Ordinarily you would think that quitting smoking is the same for both sexes. Whether you are a man or woman there can be a variety of common reasons for starting smoking in the first place and another range of common reasons for quitting smoking across the sexes. Whilst on the surface this may appear true, there are important differences to understand which can definately aid quitting smoking for women.
According to research women start smoking and quit smoking for different reasons to men. For instance weight control is seen as a perceived benefit of smoking. Although smoking can help with weight control it does not help as much as it is perceived to help. As a clinical hypnotherapist I invariably ask my female clients who want to stop smoking this question "What would you rather deal with, a few extra pounds of weight or cancer?". Often the response will be that they fear the extra weight. Of course this can be because the weight gain can seem more immediate and possible, whereas cancer seems more distant and less likely to happen.
Another reason why women may smoke is because of their closer emotional bonding to other women. Women are natural empathisers and in empathising with a close friend, if that friend is a smoker, by also smoking themselves they may perceive or feel that they understand their friend's issue. To a lesser degree this response is true during a work break when a number of female colleague's will smoke together and is another way of keeping strong bonds intact.
Stopping smoking, when female friends are continuing to smoke, can make the new quitter feel isolated and distant from formerly close friends and colleagues.
Yet a third influence on women quitting smoking is their cycle. For those women who suffer irritability or worse during their cycle, it would not be a good idea to add to this by quitting smoking at the same time.
In order to make your chances of success in quitting smoking increase following these tips to deal with the above issues can help tremendously :-
If you worry that you may put on weight when you stop smoking, make a plan to deal with this possibility before it happens such as :-
1) Increase the exercise you currently undertake such as
a) If you go to the gym, do a few more repititions or push yourself a bit harder
b) Introduce a form or exercise that is fun and social such as line dancing, salsa dancing or even a social game of barminton, table tennis etc
c) Instead of riding up escalators, get into the habit of walking up them
d) Instead of taling the lift, walk up those flights of stairs
2) Reduce the amount you eat. Cut out something like an unncessary snack. May be that biscuit with a cup of coffee
3) Substitute ehealthier foods for fattening ones. Instead of that bag ofd crisps have an apple or better still a citrus fruit such as an orange
4) Introduce more water into your daily lifestyle even if it is just a couple of glasses of water a day. A glass of water that is taken 10 minutes before a meal will take the edge of your appetite.
Empathising With Friends
1) Find a more supportive way of helpibng your friend other that jointly poisoning yourselves. This can be by :-
a) Making yourself available at anytime on the telephone to give your friend support
b) Being a non-judgemental and solution orientated listener
c) Letting them know you are there for them
d) Suggesting forms of help or available support
Choose a time in the month when you know you are at your peak physically, emotionally and mentally and not when you are about to enter your cycle. Quitting smoking just after your menstrual cycle and when you are feeling good and on the up can be great timing.
We are all different whether men or women and ultimately knowing yourself, what makes you tick and when the best time is here for you to stop smoking, is the biggest asset to your success.
Steven A. Harold
Stopping Smoking Hypnosis