The negative effects of smoking are clearly known, however breaking the habit of an addiction is not an easy thing to do. Regardless of whether you smoke heavily, or consider yourself a social smoker, it can be equally challenging to completely stop or even reduce the amount of cigarettes you consume. If you have tried a number of times to quit on your own but have found yourself back in the same position, don’t put off reaching out for help any longer.
The nicotine in tobacco gradually changes the structure of your brain, and this is what makes it such an addictive substance. It may initially produce positive feelings of relaxation and arousal. However, over time it is often needed to provide relief from the negative withdrawal symptoms that soon set in, including restlessness, irritability and reduced concentration.
Despite the very serious long-term health risks such as cancers, heart diseases, stroke and respiratory problems, smoking can also become problematic in many other aspects of life.
Some indications that your smoking might be having a significant negative impact on your life include:
- You have a strong desire to reduce your smoking or quit, but are never successful in your efforts
- You spend a great deal of time thinking about and craving smoking, or in activities that will allow you to obtain or use tobacco
- It reduces your productivity or ability to complete obligations at work, home or school
- Your smoking is beginning to take a toll on your relationships, and you are having increasing amount of arguments about it with people close to you
Regardless of whether you have these effects or not, if you are struggling to stop on your own and want to finally be able to take control without falling back into habits, one of our psychologist’s will be able to assist. Since this is one of the most common addictions, they have a great deal of experience in the strategies that can be used to successfully stop. Some of these include:
- Identifying the triggers or thoughts that make you want to smoke, and work together with you to change these
- Help you to alter your environment and behaviours to reduce the initial urge or temptation to smoke
- Assist in finding alternative activities and support systems that can provide a distraction when a craving arises
- Provide alternative ways to effectively deal with withdrawal symptoms
- Relaxation training
- Hypnosis to reduce your cravings