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Hristiyana Todorova

I was born and raised in Bulgaria and I have always been passionate about discovering the mysteries of the human soul. I studied Psychology in Sofia University and Body Psychotherapy in my home town as well. I traveled and lived in the United States, Norway, Sweden, Mozambique, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador and Spain and I consider life itself as my greatest teacher. I am happy, that I am able to help you through this side and share my experience with you.

Disclaimer : Services provided by Hristiyana Todorova via Intawell do not constitute psychotherapy, psychiatric or medical care, counseling or marriage and family therapy.

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people Helped
1
Plan
Female
32 years old
Spain
UTC 2
Program
The tobacco addiction is one of the most wide-spreaded addictions nowadays. It affects us both physically and emotionally. Anyway the most important of all is the psychological component of the addiction. In order to quit the cigarettes, we should first get to know our own minds and carry out some strategies to get around its tricky and addictive nature. In this plan I am offering to you several proven methods, which can help you quit smoking.


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Implementing some mental tricks
Many people think, that quitting the cigarettes is a really hard task to be accomplished. If you are among them – then listen carefully: Believing, that quitting the cigarettes is a very difficult thing will ACTUALLY make it difficult for you! So, first of all, before beginning with this plan, you should change this belief to a positive statement – for example: “Quitting the cigarettes is easy and fun” or make your own sentence, which appeals to you the most. Your conscious self might try to trick you, serving you thoughts like “Oh, come on, this is ridiculous!” or “If it was that easy, why millions of people struggle to quit?” and so on, but trust me – we are prisoners of our own thoughts and the thoughts are really powerful instrument, which we should use wisely. As example I will tell you my own story – I was a smoker for more than ten years, but I never actually believed, that I am dependent on the tobacco. I believed I could quit any time I want and so I did. I really enjoyed smoking and I didn't really think about quitting, but for example during the cold winters I didn't have any desire to go outside to smoke, so I wasn't smoking for months! And I didn't feel any abstinence syndrome or physical symptoms. Now I don't smoke at all, just one day I woke up and felt I don't need the cigarettes any more in my life. And there is one more very important thing, to make the things work out for you – do not forbid to yourself the cigarettes! I know I might sound controversial, but it's true! Our subconscious mind reacts very bad to any kind of limitations! It's like I'm telling you - “Don't think about pink elephants in the next five minutes!” If you want, you can give it a try – and you will see how the naughty elephants keep popping up! :) And so it is with the smoking! If you tell to yourself, that the cigarettes are allowed and you can still have one, if you feel it, it will be much easier to your mind to deal with situation. This is exactly what I did and it worked for me. You might think, that actually this will make you lose your discipline, but actually it's not happening like that. When you know, that you can have cigarette any time you want, your mind is more relaxed and more obedient, so for example you can just say “Okay, I will smoke one, but not now, a little later” or “Yeah, I can smoke now, but it's been 5 days without smoking, let's make them 7 to see what will happen” and so on. The third very important thing is not to get attached to the eventual results of your decision to quit smoking. You might succeed, you might fail – but it doesn't really matter – the most important thing is, that you accepted this challenge, learned something from it and no matter the final result, you will still be several steps further on the path of self-development – you will get to know yourself better and will become a little bit wiser. Take it as an experiment, as a game and don't take yourself too seriously. One of the biggest obstacles on the path towards success is the Ego and the tendency to accept ourselves as more important and significant as we actually are. Start the process with the attitude of having fun and open up to the new experience.

