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Stoptober – what is it and how can you prepare for it?

If you are wondering what Stoptober is and how it can help you to stop smoking, have a read of this blog post.

Stoptober - what is it and how can you prepare for it?

Written by Alison Ralph                     Date 05 September 2023

Are you wondering what Stoptober is all about and how you can prepare for it if you would like to stop smoking or vaping? In this blog post I will explain what Stoptober is and give you some ideas for how you can prepare for the month and stop smoking or vaping for good!

Putting a cigarette out on a calendar

What is Stoptober?

October was chosen by Public Health England as the National stop smoking campaign to help people to stop smoking for good. It started in 2012, meaning that it is entering its 11th year this year. It has helped many people to stop smoking over the years. October was chosen as the month because previous studies had shown that those who stop smoking for 28 days are FIVE times more likely to stop forever. Giving you some time to adjust and 28 days to not have any cigarettes.

If you wanted to, you can sign up for Stoptober through the NHS website to receive all the resources available. Smokefree Registration

How can you prepare for Stoptober?

If you have already tried to stop smoking or vaping on your own you may have noticed that it can be extremely difficult. You might miss smoking, feel that it helps you in some way or you may not be able to cope with the cravings it causes. Here are some tips for beginning a mindset change and lessening the nicotine percentage in your body. Giving you the best possible chance of stopping smoking.

A picture of a number one

Change your brand of cigarette – it may sound bonkers but smoking is a sub-conscious activity. This means that you don’t have to think about it when doing it. It always tastes the same too. Changing your brand of cigarette can help you to bring it into the conscious thinking. 

Smoke with the opposite hand. I know, another one that sounds a little strange. If you normally smoke with your left hand change to the right and visa versa. Again, this will help you to bring smoking into the conscious thinking and allow you to think about it a little differently about smoking. When it is in the conscious thinking you can make choices about how much you smoke or whether you are enjoying it or not.

An image of the number two
An image of number 3
A person snapping a cigarette in half

Cut down the number of cigarettes you smoke. You can do this by setting yourself a number of cigarettes for the day. To help you with this you may only take certain number of cigarettes out with you during the day or leave them in the car when you are in the house. You might smoke half of the cigarette and then put it out, every time you smoke. You might ban smoking in the car or house. There are many ways you can do this, get creative and decide exactly what you will do. Don’t be wishy washy!

Find new ways to release those feel good hormones. When the chemicals in the brain react with the nicotine you inhale, it releases the feel good hormones. Telling the subconscious mind that you are okay. If you can find new and healthier ways to do this, it can really help. For example, playing with a pet, going for a walk or playing a game. Find what works for you!

Image of the number 4
An image of number 5

Decide on your reasons for stopping and how you see yourself benefiting once you have. This is extremely important. Why would we force ourselves through something difficult if we couldn’t see how it would benefit us? Sit down and write all your reasons for stopping and how it will benefit you in the future. One example could be, having more disposable income. 

Have faith in yourself and tell yourself that you can do it. Being your own cheerleader is actually more beneficial than receiving praise from someone else. The more you tell yourself you can do it, the more motivated you will feel. In turn, releasing those all important feel good hormones. 

The number 6 inside a circle

What if I am a vaper?

A person holding a vape

I hear you saying, but what if I am a vaper, can these things also work for me? Vaping follows the same principle as smoking when trying to stop as the same chemical reactions happen in the brain. So if you would like to stop vaping, all of the above apply. If you vape with nicotine, it might be a good idea to start reducing the amount in the vape and if you can, take yourself down to 0% nicotine. 

Vapes can also become a comfort blanket, something that you always have with you or even hold in your hand. Start to reduce the time that you do this during the day so you can separate yourself from it. 

Benefits of stopping smoking

I have worked with many people over the years to help them stop smoking and everyone has their own reason for wanting to stop smoking. Once they have stopped I have received feedback from people saying:

‘I can’t believe how much more time I have in my day!’

‘I was able to save the money and treat myself and my partner to a holiday instead!’

‘I spent more time sitting on the floor playing with my children.’

‘I felt less stressed.’

‘I can breathe easier when training.’

 

There are so many benefits and some of these can be noticed quite quickly, whilst others take time. 

Have a read of this article. It explains how the body repairs itself once the nicotine has left.

What happens after you quit smoking? A timeline (medicalnewstoday.com)

If you would like to know how hypnotherapy could help you during the month of October, you can send an email here