenges this week, know that it is common and that you have the power to keep moving forward.

You may have felt the attraction to a cigarette in the past few days. You either did or did not give into it.

If you did not give in, congratulations. You are succeeding.

If you did give in, that moment is now in the past. You can’t change it, but you can learn from it.

When the next craving hits, tell it “No.”

If your smoking friends are asking you to join them, go find better friends. Choose to create your non-smoking future now. One minute at a time; two minutes at a time.

Follow Fred’s advice, “You can do anything for two minutes.” Link them together. Two minutes becomes four. Four becomes eight. Eventually, the craving is gone because you chose a healthy path.

Yeah, I know it’s not easy. Neither is swinging a twenty-five pound kettlebell for 27 minutes.

But you can do it.

One of Fred’s other major teaching moments came one night that I was struggling with that twenty-five pound kettle bell. He said to me, “Are you going to let a little piece of metal get between you and your goal? It’s nothing. It’s just a piece of metal.”

I ask you, are you going to let a much smaller item, one made of paper, tobacco and chemicals, one that is much lighter than twenty-five pounds, much less dense and so flimsy that you can completely destroy it with a match or a glass of water, get in your way of creating a longer, healthier life?

Just as that kettlebell really had no power over me, those cigarettes have no power over you. They only have the power that you give to them.

You’ve taken so much of it back in the past few weeks. Keep going. You can do it.

You are in the home stretch.

Time to finish hard.

Keep pushing.

I’m here to coach you. I learned from the best.

Next week: Success Celebration. Are you going to be there?

If you are ready to stop smoking, I can help. As noted in part 1 of this series, (LINK) hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping smokers to kick the habit. Visit my website www.danielolexa.com to learn more and sign up for my newsletter.

 

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING, PART 3

MOVING FORWARD

Celebrating Wins

After making your decision to quit last week, how many fewer cigarettes did you have than the week before?

Even if that number is just one, you have had success in the week. Build on that win and know that you are moving forward.

What will you do for yourself to recognize and honor that success? Mark it, make it special because you have done something extraordinary. You have reduced your intake of cigarettes.

Congratulations.

What is your goal for this week? How will you hold yourself accountable and then celebrate your next level of success?

Words Have Power.

Last week you committed to changing your life by choosing to become a non-smoker.

Let’s make an important distinction this week. It may seem like mere wordplay, but it is a powerful point to understand.

Let’s be clear about something: You are not quitting smoking.

Huh?

The word “quit” and the process of “quitting” implies failure, not success. Quitting smoking is a double-negative. Even though you are leaving behind something that is harming your health, the negative connotation of quitting impresses a sense of lack into our psyche to help you feel like a failure.

As noted in this excerpt from The Journal regarding The Psychology of Media Production, the author’s discuss The Psychology of Language:

“Semantics represents the incisive use of language. Managing language is fundamental to communication and central to our ability to understand. One simple example may be seen where examining the use of the word “quit.” “Quit” is a pejorative term of frustration that means “to give up.” “Quit” also is a software programming term that is used for programmers when writing code. Unfortunately, it has found its way to the user. The subliminal response to the word “quit” is negative when it is used in educational or consumer programs. . .”

Who wants to refer to themselves as a quitter? Even if it is in relation to ending a bad habit, the term implies weakness and lack of commitment.

Wouldn’t you rather call yourself a successful smoker than a quitter?

And therein lies an important distinction about why so many people continue to smoke.

We will not be referring to ourselves as quitters from this point forward.

Releasing The Past

It’s time to take another step forward.

It is time for you to have an honest conversation with yourself and your cigarette.

Your homework for this week is to write two letters.

In the first one, you will pretend you are your cigarette(s).

You are going to write to yourself, as your cigarette and explain all of the horrible things that you are doing to the person who is inhaling you. Be clear, be honest, be cruel – this is a one-sided, abusive relationship. Cigarettes are stealing your health, life, family time and money. They are no better than an abusive spouse.

This should be an emotional letter. Get angry, cry if you need to. You need to realize how bad the situation is so that you can have the strength to change it.

Once you are done with that letter take a moment or two for yourself to re-center.

Your second letter will be one of personal strength.

This letter is coming from you, from this new place of personal strength.

You have realized just how bad your relationship with cigarettes has become. You know it is time to move forward. Write to your cigarette and tell it why you are leaving it behind.

Focus on all of the positive things you are choosing to do with your life now that you have freedom, health, energy and more money.

