I only just found this forum or I’d have posted sooner.
In response to the question “What is cognitive quitting?”, it’s a program that teaches a smoker how to change their smoking habit rather than simply removing nicotine and hoping that urges to smoke will eventually fade away.
The following was sent to me by one of the people I’ve coached. It’s her experience of cognitivequitting.
“With other methods of quitting I had to “gear up” and get ready to fight a battle. The battle was with something inside me that compelled me to smoke—-an inner war. When this part of me said “I’m having a smoke” I did it. Regardless of the price.
My fear about trying to quit again was about having to face that inner conflict, and then forever after having to fight down that powerful part of myself—-the urge to smoke—-the part that would relentlessly wait for me to relax for just a minute and then would demand a cigarette again.
Other quit plans call it a dragon, or a monster, or the Nico-demon. And “gearing up” was like preparing for battle—-assembling nicotine replacement gums of all kinds, various teas, all manner of oral busy-ness like straws, toothpicks, carrot sticks, etc. Setting aside “stress free” time. Setting a quit date. I didn’t know there was any other way.
And this is the main difference between the Cognitive Quitting method and any other quit smoking method. There is no Demon.There is no inner conflict. There is no battle at all. There is no “hanging on”. Let me explain.
You learn that it’s just the automatic part of yourself doing the best it can to respond to the moments of your life with the tool it’s been given—-a cigarette. You learn to use this method to teach that automatic part of yourself other ways to respond.
The method primarily involves paying attention. And what you are paying attention to is your body. Looking for what it needs and then finding ways to meet those needs. Once the quitter can learn to pay attention to body cues, the next step is to teach the automatic part of your mind to offer whatever it is your body needs rather than a cigarette.
And there are exercises that help you do just that. Exercises that bring exquisite conscious awareness to what your body needs. And exercises to teach the automatic part of yourself a different way to respond. It all happens fairly quickly and the automatic part of yourself catches on right away.
Even the difficult detox phase of quitting becomes much more comfortable. The detox (and I mean a “cold turkey” detox)is experienced more as a physiological process without the compounding influence of the intense nicotine cravings. In fact the cravings, even during detox, pass by like blips on a television screen. The physical part of the detox, while significant, is much more like a flu bug that passes.
And because the automatic part of your brain has learned a different way to respond to body cues, it does not offer a cigarette anymore. Cravings are no more! You don’t have to “hold on” or grip anything. You don’t have to fight down urges. You can just relax. And after the detox phase, you feel comfortable. That’s all. There is no ongoing effort, no ongoing cravings, no discomfort.
But the thing is, it doesn’t work to just read about it, regardless of what your educational background is. It’s hard to understand until you have experienced it yourself. And then once you experience it, you realize in a very concrete way how powerful the connection between your mind, your body, and your behavior really is.
This quitting method is the only one that I am aware of that recognizes that crucial connection and also offers such effective tools to make changes with it.”
Also, on July 8th I’ll be at the open house at the Center for Inquiry on Beverly St.