Focus on personal values ​​to quit smoking

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable disease and death. In Spain alone, there are already 58,000 tobacco-related deaths per year.

Smoking kills half of its consumers prematurely, causes multiple health problems in those exposed and leads people infected with COVID-19 to enter intensive care more often.

    It is possible to quit smoking from inventory management

    Prolonged consumption of nicotine is addictive, and therefore abrupt cessation of consumption triggers abstinence syndrome which is characterized by the following symptoms: irritability, frustration, anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, increased appetite, restlessness, depressed mood and insomnia.

    It is, at first, when one tries to withdraw tobacco from his daily life, being a strong protest of the body, which was accustomed to this substance. This is one of the reasons it is difficult to quit smoking, but with the right accompaniment, it is possible to quit smoking.

    Stopping an addiction involves going through a series of phases

    The psychological approach to smoking initially consists of assess how this habit developed; this includes knowing the factors that prevent tobacco use.

    Knowing the reasons why the person continues to smoke, we can focus on these triggers, which are often automated.

    The person suffering from an addiction (to tobacco or another substance) goes through a series of phases: pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation for change, action, maintenance and, when this happens, relapse.

    The initial evaluation of the case will allow us to know in which phase of this process the person is, and this is fundamental, because depending on this the therapy will be oriented in one or another form, being the objective of ” accompany the patient’s air. progresses through successive phases until he manages to quit smoking completely and become an ex-smoker.

      Quitting smoking is about facing ambivalence

      The smoker is torn between the urge to smoke and the reasons for quitting.. In this struggle, it helps to remember that motivation is a state, not a stable aspect; it means that motivation fluctuates depending on what the person feels, thinks and does.

      There are internal triggers (getting rid of anxiety) and external triggers (see exposure to tobacco-related situations). Internalizing the reasons why a person decides to quit smoking is essential because values ​​are more stable than motivation and they can serve as something solid and stable to hold onto.

      It is as if we are on a boat in the middle of a storm; trembling and choppy waves, strong winds and instability would represent the unpleasant sensations associated with withdrawal syndrome, but if we have a good anchor, no matter how strong the swell is, the ship will not sink.

      This anchor represents our values: take better care of our children, enjoy better health, increase our life expectancy to see our grandchildren grow up, show us that we can achieve difficult things, improve our sports performance, have a home without bad smells where our friends and family can feel comfortable, have more money for the really important things or whatever our reasons for quitting.

        Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, a Helpful Approach to Quitting Smoking

        Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a therapeutic approach that argues that a large number of psychological problems, very different from each other, share a common characteristic, and is that the person suffers from a certain number of discomfort, anxiety, sadness, hallucinations, pain, or the urge to use) and tries, in several ways, to reduce these unpleasant experiences. Short-term attempts to control the discomfort can be helpful, however in the long term, they lead to exacerbation of symptoms and, more importantly, to neglect the things that are important and precious to him.

        In this case, many smokers smoke to avoid unpleasant situations such as anxiety, nervousness, insecurity in social situations or boredom.

        This type of psychotherapeutic approach is intended help the patient to consider the usefulness of their attempts to control the discomfort and proof that, in the long run, these strategies are ineffective. The goal is not so much that the patient does not behave badly, but that he learns to tolerate the discomfort so that attempts at control do not lead him to stray from things that are really important to him.

        Clarifying these really important things is crucial; This way the values ​​of the person who intends to quit smoking become the new compass, Commit to abandoning a deliberate, liberating decision, noting other less consistent factors such as fear of the consequences of smoking or the desire to please someone.

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