Realize that nothing outside of you has any control over you. Take back that which you have given away to tobacco and nicotine. You now have the power of YOU.

Positive Labeling

Begin now to refer to yourself as a “non-smoker.” Not as a “former smoker,” and not as someone who “quit smoking.” Your label for yourself from this moment forward is “I am a non-smoker.”

Why am I telling you this? What’s the difference between the terms?

I’ll explain in a moment, but first a brief metaphor.

One day in my high school biology class there was a discussion on the difference between the terms “dead” and “non-living.” As a group of fifteen or sixteen-year olds, we were confused? Weren’t they the same thing?

Our teacher explained that, no they are not. “Dead” refers to something that was once living and has ceased to be alive. “Non-living” refers to something that has never been alive – like a rock. Rocks have never been alive in the way that animals or insects are alive. They do not move from a state of living to a state of post-living. They just are as they are.

The terms “former smoker” and “non-smoker” have a similar relationship.

If you were to ask one of your friends who never smoked to label themselves in terms of smoking, which of these two terms would they choose? Obviously, “non-smoker” as the word “former” has no relevance to their status.

They haven’t quit; they haven’t reformed; they are, and always have been “non-smokers.”

As non-smokers, what things to you imagine they have never experienced?

They have never experienced the draw of a cigarette. They have never experienced the anxiety of desiring to offset stress with a smoke. They have never experienced the addiction of smoking in all of its physical and mental manifestations.

I am asking you now to see yourself as part of this group. Just as rocks are labeled as non-living, I am asking you to label yourself as a non-smoker.

By including yourself in this group, you can experience being free from withdrawals, free from cravings and free to make healthy choices.

Say it out loud: I am now and forevermore a non-smoker.

If you are ready to stop smoking, I can help. As noted in part 1 of this series, (LINK) hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping smokers to kick the habit.

Visit my website www.danielolexa.com to learn more and sign up for my newsletter.

 

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING, PART 2

WHERE DO WE BEGIN?

I would normally suggest following Steven Covey’s rule and “Begin with the end in mind.” However, if you’re reading this, we already know that your goal is to stop smoking.

Therefore, let’s start with where you are, right at this moment. Just like getting driving directions from a GPS, we can only calculate an efficient path to your goal if we know where you are at this moment.

I invite you to print this article and fill out the worksheet below as we move forward. The process of writing your numbers down makes them more real and may help you to solidify your choice to become smoke-free.

How many cigarettes do you smoke per day?

Write that number here: _______

Now, let’s assume that it takes you 5 minutes, on average, to smoke a single cigarette. If you know that your number is higher or lower, then please substitute it in the math below.

Please multiply the number of cigarettes you have per day by the number of minutes it takes to smoke each. For example, if you are a pack-a-day smoker, using the 5 minute average above, your math would look like this: 20 cigs x 5 minutes = 100 minutes per day.

# of Cigarettes x Minutes per Cigarette = Total Minutes per Day Smoking

How many minutes did you come up with? Enter it below.

My number of minutes lost to smoking each day: _______

Now let’s multiply that number by 7 days to see how much of your time is being consumed per week.

Total Minutes per Day Smoking x 7 = Total Minutes per Week Smoking

My number of minutes lost to smoking per week: _______

Now some quick division. Divide the Total Minutes per Week by 60 to discover the total hours per week.

My number of hours lost to smoking per week: _______

Total Minutes per Week Smoking / 60 = Total Hours per Week Smoking.

How many hours did you find you are losing each week? Wouldn’t you like to get that time back to spend with family, friends or working on other goals?

Multiply that number by 52 and see how many hours you are losing per year.

My number of hours lost to smoking per year: _______

Divide your yearly number by 24 to discover the number of days you are sacrificing to this habit.

My number of days lost to smoking per year: _______

And remember, these are immediate days, not the ones you are losing due to the long-term effects of smoking that are shortening your life.

It is also estimated that each cigarette takes 11 minutes off of your life-expectancy.

At this rate, one pack per day is reducing your life by another 220 minutes, nearly four hours EACH DAY!

In total, a pack-a-day habit is costing you six hours of your life EVERY DAY– two immediately and four that you are mortgaging in the future.

At an average cost of $5 per pack, it is also costing you monetarily – at a pack per day, $1,825 per year, to be exact. You can also add to that increased insurance costs for coverage and increased medical costs for treatment of diseases linked to smoking.

It’s time to get your life back.

