Controlling the impulse to smoke

I have total control over my impulses

We have established that the Taming the Monkey program does not help us quit smoking. so, what does it do for us? Taming the Monkey is about growth. We grow our mental and emotional muscles (just like at the gym) with the power of patient self-control, and through shifting our perspective. We view our smoking habit from the perspective of a non-smoker. We recognize that the monkey is scared and needs reassurance. The monkey needs and craves to be tamed. We give ourselves the power of choice. We tame our inner monkey, not with force, terror or punishment. We tame our monkey with loving patience. Taming the Monkey is the key to open shackles of chain-smoking. Taming the Monkey gives us the choice, when we were convinced we that had no choice.  We keep coming back to the fact that we can’t run a marathon without practice and we can’t go the gym and go for the heaviest weights. We can run a marathon without practice and we will certainly collapse somewhere along the road, no matter how much willpower we have at the start. We can go for the heaviest weights at the gym and risk injury. When we fail, there will be someone there to comfort us. No, not mommy. The entire might and glory of the NRP industry will be right there telling us that 99% of all who try to run a marathon will inevitably fail without steroids, and that being unable to lift heavy weights is caused by crippling steroid deficiency. NRP is an easy fix for the symptom that is the smoking habit and not the root cause of the compulsive behaviour that is the smoking habit. Why would anyone want to run a marathon without practice? Do we want to fail? Is the solution to weak impulse control another impulse decision? It seems that the good folks at the NRP Corporation Inc. really want us to make impulsive decisions, make mistakes and fail miserably. The want us to fail because our suffering and misery are their profit margins. It is simple human animal nature, we are more willing to part with our hard-earned money to avoid pain (the guilt of low impulse control) than to seek pleasure in the freedom from smoking. This is why the NRP commercial portray quitting smoking as hell on earth. They can’t make money unless we are suffering.

Smoking rewires the brain to function in a way that each and every cigarette smoked reinforces a behavior pattern where we act on impulse. Our impulse control grows weaker for every cigarette we smoke, and we can see how this spirals out of control after a few thousand cigarettes. Our impulse control muscle is weak and needs to be strengthened. When we smoke, we cultivate the habit of allowing the monkey to be in charge. We need to cultivate the habit of impulse control and monkey taming. Do we really want to become hooked on steroids just to run a marathon? The marathon is no longer a test of our endurance, it has become a test of our lack of belief in ourselves and our willingness to do what it takes to get results, ignoring the journey. We don’t buy NRP to help us, we buy NRP to suppress the feelings of guilt we get from watching NRP commercials. We buy cigarettes to suppress the guilt of smoking, then we buy NRP to suppress the guilt of smoking and if there was another product that could suppress our guilt even more, then we would buy that as well, it’s called chocolate. We can’t shop our way out of feeling guilt. The only way to deal with guilt is to feel it and listen to the message. Guilt can’t hurt us, it is time we realize this fact. The guilt we feel when we smoke is not caused by smoking. We feel guilty because we are acting in ways that we judge to be wrong, we end up judging and shaming ourselves and we end up in a guilt and shame avoidance spiral that can last for years, as long as we keep smoking. We live life for years without the pleasure of being alive and that is metaphorically speaking, hell on earth. Heaven on earth is when we free ourselves from our guilt, by doing the right thing, by living free.

When we say no to the first cigarette of the day, we rewire our brains to say no to smoking. We play the numbers game, we go from lighting up 100% of the time and each time we say no, we move towards lighting up 0% of the time. Tomorrow morning, we will be at 99,9% light up rate and the day after tomorrow we reach 99,8% and steadily we reach 100% freedom from the smoking habit. Life as a nonsmoker is about waking up every day and not smoking, and doing things that non-smokers do, such as not lighting up and not smoking and not obsessing about smoking. We no longer light up, we find productive ways of dealing with pressure and we develop patience instead of shying away from life’s challenges. Maybe it is best to challenge our boss’ crazy demands and gain our own self-respect. What we practice is the not smoking part of the non-smoking life. Instead of suppressing stress with smoking, we find the root cause of the stress and eliminate it. Maybe it is time to have a talk about our work situation or even find a new opportunity. With time, this becomes a subconscious process, our mind will not want to smoke and we will no longer need a conscious effort to abstain from smoking. We are using muscles that have not been used in a very long time and it takes time and effort to build up those muscles. It takes time and effort to strengthen the non-smoking muscles. We are reshaping our smoking muscles and transforming them into non-smoking muscles. We can choose to do this boot camp style (quitting cold turkey) or we can opt for the slow pace of the time limit method. The results will be the same, non-smoking. With Taming the Monkey, we will have more positive connections in our minds. Negative associations of the trauma of sudden stop of the smoking habit will generate guilt, dis-ease and the risk of relapse is high. With the positive associations of the time limit method we will develop a healthy relationship with our emotions and will no any longer need to suppress our emotions. Relapse will not be possible because we didn’t quit anything, we made a fundamental change and we know that we can change again when we need to.

When practicing time limit method, we are in effect exercising the abstinence muscle, emotional management muscle, and the patience muscle. We are building up the impulse control muscle and the self-control muscle. We are building self-discipline. People who quit smoking cold turkey, with or without NRP, become irritable and impatient, they become dangerous like cornered animals, we may not know when they will lash out and vent their repressed emotional pain. When we build up our patience muscles, we become more loving and calm, we practice using those muscles every day. Our brains get much needed practice in saying “no” to smoking, and in time saying “no” to cigarettes becomes a habit. Our say-no muscle gets stronger when we need to say “no” to the things we do not want in our lives. Our power to say “no” will increase and we will find ourselves saying “no” to things we don’t want in our lives, such as bad friends, bad habits and negative influences in our lives. We say no to dead end jobs and we say no to abusive bosses, we say no to injustice in our lives and as we say no more, we learn to stand up for what we believe in. We learn to trust in ourselves, something we as smokers find difficult to do. As we once formed the habit of smoking, we now form the habit of non-smoking and being patient. We learn to have patience where we need it most, with ourselves.

After we have had our first cigarette of the day, there is no point in abstaining for the remainder of that day and we can without undue guilt or shame smoke all we want for the remainder of the day. We have already succeeded, we have already won. What we need to practice here is abstaining from the first cigarette because our future self will be free from smoking and the only muscle that will matter then and there, in the future, is the say-no to the first cigarette muscle. Without the first cigarette of the day, any day, there is no smoking habit.

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