Chapter Nine:

Out With The Old Pattern

In With The New

After you have the leverage that you need so that you must change, then the next to parts of the formula are: interrupt the pattern of old behavior and then recondition the new association in the mind until it become a habit (install the new behavior pattern).

HOW NOT TO DO IT

If you were it sit down the exact same way in the morning when you have your coffee, in the exact same chair, hold the morning paper the same way, with the same mug of coffee, everything is exactly the same (the exact same pattern) except there is one thing missing! The cigarette. Do you think you mind might notice that the cigarette is missing? Of course it would. And if you really want to make it hard on yourself you could sit there and think (mental focus) about how that cigarette is not there and how you miss it and think about all the pleasure you remember getting from that morning cigarette and think about how it might be nice to have one with that cup of coffee just now…(and make those pictures vivid and make those feelings strong … yeah … really make yourself miss them)…

Pretty dumb…huh?

THAT would be a pretty stupid thing to do wouldn’t it! Yet that is exactly what most people do when they try to quit smoking. And then they call those feelings that they create with their mind "carvings". And then some genius, goes "Yeah that’s just the nicotine – you’re having nicotine withdrawals – everybody goes through that."

(To really understand this strategy and what happens, simply review the NLP Model in Chapter one.)

Interrupting the old pattern

First of all, in situations like the above cup of coffee in the morning, to change the old habits simply change as many things as you can about the situation so you change the old pattern. Don’t sit the same way at the same table at the same time etc. Do things differently for a few weeks and make it easy on yourself to get used to your new habits and your new lifestyle as a non-smoker. So wouldn’t it make sense to immediately throw away all the old cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays and anything that reminds you of cigarettes ? Clean out the house and car, air out that reek of smoke from your house, clothes, etc. Those old reminders are not cravings, their simply reminders of old habits.

Do something else!

The best thing you can do is replace the muscular movement of automatically reaching for a cigarette with another movement. Ideally something that would short circuit that whole long process and go right to the pleasure and relaxation and pattern interrupt that you want. What would the most logical thing to replace it with be then? That’s right … of course … a nice relaxing breath. The deeper the breath the more relaxing it will be for you.

From now an, anytime you think of cigarettes or anytime you find yourself in a situation that used to cause you to smoke, immediately and automatically take a deep breath.

And if it didn’t change how you feel, take another and another. Then if you really need to, take a walk, or change your circumstances and think about something else for a few minutes. For most people, the deep breath, in place of the thought of a cigarette gives them 95% of what they wanted – the state change they were looking for. The other 5%: the flavor, the smoke, the nicotine, something to do with your hands, etc – the desire for these things just go away after a few days.

Recondition the new associations

For most people that I work with, if only takes a few days to a few weeks for these new patterns to be conditioned in and the old tendencies and thoughts of cigarettes to totally disappear. You can make this time as quick and easy, or just as difficult and frustrating as you want to. It is totally up to you. You do it to yourself, and you create your experience, totally.

To make it easy to recondition your new patterns, remember to do two things:

1) Change everything you can that reminds you of the old habits and patterns.

2) Replace going for a cigarette with a deep breath (or breaths) any time you think about cigarettes or find yourself in a situation that used to cause you to want to smoke.

                   

                          

 

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