In these 3 short videos, behavioural expert Sonia Friedrich talks about preparing yourself for the big change of becoming an ex-smoker. She takes you through 3 steps to help improve your chances of success:
1. Understanding your behaviour
2. Overcoming a fear of loss
3. Breaking a habit
Step 3: Breaking a habit
Sonia explains that habits can become such an ingrained way of life that you don't even realise you're doing certain things repeatedly. She explains that when we change our physical environment, we start to do things a bit differently, and this can help us to break habits.
Imagine waking up and automatically reaching for a cigarette whilst still in bed. Sonia suggests making some physical changes that act as prompts, for example "imagine you put your runners by your bed instead". She explains that if you don't physically put your runners there, you might get up, go to the bathroom and do all sorts of other things that distract you from going for a run. By shifting what you see when you wake up, you are trying to disrupt what has become a routine behaviour.
Sonia suggests other small ways of disrupting your behaviour such as listening to some music, or reading a book, doing something with your partner, or walking the dog – and just choosing one of these. "Just commit to doing one thing once. It turns out our brain likes chunking things down. We actually want to turn things into smaller goals.” Start by doing something small and then Sonia recommends that “you reward yourself for doing that and pat yourself on the back."