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Implementing some mental tricks
Many people think, that quitting the cigarettes is a really hard task to be accomplished. If you are among them – then listen carefully: Believing, that quitting the cigarettes is a very difficult thing will ACTUALLY make it difficult for you! So, first of all, before beginning with this plan, you should change this belief to a positive statement – for example: “Quitting the cigarettes is easy and fun” or make your own sentence, which appeals to you the most. Your conscious self might try to trick you, serving you thoughts like “Oh, come on, this is ridiculous!” or “If it was that easy, why millions of people struggle to quit?” and so on, but trust me – we are prisoners of our own thoughts and the thoughts are really powerful instrument, which we should use wisely. As example I will tell you my own story – I was a smoker for more than ten years, but I never actually believed, that I am dependent on the tobacco. I believed I could quit any time I want and so I did. I really enjoyed smoking and I didn't really think about quitting, but for example during the cold winters I didn't have any desire to go outside to smoke, so I wasn't smoking for months! And I didn't feel any abstinence syndrome or physical symptoms. Now I don't smoke at all, just one day I woke up and felt I don't need the cigarettes any more in my life. And there is one more very important thing, to make the things work out for you – do not forbid to yourself the cigarettes! I know I might sound controversial, but it's true! Our subconscious mind reacts very bad to any kind of limitations! It's like I'm telling you - “Don't think about pink elephants in the next five minutes!” If you want, you can give it a try – and you will see how the naughty elephants keep popping up! :) And so it is with the smoking! If you tell to yourself, that the cigarettes are allowed and you can still have one, if you feel it, it will be much easier to your mind to deal with situation. This is exactly what I did and it worked for me. You might think, that actually this will make you lose your discipline, but actually it's not happening like that. When you know, that you can have cigarette any time you want, your mind is more relaxed and more obedient, so for example you can just say “Okay, I will smoke one, but not now, a little later” or “Yeah, I can smoke now, but it's been 5 days without smoking, let's make them 7 to see what will happen” and so on. The third very important thing is not to get attached to the eventual results of your decision to quit smoking. You might succeed, you might fail – but it doesn't really matter – the most important thing is, that you accepted this challenge, learned something from it and no matter the final result, you will still be several steps further on the path of self-development – you will get to know yourself better and will become a little bit wiser. Take it as an experiment, as a game and don't take yourself too seriously. One of the biggest obstacles on the path towards success is the Ego and the tendency to accept ourselves as more important and significant as we actually are. Start the process with the attitude of having fun and open up to the new experience. And some last words before we start with the plan. In order to change a behavioral pattern our conscious and subconscious mind needs at least 40 days. For this time we are able to integrate the new habit and implement it in our lives.This means, that if you manage to keep doing (or not doing) something for 40 days, the habit will most probably remain stable. So if you manage to quit smoking for 40 days, it's less likely, that you will start smoking afterwards. That's why take this program as 40 days challenge! It's just 40 days – and after that you can smoke again – if you want to, of course! Let's summarize what has been said so far and the four mental strategies we need to start the process: 1. Start with the attitude, that quitting smoking is easy and fun. 2. Don't put pressure on yourself or forbid yourself totally to smoke. 3. Don't get attached to the final result 4. Take quitting the cigarettes as 40 days challenge So are you ready to start the adventure? You will need a journal and a pen. Choose a nice, colorful notebook, one you really like, better one with blank pages, so you can write, draw and express yourself as you feel like. You can also get some colorful pencils or markers, if you want to. This will be your diary for this exciting journey! Let's start!
Day 1
So, this will be the day, when you will smoke your LAST cigarette! Your task for today will be to enjoy and appreciate every cigarette you have. You deserve it, because today you are saying official GOODBYE to the tobacco. In the evening we will make a small ceremony and meditation – this way you will also tell to your subconscious mind, that smoking from now on is over. Write down on a sheet of paper all the things you want to say goodbye to - together with the cigarettes – for example bad breath, difficulty climbing the stairs, yellow teeth etc. Light a candle and focus for a moment on the flame. Start breathing slowly and deeply. You can also put some relaxing music if you feel like. Then close your eyes and keep breathing. Visualise the tobacco plant, growing from the earth. It's a plant you have abused for so long time. Imagine now you have the chance to speak with it. Tell the plant everything you feel in this moment and try to be really honest. Don't hold on anything. When you finish, thank to the plant for all the moments you shared together and ask it to give you back your freedom. Now you can say goodbye. Take a few more moments of breathing and then gently open your eyes. Then burn the list with the things, that you don't want in your life and visualise how the smoke is taking them far, far away from you. Take a few more deep breaths and imagine your life without cigarettes. Write down how it would look like and how happy you will be. And you WILL BE – because today you are starting your new life!
Day 2
1. The first thing I want you to do today is the following: When you wake-up in the morning, you should set your intention for the day and write it down in your diary. Describe what you want to accomplish during this day, what are your tasks and goals and how do you feel about them. Describe your expectations and your fears and worries as well. Be totally honest and sincere with yourself and notice as well how do you feel and what is happening inside your body, when you write. Write this down as well, for example “As I write this I feel a little anxious and I notice tension in my shoulders.” This is the first part of this task. The second part you will do in the evening, when the day is over. On the other side of the same sheet you will describe how the day actually was, what did you do, what you didn't do and what happened. Make a comparison between your intention and expectations and the actual outcomes. Give yourself a feedback what can you do better and HOW can you do it. You can highlight the ideas you have with some color if you feel like. I want you to do this exercise every day from now on. 2. Your second task will be to make a list with all the benefits, that you will gain, once you quit smoking. Just think about it! You will feel so much better, you will breathe more easily, your taste will improve and so on and so on! Think about all the money you will save – you can calculate the amount, put it on your list and then write down on what you would spend this money for. Think about something you really wanted for a long time, but couldn't afford it! Continue the list on your own.  You can use big piece of carton and colors. Allow yourself to be creative, have fun and play with it! In the end hang this list on a visible place, so you can see it every day and remind yourself what you are going for! This will be your powerful motivational tool until the end of this program!
