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Begin gathering your support resources. Identify people you’d like to have as support for quitting - let them know you are preparing for the Great American Smoke Out and ask them to help in specific ways.
The power of our thoughts and self-talk cannot be overestimated when it comes to making a personal change. Some smokers who quit successfully have suggested using prayer or meditation as mindful practices that can help through challenging times.
There are many great stress management books and websites, and we suggest doing a search if you're interested. One site we found on the subject of mental imagery helps explain the value of this tool:
Should I or shouldn’t I - how do you deal with mixed feelings about quitting? During the change process, we may go through periods of ambivalence - part of us wants to change and part of us wants to keep doing what we’re doing. Resolving some of the uncertainty may be key to moving forward with plans. The following activity may help with this:
Using the groupings below, write your thoughts for each area. Once you’ve completed everything, follow the instructions below to walk through options for resolving your ambivalence. If you are working on something other than quitting, just change the words to fit your situation.
A – Benefits of Smoking; Reasons to Continue Smoking B – Benefits of Quitting; Reasons to Quit Smoking C – Negatives of Smoking; Reasons to Quit Smoking D – Negatives of Quitting; Reasons to Continue Smoking
Group A: the “benefits” in this box are the primary reasons you continue to smoke and can fall into a couple of categories:
Circle all the items in this list that you believe are important for you to have. Next to the item, note any other source for this benefit.
For the remainder of the items, ask yourself if you can give this benefit up or replace it with something.
Group B: the importance of the items in this group is they can serve as your motivators to keep working on quitting. The more potent they are, the better.
Group C: like the items in B, this group can help keep you moving in the right direction. When you have a thought that a cigarette might be nice, or you have a slip up, look at what you’ve written here to boost your resolve to get back on track.
Group D: the items in this group are barriers to quitting and need to be addressed. Similar to the items in A, these items can fall into a couple of categories:
The important thing is to list all the barriers you know are concerns for you.
Keep filling in the different areas as you make new discoveries!
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