Quit Smoking Support
Visualization is very similar to what our teachers and parents may have called "day dreaming." Children excel at day dreaming and playing "make believe." As we grow older, we tend to suppress our daydreams because of pressures to conform to society's practical approach. Day dreaming or visualization allows us to create bright, fun, fantastic futures for ourselves. Unfortunately, visualization for adults becomes scenarios of unfounded fears, drudgery, regretful memories or just plain darkness.
You never lose your ability to visualize. Instead, you change your visualization to "practical" and logical thoughts. And often, adults do have vivid visualizations but of the negative doom and gloom, "the worst thing that can happen" variety. How often have you let your mind race with pictures of disaster and destruction? You see yourself lashed to a whipping post, being beaten by an IRS auditor, or you see your doctor telling you the pain in your head is a malignant brain tumor.
Your mind can just as easily show you a refund check from the IRS or a "clean bill of health" from the routine physical.
The problem and the opportunity with visualization is that
your mind doesn't know truth from fiction when it evaluates the visions in your mind. Your
mind simply accepts the visualization as reality.
Much has been written on visualization, and you should seek
some more in-depth information on visualization techniques.
Visualization often begins with affirmations--positive statements you make to yourself. State your affirmations positively and as if you already have what you are affirming. If possible, state your affirmations aloud, five to ten times.
Some examples of positive affirmations include: "I enjoy breathing easily and deeply," "I am free from any desire to smoke," "My hands and teeth are clean and smoke free," "I enjoy being around non-smokers," and "I am relaxed and calm."
Write down some goals for yourself, relating to smoking. For example, "I will quit smoking by the last day of March," or "My body no longer desires nicotine," or "I will take a vacation to Mexico next year with the money I save by not smoking."
To create deep visualizations that can profoundly affect you, relaxation is very important. To relax you should sit in a comfortable chair and close your eyes. Begin breathing long, deep breaths. Imagine yourself at the top of a staircase. Count down from ten to one, breathing once per number. As you count down, imagine yourself walking or even floating down the stairs. In between breaths repeat statements like "I'm getting very relaxed," and "going deeper."
Focus on controlling the images, however faint they may be. If you have set a goal to quit smoking by the end of March, see yourself throwing all your cigarettes and ashtrays away on March 31. Try visualizing a package of cigarettes, then make it "explode." Visualize your lungs as very clean and healthy. Visualize socializing with non-smokers. Visualize yourself effortlessly running a marathon. Visualize your friends and loved ones honoring you at a quit-smoking banquet. Create your visualizations from the goals and affirmations you have written down.
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Updated August 2018