Day 4
1. Start your day with setting intention for the rest of the day as usual. In the evening describe your experiences. 2. Today I want you to do a little Internet research. It is possible, that until so far, you already experienced some withdrawal symptoms. Try to find out as much as possible about herbs, foods and supplements, that can help you deal with these symptoms. There are many things, that can help your body deal with the leftover toxins, increase your mood and make you feel better. Write down the ones you like and start using them as soon as possible. 3. If you are not exercising yet, it's time for you to start now. Doing any kind of physical energizing is very important as it improves your blood circulation, increases the levels of oxygen in the body and helps release serotonin and dopamine in your brain, which literally makes you feel more relaxed and happy. This might be really crucial during your first days of quitting the tobacco, as many people tend to feel anxious, angry and stressed out. The sport can help you ventilate these strong emotions and balance your energy, plus that your body will become stronger and sexier :). Choose a type of sport you would enjoy and plan ahead your activity. It would be good to practice at least three times per week, the more – the better.
Day 5
1. Start the morning with writing down your intention for the day as done before. In the evening describe your experiences. 2. From today on we will include some meditation practice in your daily routine. Probably, you've meditated before already, but even if you didn't – that's okay – just be open to it and observe your experiences. The meditation is really powerful tool, which helps you strengthen your willpower and discipline, quiet your mind, calm your emotions and make you feel more self-confident, balanced and grounded. We will start with 15 minutes meditation in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening. You can use your alarm clock to set the exact amount of time. Once you get used to it, you can start slowly increasing the time until 30 or more minutes. There are many videos and tutorials about how to meditate, so you can do your own research and practice the one, you like the most. Here I will give you the basics: a) Find a quiet place, where you won't be distracted. Put some relaxing music, that you like and light up some incense. This will help your mind slow down. b) Sit on the floor in cross-legged position. If this position is uncomfortable for you, sit on a chair with your legs touching the floor. Your back should always be straight to avoid falling asleep. c) Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your front teeth. Little by little you can slow down your breath and start following this rhythm: 1. Breathe in through your nose for a count of 4. 2. Hold your breath for a count of 7. 3. Release your breath from your mouth with a whooshing sound for a count of 8. 4. Without a break, breathe in again for a count of 4, repeating the entire technique d) During the meditation, try to stay focused on your breath only. Probably some thoughts will appear and your mind will start wandering. Just observe them and let them go. Remember to get back and connect with your breath. In the end describe the experience in your diary – what was easy and what was difficult for you, how did you feel before and after, how long you managed to stay focused. Do this after every meditation.
Day 6
1. Start the day as usual by writing in your diary. Do it in the evening as well. 2. So, it's been already five days since you haven't been smoking! You did really good job and you deserve a reward! You can buy yourself something nice, go to SPA center, order your favorite pizza – whatever you feel like. Rewarding yourself works as strong motivational tool and it trains your mind to strive for excellence. You can plan ahead your future rewards and make a list of the things you want. It is the best if you reward yourself every five days or so. There is also another - and better option - you can ask someone close to you to do the rewards for you. Explain this person the importance of these gifts, so they can take it seriously. And then let them surprize you! There is nothing more exciting, than expecting a surprize, so the curiosity itself can also be very powerful motivator!
Day 7
1. Continue with setting the intention for the day in the morning and the feedback in the evening. 2. Today I want you to take some quiet time with your diary and think about what brings pleasure to you in your life. Write down what are your needs in this moment and how satisfied you feel about all of them. Here you have a list of our basic needs, which might be helpful: a) Need of belonging – this is actually need of safety and support. Our life is impossible without the others, so we all depend from our connections with the other people. Exactly these connections make us feel safe. Everyone wants to be “somebody” in the other’s eyes, to be accepted, to feel, that the others give him chance. Our survival depends on this, so that’s why this is very basic need. b) Need of approval – We all want the others to accept us, to approve us, to like us; we need to be important for the others. When the others like us – we have power and authority over them and this way we can satisfy more of our needs. c) Need of food – this is not only food for the body, but also food for the soul – spiritual and intellectual food – books, music, information, knowledge. This need helps us not only to survive, but to improve the quality of our life. d) Need of sense and touch - This is actually our need of stimuli for our senses – nice views for the eyes, nice sounds for the ears, smells, tastes and also pleasure for our biggest receptor – the skin; this means need of physical contact, caress, tenderness, touching, petting, hugging. The touching and the physical contact is very important for the child, while he grows up, because this gives him the feeling of safety and trust in himself and also in the people around him. That’s why we shouldn’t ignore our need to be touched. e) Need of sex – this need could be 100% satisfied, only if all other needs are already satisfied. The way we experience our sexuality shows actually how healthy we are and how far our other needs are satisfied. Very often people enter into some kind of addiction, because one or more of their basic needs are not met. That's why it is very important to explore this topic for you and find out, which are your needs, that are not satisfied. Once you know that, you can start making small steps towards taking real care of yourself and your real needs. 2. So, this is the last day of this program, that we spend together. From now on, you continue on your own for the next 33 days. Keep writing in your diary in the morning and in the evening, exercise and eat well, do your meditation regularly and don't forget the reward! Threat yourself with love and respect and keep doing great job! You have the power to be free and create your own life the way you want it! So go for it and pursue your happiness! Thank you from all my heart for the confidence and for your time. I would appreciate any feedback you have about this small plan. I wish you all the best and many sunny days from now on! Love, Hristiyana

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