If you’ve finally reached a point in your life where you have decided to quit smoking, well done! I salute and congratulate you! It’s one of the best and perfect decision! However, it’s not going to be easy and you need to make sure you are well prepared for it. You will have to break your nicotine addiction, which may be difficult.
Your first few days without cigarettes can be difficult. Quitting smoking is difficult, but not impossible. Because, there are necessary steps you can take to handle quitting smoking and be confident about being able to stay quit.
If you’d like to quit smoking, but don’t know where to begin, create a structured plan. Motivation has to come from inside. Realize why you want to quit, prepare for success, and carry out your plan with the support of others or medication therapy.
1. Deciding To Quit Smoking
Nicotine is incredibly addictive and craving for it is common part of quitting. Meditate if a life without smoking is more attractive than that of being a smoker. If the answer is yes, have a clear reason why you want to quit smoking. This way, when cravings becomes more you can be clear about your very important reason to quit.
Additionally, consider how smoking affects your life in areas such as health, appearance, lifestyle and your loved ones. Think about what you want for the future and assess whether smoking will help you achieve those goals. Ask yourself if these aspects of your life would benefit from you quitting.
Furthermore, draw up a list of reasons for why you want to quit. When you want to smoke after you’ve quit, pull out that list and remind yourself why you are doing it. For example, your list might say something like: i want to improve my health or i don’t want to smell like cigarette smoke anymore.
Making Plan To Quit Smoking
2. Set Date And Time To Stop
This is important because it gives you definite a goal. Pick a day that is not too far in the future (so that you do not change your mind), but which gives you enough time to prepare. It can be your birthday or the beginning of a month. If you are worried about going cold turkey, you can start cutting back, leading up to your quit day. Setting a quit date also means you have time to create a plan and find people who will support you. It’s like going to write an exam – you’ve got to study.
Note: Quitting cold turkey means that you completely stop smoking without looking back.
3. Be Determine And Inspire Yourself
Remember you’re not giving up on anything because cigarettes do absolutely nothing for you at all. They just keep you addicted as a slave to nicotine. Get it clearly into your mind: you are losing nothing and you are making marvelous positive gains. Positive improvement in areas such as health, energy and savings. Also in confidence, self-respect, freedom and, most important of all, in the length and quality of your future life.
4. Change Your Routine And Avoid Triggers
Have a look at your current routine and identify the times you smoke. Is it whiles taking a cup of coffee in the morning, after a meal, or with lunch?. You will need to make changes to your routine and break those habits. If you have coffee and a smoke in the morning, try drinking tea instead. Cigarette after a meal? Go for a short walk.
5. Be Ready For Cravings
The first few cravings will be tough, your chest will feel tight, you’ll be anxious, panicky and your brain will tell you that a cigarette will make you feel better. But the good news is that, cravings are time limited. They usually only last three to five minutes whether you smoke or not. You might try exercising to combat cravings. Go for a walk, clean the kitchen, or do some yoga. You might also try to control your impulses by squeezing a stress ball or chewing gum when cravings hit.
However, these cravings will be the strongest during your first week if you’ve quit cold turkey. Fortunately they will be less frequent as the days, weeks and months pass. But, don’t be surprised if you have a sudden craving six months after you smoked your last cigarette; just push through it.
Putting Your Plan To Quit Smoking Into Action
6. Prepare The Day Before Quitting
Wash your bedding and clothes to get rid of cigarette smells. You should also get rid of any ashtrays, cigarettes and lighters from your house. Make sure to get plenty of sleep, since this will help lower your stress. Moreover, remind yourself of your plan and carry a written version with you, or keep it on your phone. You may also want to re-read the list of reasons why you want to quit.
7. Stay Positive
To quit smoking is very difficult. It happens one minute…one hour…one day at a time. Try not to think of quitting as forever. Pay attention to today and the time will add up. It helps to stay positive. Your start might not be perfect, but all that matters is that you don’t smoke not even one puff. Reward yourself for being smoke-free. You deserve it.
8. Ask For Support To Quit Smoking
Your family and friends can be extra support in your cessation journey. Let them know your goal and ask them to help you by not smoking around you or offering you a cigarette. You can also ask for their encouragement and to remind you of your specific goals when temptation is difficult. Remember to take quitting one day at a time. Remind yourself that this is a process and not an event.
9. Get Busy
Do you find you want a cigarette more when you’re looking for something to do or you’re feeling bored? Often, the feeling of restlessness can make us want to smoke, not because we’re craving it but out of sheer boredom. Try to keep busy by playing a fun game on your phone, chewing gum or meditation. It can distract you from the urge to smoke as you focus on a mind based task instead.
10. Be Active
Smoking causes damage to your lungs. This is why you might be breathless after walking up stairs or after running to catch the bus. Exercise can reduce your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. When you feel like smoking, go move and find an activity you enjoy. This can also help to keep your weight optimal.
11. There Is No Such Thing As A “Special Occasion”
You may feel like you can handle just one cigarette during a stressful time at work or at a special occasion. But now that you are a non-smoker, you can never smoke again. One cigarette will lead to another and before you know it you will be back to your old habits.
For many people, an important aspect of giving up smoking is to find alternate ways to handle these difficult feelings without turning to cigarettes. Even when cigarettes are no longer a part of your life, the painful and unpleasant feelings that may have prompted you to smoke in the past will still remain. So it’s worth spending some time thinking about the different ways you intend to deal with stressful situations and the daily irritations that would normally have you lighting up.