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What Others Don't Tell You About Quitting Smoking - Placebo Smoking
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KeithWang posted:
After 12 years of smoking and quitting the habit for 5 months (my longest streak and counting), it began to dawn on me that quitting smoking - like cutting a bad habit requires a sequence of corrective thoughts and action. The key in my opinion, is the discipline to exceed personal limits.
From the first phase of correcting the mindset to believing, execution and maintaining the habit, it all revolves around discipline. The will to forge a new positive habit and break the old degenerate one. The good news is, this sequence of thoughts and action is not rocket science. Allow me to explain.


1) Changing the mindset to believe
Every single great move in history started from a brilliant thought. Much like quitting smoking, we need to start with the intent, which translate to thoughts and thoughts to successive structured actions.


2) Setting goals and making progressive changes
Cutting down your daily intake of cigarettes from 10 to 1 a day is a huge stride for most people. What I suggest is to set high but realistic goals. I suggest a 50% reduction for a start.


3) Mastering the "Placebo Smoking" technique (Smoking without a cigarette)
When you realise you are smoking 5 sticks a day instead of 10 and you are totally not smoking (or smoking less than 5 sticks a day) on the weekend, this is where we can move on to develop greater control over our thoughts and actions. I call this the "Placebo Smoking " technique or smoking without a cigarette.
This is interesting because nobody really talk about it or practice it. The idea behind smoking without a cigarette lies in one thing - breathing correctly relaxes us and not the nicotine itself. We all know the key to meditation, yoga and other activities that promote relaxation revolves around better breathing techniques. The great similarity between yoga/meditation and smoking lies in taking deep inhaling breaths; an action that is key to relaxation.
Since taking deep inhaling breaths relaxes us, the medium - which is the cigarette itself, is of secondary importance. However, smokers are just like everyone else. We always find it hard to change our habits and leave our comfort zone. This is where the second phase of "Placebo Smoking" takes place. Remembering that breathing deeply is key, we can focus on next steps which revolves around the idea of a placebo. A placebo is a substance/treatment containing no medication and prescribed or given to reinforce a patient's expectation to get well. Sometimes patients given a placebo treatment will have a perceived or actual improvement in a medical condition, a phenomenon commonly called the placebo effect.
This is how the placebo effect is implemented to my quit-smoking methodology. Now do this - pretend you are holding a cigarette, lift the cigarette to the mouth and inhale deeply. Yes, inhale deeply and exhale, pretending to breathe out the "cigarette smoke". Visualise the whole action - imagining taking out that pack of cigarette, taking out one cigarette, lighting it, deeply inhaling it and exhale out slowly. The power of visualisation is highly underrated but used very effectively by the most powerful, influential and richest people in the world.


Ask yourself this question - which is more relaxing? Holding the cigarette or inhaling/exhaling the cigarette? Nicotine on the contrary, is not significantly addictive. It is the habit that is and the deep inhale/exhale that takes our mind away from work or relaxes us.

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danpismybff responded:
The visualation, would make me think of smoking, the breathing part does work


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