Priming is the action of putting a process in place which you can continue to build on. Using conscious and unconscious priming to help you to quit smoking is like having a great support team behind you.
Conscious priming is any action which will support your quit program, some include:
- Cutting back on a few smokers each day.
- Increasing your activity levels.
- Delaying each cigarette by a few minutes.
- Deep breathing when faced with a craving.
- Making good food choices.
- Reducing alcohol intake
- Doing some specific relaxation such as mindfulness meditation.
- Starting a new habit, such as a few simple exercises or positive affirmations every time you leave the bathroom. The reason is this is something everyone does multiple times a day.
- Doing some daydreaming, seeing yourself in past smoking situations but now as a non-smoker.
- Creating a simple diversion, which you will do when the thought of a cigarette comes up.
- Take a cigarette and blow the smoke out through a tissue, take a moment to consider the implications of the sickly yellow stain on the paper.
- Look at each smoke and talk to it as if it were a person who you just had to get out of your life.
- Look in the mirror and state out loud that you have had enough and are sick to death of smoking, then take a deep breath and state that you are a non-smoker.
Obviously you will not be doing all of these, after all if you did, then you would not have time to smoke! So pick a few and stick with them. Make these strategies a part of your smoking day.
Non conscious priming is by comparison very easy, and far more relaxing. It involves hypnosis, which is broken into several elements.
- The conscious priming as a mental preparation.
- The chat about triggers and perceived difficulties.
- The discussion about stress not being helped by smoking. There is usually a point of cognition when the smoker realizes for them that it does not help.
- The understanding of how hypnosis works, what it does and what it can not do, for example your mind can not be controlled.
- Learning that nicotine is at most a small player in smoking, it is mostly about a powerful habit.
Then you just relax into a pleasant hypnosis, this is when your old connections to smoking are released and replaced by new thoughts of breathing fresh clean air and living a long healthy life.