On October 22nd 2016 I've quit smoking and never touched one cigarette again. The crazy fact: I've quit in only 5 hours, when in fact I smoked heavily for almost 8 years.
I started smoking when I was about to enter University, due to the obvious reasons of thinking about stress or hanging with the cool kids. But more than 8 years later, reflecting about the human I would want to be, let me come to the conclusion that I am for sure don't want to be a smoker anymore.
If you are considering to quit, are afraid you are not strong enough, or you are interested in hypnosis: this is for you. I will give you an insight about my reasons to quit, how exactly I did it, what to do in your first 72 hours right after the break-up and how it feels almost 1.5 years later.
Let me know what you think or ask any question in the comments below.
Disclaimer: I tried to write this piece very rational without spoiling too much. You will know why later.
MY TOP 5 REASONS TO QUIT
1 I felt not authentic
While trying to be in the best physical shape and preaching all about good nutrition and a healthy lifestyle, in fact I was rattling for air when working out... Not authentic!
2 Smoking increases gastric secretion
Due to my strong coffee intake in combination with a cigarette, I would usually get sick every year for almost 2 weeks. Ending up visiting hospitals, taking aggressive medicine to get over my gastritis, could neither go to work, nor working out.
3 Smoke smells
Smoke smells awful. I always had the feeling I could disturb others with my smell in clothes and hair. It felt very much uncomfortable and I would wash my hands 3 times with different techniques just to remove that awful smell you get from smoking.
4 Smoking is socially downgrading
The raise of awareness that smoking is obviously bad for you, hit me (un)-consciously:
the raise of cigarette taxes,
the restriction to smoke in bars and restaurants,
sick and horrible images on cigarette packaging,
advertising against smoking (when I was a smoker I would always think that it didn't affect me, but it does little by little without me knowing it).
All in all I felt socially downgraded (also I was working at a place where no one would smoke...)
5 Smoking is a waste of life
See the calculation below.
LOOSING 8.8 HOURS OF LIFE TIME PER WEEK
Before the 22nd October '16, I used to smoke almost 6 cigarettes per day during weekdays (=30 cigarettes) and 9 cigarettes a day on weekends (+18 cigarettes, makes 48 in total). If you calculate for each about 7 min, you lose 5.6 h of your quality time per week. Now imagine, that 1 cigarette reduces your life expectancy by 11 min (see source below) each time, meaning I lost 8.8 h of lifetime per week. Calculated in years, I lost almost 4 years of my life... (8.8 h x 52 weeks x almost 8 years of smoking / 8760 hours which we have in a year).
SMOKE FREE WITH HYPNOSIS
Alright, let's come to the point now. Here comes how I quit.
I quit in a 5 hours seminar including a 45 min hypnosis session and 5 min electrical acupuncture.
Hypnosis is still known as this "show hypnosis" where people would later not know what happened. This was not the style of hypnosis I've got.
THE SEMINAR FACTS
There are 3 hours of seminar session to gather input about smoking, weight reduction and nutrition and stress level decrease, 1-hour cigarette breaks in total and 45 minutes of a collaborate lay down conducted hypnosis session (coughers were sorted out before and got a separate seated hypnosis).
It is not like the show/television hypnosis but more like a very deep relaxation mode in which you are still awake.
My hypnotist, Manfred Weck at the uni clinic in Cologne, has a non-relapse rate of 70% of which he was very proud of, as usually its measured around 60 %.
- The seminar cost around 145 - 175 EUR.
- I didn't have to prepare anything, only bring my cigarettes and my will to quit.
- If you are looking for a hypnotist in your area check out the professional hypnosis association.
When quitting you might fear of gaining weight or relapse cause of stress. The hypnotist and his assistant will take care of the following fears:
Will you be able to smoke during the 5 hours seminar? Yes, you will have 3 cigarette breaks of 20 minutes.
- Will you gain weight when you quit? No, because you will learn how to reduce 200 cal a day*
- They will teach you as well how to bring back all the nutrients that you have lost because of smoking.
- Will you be weak in stressful situations and relapse to smoking? No, because they will discuss how stress can be reduced easily.
