Friday, August 19, 2005

How To Stop Smoking

For most people, quitting smoking will not be easy. Some people do not seem to get as physically addicted as others so quitting, for them, is relatively easy. For the rest of us, a good “exit strategy” will be essential.

The first and most important step in developing an exit strategy from the habit of smoking is to find a serious reason to quit. Your “motivation to quit” will be the foundation of your exit strategy.

The more serious, more personal and more emotional your motivation, the more likely you will be to succeed. Quitting because your spouse, friends, relatives, doctor want you to is often not motivating enough to keep you going. The motivating reason must be yours and not from someone else.

Once motivated to quit, you will need a plan of attack. How are you going to do it. Will you ease off, go cold turkey, use a nicotine patch or gum, or use hypnosis, acupuncture or Zyban? Each one of these has proven successful for some people and unsuccessful for others. I personally quit using my hypnosis CD that I sell at my online store and I also used Zyban to help break the physical dependence. Using both, I quit easily and with no side effects. Make a solid plan and put it in writing so you can review it when needed.

Step three is to “take action”. Put your plan into effect. Do not procrastinate. Your life depends on it.

Keep in mind that no matter how much or for how long you’ve smoked, your lungs begin healing within 24 hours of your quitting. Within a couple years of your quitting, your chances of getting lung cancer are reduced. After 15 years of not smoking, your chances of getting lung cancer are reduced by 95 %. This is great news because it means that your chances of getting lung cancer are only 5 % more than someone who never smoked. Personally, these are odds I can live with.

Do yourself a favor. Get started now.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Overcome Depression

One new, tested technique for relieving depression was made public recently. I’ve tried it myself, I’ve used it with depressed patients, and I’ve used it with my life coaching clients.

The technique was developed by Dr. Martin Seligman, a pioneer in the area of Positive Psychology. His research indicated that using this technique every night for one week reduced the feeling of depression in his subjects.

My depressed patients and life coaching clients have all had success with it. It works better and faster for some but every one who uses it on a daily basis reports a reduction in their feelings of depression and an increase in their feelings of well-being. They had more energy and were able to accomplish more during the day.

I found the technique to be easy and fast. Every night before going to sleep, write down three good things that happened to you that day. Yes, everyone has at least three. No, they don’t have to be big or monumental, just good. You got a good parking place, someone let you into the lane easily, someone smiled at you, someone said thank you, someone opened the door for you, you found a great seat in the lunch room, etc. Every day, these little “positive, good occurrences” happen to us and usually go unnoticed. Of course, there are also big things like getting a raise or having your spouse surprise you with a great present but these are usually less often for most of us.

Next, after each one, write down why you think it happened. Try to find some reason for it. It can be simple like I was in the right place at the right time, it was pay-back for when I let that car into my lane earlier, my affirmations are starting to work, or more complicated like I really worked hard this past year for my raise.

Find a reason and write it down. Don’t just think about it. When someone tells me it isn’t working. The first thing I ask is if they have a journal and if they are writing out this exercise. Almost always they say they are only thinking about it and not writing it.
Write it down! The process of writing makes a much greater mental impression than just thinking about it.

This exercise helps us refocus our emotional being on the positive aspects of our life. As we do, our feelings of depression lift and our positive, healthy energy starts to take over. Make this exercise a regular ritual before going to sleep (along with whatever other rituals you use such as prayer, affirmations, meditation, yoga, etc.) and it will make a profound difference in your life. Do it for thirty days and let me know how it is working.

Thursday, August 04, 2005


You are invited to email me questions and comments about what I've written or about what you would like me to write about. I will try to cover as much as I can in the blog as I will probably not be able to respond to you personally by private email. To email me, click on View My Complete Profile and under Contact, click Email.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005


Welcome to my blog. I want to thank everyone who has supported my Newsletter, Psychology & You. Not to fear, the newsletter will continue. I started this blog because writing the full articles was more time consuming than I realized and I have many topics I want to discuss. Now, on a more regular basis, I can produce short articles, thoughts about the nature of personal growth, answer reader questions and present ideas you can use to help yourself. In some cases I may continue or expand a topic at another time so it may grow into a full article.

Come back often as I am going to have something new weekly.