Most people who smoke have 'triggers' that make them want to smoke so understanding smoking triggers is a big step on the way to quitting smoking.
There can be many and varied reasons why people will reach for a cigarette in certain situations and when they are feeling particular emotions.
It's a vicious circle -
First step: something happens and we have an emotional response.
Second Step: our reaction to the emotion is what triggers the "habit" of responding to it by smoking a cigarette.
If you can identify what these emotions or events are, that are causing these triggers then that will be one of the first moves towards quitting smoking.
Here are some common smoking triggers:
1. Low Feelings, Feeling Down or Depression:
Have you noticed that you feel more like like smoking when you are feeling down or depressed? This is a very common trigger as smoking can act as a comforting element in a person's life.
2. Nervousness or Boost to Self Assurance:
Many people smoke because they are shy or self conscious and smoking gives them something to do to take their mind off their anxiety or nervousness.
3. Anger or other strong emotions:
Other people will feel like lighting up when they are angry as this will help them to calm down and manage their situation better.
4. Social Settings:
This is a tough one. Is it nervousness, shyness, peer pressure (wanting to be like everyone else)or a need to bond that causes the difficulty?
Socializing, partying and drinking seem to go hand-in-hand with smoking for many smokers. For those who are serious about quitting smoking, this is where they have to make some hard decisions.
When I assess people who come to me to do Stop Smoking hypnosis, I ask them about the social triggers in their life. I often ask the question: Are you willing to give this trigger up? Would you be willing to give up friends (at least for a while)to quit smoking? Lots of people have answered, "Yes." Then I know they are serious - and stop smoking hypnosis will work for them.
It seems a tough tough thing to ask (I don't demand it, I simply ask, "would you be willing to..." so I can assess how much they want to quit smoking) but most people come to hypnosis as a last resort. By then, they really want to quit. It's their #1 goal and they don't want anything to stand in the way.
What's your goal? To quit smoking or to continue - and risk your health?
5. Any other strong emotion
Virtually any emotion can be a trigger for someone to feel like smoking and it is necessary to determine what your emotional triggers are if any.
Perhaps it's not emotional smoking triggers that are your difficulty. It may be certain situations or settings or other activities that cause the smoking triggers.
For instance, you might feel like smoking when you are listening to music, driving your car or watching the television.
Some people like to have a smoke after a meal or when they are consuming alcohol.
Many people feel like they need a smoke to help them start their day or at the end of the day to help them unwind. For one client, it was when the telephone rang. One hand reached for the cigarettes as one hand reached for the phone on his desk. When he realised that this was his biggest smoking triggers, he started his path to quit smoking by putting his cigarettes way across the room on top of a high cabinet.
Best Pennywise Tip: Keep a diary if you have to, noting the times you are triggered to smoke. Write down where you are, what's happening, maybe even who is with you and how you are feeling. Do this until you see the pattern.
If, or when, you do decide to stop smoking, you'll be prepared. Instead of thinking you "need" a cigarette at that moment and just taking one without thought, you will begin to pause and question yourself about what smoking triggers are driving your action. If you have pre-planned your new reaction, that pause will be enough time to let you keep to your new goals. You'll find other things to do at that time, avoid situations that are smoking triggers, or people who won't support you.
Recognising that your smoking habit is a reaction to an emotion or situation, not an addiction, will put you way ahead of people who dwell on their "addiction" as if it were in control of their lives and not them. Remember this: YOU are in control. It's your choice. Knowledge about your smoking habit and what triggers it will help you to know that you can win and just how you're going to do it.
Once again you need to look at the things that trigger your desire to have a smoke and look at an alternative solution that will help you to cope with the situation without the need for a cigarette.
If one alternative doesn't work for you then try another and keep trying until you find something that is satisfactory.
Sooner or later you will find something that can give you enough satisfaction to not need the cigarette each time such an emotion or situation arises.
Of course, if you use hypnosis to stop smoking, you may not have to worry about those triggers anymore. They will be diffused gently.