If you’ve finally reached a point in your life where you decided to quit smoking, well done congratulations! 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 prepared. You will have to break your nicotine addiction, which may be difficult.
Your first few days without cigarettes can be difficult. Here are the 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. Realize why you want to quit, prepare for success, and carry out your plan with the support of others or medication therapy. Quitting smoking is difficult, but not impossible.
Decide if you want 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. 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 a plan to quit smoking
Set your date and time to stop
This is important because it gives you definite a goal. Pick a date maybe 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.
Be determine and inspire yourself
Remember you’re not giving up anything because cigarettes do absolutely nothing for you at all. They just keep you addicted 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.
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.
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
Prepare the night 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.
Ask for support
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.
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.
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.