Are you planning to quit smoking? It is a known fact that it is quite a challenging task, and that many people fail to accomplish it and relapse. But we don’t mean to scare you, instead, we’d like to help and support you in every way possible so that you can fight your addiction.
You need to understand that smoking isn’t just a physical habit, but a psychological one. The nicotine present in cigarettes gives you a high, and when you’re trying to quit smoking, your body will go through serious withdrawal symptoms in the absence of its regular nicotine fix. That’s the physical aspect. Psychologically, you might be dependent on cigarettes to deal with things like anxiety, depression, stress or other issues. It might also be that you’re smoking out of boredom and have developed a habit to smoke first thing in the morning, or while you’re out with friends, or during your office breaks. When you do decide to quit smoking, you will need to acknowledge the fact that your addiction is both physical and psychological. Since cigarettes are a part of your daily life, quitting them will undoubtedly lead to cravings.
Are you smoking or thinking of lighting one as you read this? If yes, then let go. Discipline yourself, because you cannot let yourself give in to your cravings if you are going to quit smoking. All your perseverance eventually will pay off, so you really need to hold on to positive thoughts. We are here to help and you’re not alone. We’ve put together a list of tips that will help you quit smoking.
The first point isn’t much of a tip as it is a question to yourself. Before you set out on a plan to do away with your addiction, you need to find the clear source of your motivation behind your act. Now we all know and understand that smoking is bad, and tobacco is not good for our bodies, but what is it that has motivated you to quit smoking? List your reasons down. This will also keep you motivated at times when you’re breaking down.
Do not dilly-dally. Set a date, and quit entirely from then onward’s. Cutting down gradually doesn’t work for most people and just makes matters worse. Throw away all cigarettes, get rid of those ash trays and lighters, and stop completely on a predetermined date. Also wash your clothes, carpets et cetera for they might smell of smoke. Use air fresheners in your car and house to get rid of any smell of cigarettes.
You should garner all the support you can get. Be it from friends, family, and colleagues when you decide to quit smoking. Therefore, it is important that you tell them about your decision. Even better, you could make a group attempt at quitting with others around you who smoke. If this is not possible, politely ask them to avoid smoking around you as you are very susceptible to cravings during this phase. Join a support group for quitters for added encouragement or sign up on an online forum.
As mentioned earlier, quitting leads to some serious withdrawal symptoms, and you better be prepared for them. Nicotine is a highly addictive substance and cutting it all of a sudden will have its effects. That said, you have got to hold on tight to your goal.
Go for nicotine replacement therapy or NRT. It can help you fight withdrawal symptoms and cravings and any other feelings of frustration or depression. Try oral nicotine gums, or nicotine patches that give your body a nicotine fix via the skin. These are some great ways to overcome cravings, but go for them after you’ve stopped smoking cigarettes.
If you want to treat your withdrawal symptoms without taking nicotine, consult your doctor for prescription pills that help in reducing cravings.
Avoid substances that are known to trigger the craving to smoke. One of the most common things that boost such cravings is alcohol, so it would be advisable to avoid drinking while you are trying to quit smoking. If you find that anything else triggers your urge to smoke, counter it with new habits. The key is to identify any negative habits and replace them with healthy, positive ones.
When you lay out a plan to quit smoking, don’t forget to include a reward system for yourself, as it is a yet another source of motivation. Treat yourself to a good movie or simply, new books or clothes. In the absence of nicotine, you will anyway require other ways to help your body relax and cope with stress. A good reward to give yourself is a trip to the massage parlor. Alternatively, join a yoga class—anything that keeps you calm, relaxed and stress-free. And remember, once you’ve given up on cigarettes, you’ll surely end up saving quite a bit of money. How about saving that and using those funds to reward yourself with something positive?
If all tips and tricks and fail and you face a strong urge to smoke, here is what to do: delay it in any way possible to keep yourself from giving in to the craving. If you’ve come this far, it’s not worth giving it all up over a craving. Fix yourself a snack, preferably a healthy one with veggies and fruits. Get your nicotine gum. Drink lots of water. Talk to a counselor or call up someone from your support group. Go for a run or work out—physical activity can do wonders to fight against nicotine cravings.
At last, once you follow all of these tips and tricks, if you still slip and eventually relapse, relax. It’s unfortunate, but not the end of the world. We all fail, but we’ve got to keep moving. If you’ve fallen down, get up, and get going. Figure out what your weaknesses are, try to overcome them and learn from your mistakes. Make a decision, set another date and get back on your plan to quit. Sometimes, it takes several attempts before one can finally get to stop smoking completely. Give yourself another chance and commit to your new game plan.