Mantras and Affirmations

Those of you who have spent even a bit time on any other quit smoking venues will probably have heard all sorts of quit smoking mantras and positive affirmations. For instance... 'one day at a time'. While on the surface 'one day at a time' seems reasonable advice, what's usually going on is 'hanging on one day at a time'. I'll agree that one day at a time is easier than hanging on for the rest of your life... but the bottom line is that it's still hanging.

And then there's "I AM A NON SMOKER!!". I only wish desire and shouted affirmations were effective quit tools. But most of us have tried them and found that our auto pilot doesn't care about our desires and most of the time seems to be completely deaf to our shouting.

Here's another, "An urge will pass whether you smoke or not."? The question here is when will it pass and how much hanging on will have to be done until it passes?

And this one, "I'm a puff away from a pack a day". What I don't understand is if you don't want to be a smoker, why would you even take a puff.... unless your quit is really little more than being a smoker who isn't lighting cigarettes.

I dislike quit smoking mantras. I dislike quit smoking positive affirmations. I know that makes me sound like some sort 'quit smoking curmudgeon', but there is a reason for those dislikes. Most of the quit smoking community and the vast majority of quit smoking programs use either a hang on approach or they waste time and energy doing things that don't address the core reasons why we smoke. Those core reasons are body cues. The problem with every quit smoking mantra or affirmation I've ever heard is that they don't help to put us where we need to be in order to take care of our body cues.

All of that said, I believe we do need something to anchor us from time to time. Many who have used the cogquit program have found the Foundation Statements to be useful. However, a while back my wife, who has never smoked, wrote something that I think is remarkable in it's simplicity and accuracy and ... would be a great mantra for our group.

So I would like to offer the following as the Cognitivequitting mantra:

"My lungs need air not smoke.
My muscles need stretching not cigarettes.
My stomach needs nourishment not nicotine.
My brain needs stimulation not a stimulant."

Repeat that as needed to refocus on your quit.