COMMIT TO CHANGING YOUR LIFE

Read and sign this page to show your commitment to your future as you set the intention for your life.

I, ___________________________, promise to myself, on this date, _____________________, that I will choose to live my life with a positive purpose and mindset to become smoke-free.

I now choose to become a non-smoker. I was a smoker in the past. My past is not my future. I am free.

I take responsibility for my choices and actions. I am moving forward knowing that my goal of health is entirely possible.

I will celebrate each win, no matter how small.

My goal is possible and I know that I can achieve it.

I was a smoker in my past. That is now behind me. I now choose to be a healthy, happy non-smoker.

Today, I set the intention for my present and future to leave smoking in my past and build my healthy new life.

I now choose to live my life based from this intention of health. I begin on this day.

Signature:___________________________

Date: ____________________________

Congratulations! You have just taken the first step in breaking you habit.

If you are ready to stop smoking, I can help. As noted in part 1 of this series, hypnosis has been shown to be effective in helping smokers to kick the habit.

Visit my website www.danielolexa.com to learn more and sign up for my newsletter.

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING, PART 1

UNDERSTANDING THE SMOKER’S MINDSET

Smokers are treated horribly in today’s society.

They’re looked upon as dirty, weak, stupid; given limited locations in which to enjoy their cigarettes; preached at by non-smokers and reformed smokers in holier-than-thou tones. They are seen as pariahs and treated as if they were lepers.

It’s no wonder that they defiantly hold onto the one thing that brings them a few moments of pleasure. Smoking is their moment of peace, it is an identity with which they enjoy relating.

They have great role models in smoking history: John Wayne, The Marlboro Man, Humphrey Bogart, John Constantine. All strong, all defiant, all individualistic Mavericks. What’s not to love about sharing a habit with icons of this caliber?

The sad fact is that their habit is killing today’s smokers just as it killed every one of those icons. Technically, John Constantine is a comic book and TV character, so he can’t really die, but he did battle advanced cancer in his Vertigo comic series. Ironically, a deal with the Devil saved his life.

If you are a smoker, I am not going to preach to you. You know the statistics. You know how a cigarette makes you feel, both short-term and long-term.

When you are having a stressful day, you know you can get relief from a deep breath taken along with a smoke. It’s a refreshing pause; a moment of personal relaxation enhanced by the stimulation of nicotine.

As a person who has seen many suffer from the effects of smoking, I ask you to consider how you are making the choice to continue smoking. Why are you choosing short-term pleasure over long-term health?

Is it because you have tried before and failed, telling yourself, “I can’t quit?”

Is it because you are so conditioned to metering your day with smoking that you can’t imaging life without a cigarette?

Or, is it because you feel your individuality is at stake if you give up smoking? Do you identify yourself so much as “a smoker” that without a cigarette in hand you will not be the same person?

In any one of these scenarios you are giving your personal power over to a small object outside of you. You may think you are making the choice to smoke, but really, you are allowing the cigarette to choose for you.

Take your power back. You can choose to quit, be successful and still retain your individuality. You can take on a new identity as a successful non-smoker.

Or, you can choose to continue to give your power of choice to a bundle of paper-wrapped tobacco; partaking in a habit that is ruining your health.

You have my respect for making your choice as an individual.

If you are ready to give up smoking, I am here to help. Hypnotherapy is shown to help curb the side effects of quitting, such as weight gain and other withdrawal symptoms.

A study by the San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center determined that “…hypnosis combined with NP (nicotine patches) compares favorably with standard behavioral counseling in generating long-term quit rates.” Participants in the hypnosis group were shown to have higher rates (20%) of smoking abstinence after 12 months than participants in the standard behavioral counseling group (14%).

In a summary of this same study from The University of California San Francisco, lead author Timothy P. Carmody, PhD makes note of one additional finding that is quite interesting: hypnosis was significantly more effective in helping smoking cessation than standard counseling: 27% vs. 16%.

You can stop smoking if you choose to do so. If you commit to the process, you can win the battle in which so many give up.

Will it be hard? Possibly. It will be as difficult as you choose to make it.

Hypnosis can help to make the road easier to manage. We’ll discuss how over the course of my next few articles.

Can you succeed? Yes. I have no doubt that if you commit to quitting, you can do so.

The choice is yours. I respect either decision that you make and I hope to see you along for the ride.

Contact me at daniel@danielolexa.com to discuss private hypnotherapy sessions to help you become a non-smoker even faster.