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Having lost all hope that I’d ever manage to stay quit for more than a week, let alone five and counting, I thought I’d share a seemingly lesser known tip. What made all the difference is this short and down to the point book, 40-Day Companion to Quitting Smoking by J.F. Hunter. All it asked was not to smoke (I went cold turkey) + stick to a clever little daily reading for 40 days, then reassess. The idea is that it takes 40 days for our brains to let go of old habits and build fresh neural pathways based on our new behaviour. Not sure if I can explain this properly, so here’s an excerpt:
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
"In his revolutionary book, Organization of Behavior: A Neuropsychological Theory, the great late Canadian neuropsychologist Donald O. Hebb famously stated that neurons that fire together wire together.
Roughly translated, this means the longer we practise any behaviour, the bigger and stronger the related neural network becomes. Establishing a neural network may feel like hard work at the beginning, but the scientific evidence guarantees that this new grid of neural pathways will eventually run itself, with little or no need of our conscious assistance – providing we stick to practising the behaviour that supports its development and growth on a daily basis.
Isn’t it reassuring to know that, no matter how tough or easy you are finding all this right now, your brain is busy building a bridge back to life as a happy healthy non-smoker?
Give change a chance. It’s all that’s required from you today. "
Anyway, I am pretty sure I’m not going to pick up after Day 40, because I really don’t want to go back to all that smoking mess. But just in case - and because I still get an occasional craving - I may well commit to reading the book all over again.
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