- Will you quit? If your will and strength during the day raises, you probably will, as 70% do not relapse back. The hypnosis and an acupuncture will help you additionally.
Warm handshake, deep look into my eyes. Nice and friendly aged man. Messages with high importance would be transported in combination with huge body movements. When he would do so, I would always feel a little numb and hypnotised.
During the day he would repeat the following sentence like 100 x.
"I see myself smoke-free and full of energy and manage stressful situations calmly and with absolute confidence. I accept quite deep within myself: I am non-smoker."
When leaving, I believed all of this to 200%. I still do. He did his job.
THE OTHER QUITTERS
How good we've all made it here to come to quit smoking together that day. Dark brown used skin, deep eye crinkles, smokers inhaling heavily, some could barely talk as their lung and voice bands were already infected.
While watching them, my emotional and rational will of quitting increased a lot, as I really didn't want to end up with hoses in my lung or the disability to talk like a healthy person.
THE LAST CIGARETTES
These were the most difficult moments during the day. The Hypnotist sent us out 3x a 20 minutes to smoke. I remember that I actually was already a non smoker after the first seminar session.
I couldn’t smoke anymore. The hypnotist already gave me so much rational and emotional material I could work with to quit right there. While inhaling, I thought about the 100 poisoning ingredients**, how addicted I was, how disgusting my lung must look like, cancer, the acid production in my stomach. When I broke my cigarette relationship with my final cigarette in my whole life - it was definite.
HOW TO SURVIVE THE FIRST 72 HOURS
The first 72 hours are horrible, let me be honest. This is a cold deprivation, there is no help of nicotine chewing gums or such. There are very little moments in which you won't think about smoking,
1 Quit with a friend
I was lucky that my colleague Felix and I could push us through these difficult moments in which you count every hour until the 72. Then it ends and you forget about it. After 10 days you realise how far you went.
2 Count Down with "Last"
As you want to know how far you've got, I recommend to download the app 'Last' which shows you aesthetically the stage you are in. Celebrate every hour, it is important to check in and be proud of your success.
3 Smoke Air
In moments were you can't resist and really want to smoke, smoke air , inhale exhale very deep and I promise there is a moment of relieve.
4 Remember why you've quit
Write it on a piece of paper, read it when you believe you have to smoke, and don't forget it's only the nicotine sensors of your brain which are telling you to have a cigarette, it's not your ratio.
5 Loose Energy
Loose energy, run up and down the stairs so your lung has to breath a lot, your adrenaline kicks in and your body feels relieved.
ALMOST 1.5 YEARS LATER
I always wondered how the life of the others (the non smokers) might be when I would take my cigarette breaks back then. Now I know.
- You can inhale much better and therefore have much more capacities when doing physical activities.
- My skin detoxed until now, and tried to put all the toxins out of my body, now it feels relieved.
- The most important thing is that I gained 8,8 h per week
- I felt much more relaxed, especially at work when I was under pressure***.
- Of course your hair and clothes will stop smelling of cigarettes.
- For all these reasons my mood (after the 72 hours of course) went up a lot and I got a very positive person to what I was before.
- The best reason of all is of course you are healthy, you will live longer, you prevented yourself from getting cancer.
- After my break up I actually became a certified workout coach and now practice weight training, yoga, hot yoga and meditation as much as I can. My thinking and mindset became healthier. I even feel that I can just think clearer**** than before. Since then I never got sick again, which is awesome, because health is everything!
What happens to your lung :
- After only 48 hours you have a 30 % higher lung function
- After 1 month the tar - which is cementing your lung - is dismantled to 90 %
- After 9 month your lung is tar-free, you've made it
*Smoking increases artificially your insulin tolerance limit by 200 calories and some people tend to either forget to eat in stressful moments, or eat the wrong things.
**There are 4.000 ingredients in cigarette fume, more than 100 are poisoning (i.e Benzole, Carbon Monoxide, Formaldehyde, 210 Polonium, Benzopyrene, Nicotine).
*** If you smoke you have 50% limited thought- and concentration**** capacities and therefore also limited capacities to manner with stress.