Do you enjoy smoking with your friends in the pub garden, but also get the feeling that it’s having a harmful affect on your health? Or perhaps you love the morning coffee and cigarette combination but hate how much money you spend on smoking?
If these mixed feelings seem familiar to you, it may be because you are contemplating the smoking habit. There may even be a growing consideration towards the negative aspect of smoking alongside a growing awareness of the potential benefits of quitting. On the other hand, the costs of changing may outweigh the benefits – smoking is part of who we are if we’ve done it for years, it’s associated with so many of our life’s activities and giving up smoking may mean giving up all those activities; how would our friend’s who all smoke view our desire to change?
How does it feel to consider quitting? Does it feel like something you should do, and giving something up? Or does it feel like you would be gaining something like physical, mental, or financial wellbeing?
All these mixed feelings or contradictions can make it seem like we’re lost, but actually it’s an opportunity to investigate if in fact change is something we should do. It could be useful to write a pros and cons list – what are the benefits of quitting smoking versus what the costs are quitting. Seen another way – what are the pros of changing versus the cons of changing.
A few questions to consider:
1. Why do you want to change?
2. Is there anything preventing you from changing?
3. What are some things that could help you make this change?
If you feel you are in this ‘contemplation’ phase as it’s known according to the ‘6 Stages of Change’ model, these short videos can really help: Behaviour Change | Contemplation