Quitting smoking is known to be one of the hardest things a person can go through. What starts as a frivolous habit becomes part of a lifestyle that becomes very hard to break with. What makes smoking so difficult to quit is the social aspect of the habit. When people are looking to quit using hard drugs, it is recommended that they make a complete lifestyle change, avoiding the people, places, and situations in which they know hard drugs will be present. With smoking, this kind of a lifestyle change is usually impossible. There are people smoking everywhere; you can’t avoid smokers. You probably have friends and family members who smoke. This means that if you aren’t prepared and determined, you will face temptations that may make it very hard to follow through with your plan to quit smoking. What you must do is find a mindset, routine, and perhaps medical products that will allow you to resist temptation and come to terms with not smoking.
There are many good reasons to quit smoking, of course. Over a thousand people die in the United States every single day from smoking related diseases. That’s almost half a million people every year. On average, a smoker can expect to live around ten years fewer than a non-smoker, on average. But those are the kinds of facts we all know. There are the more subtle reasons to quit than your health. You can have a more pleasant time exercising once your lungs are feeling better once you’ve quit smoking. Your clothes and hands and hair won’t smell bad to the people around you anymore. You’ll have extra time every day once you quit smoking, and you’ll save a large amount of money. You won’t be giving your hard earned money to morally bankrupt smoking companies anymore, and you’ll have access to certain job and life opportunities that you didn’t have as a smoker. You won’t feel uncomfortable on long plane, train, or bus rides like a smoker would, and you won’t have to stand outside shivering on a winter day like a smoker would. The act of smoking fills the role of satisfying a craving caused by the addiction. Which is to say, it doesn’t do anything positive for your body except satisfy a need that it has created itself. Again, you probably know all of these things. Just having this kind of information isn’t enough to quit smoking, you need practical, concrete steps towards quitting. So here are some steps, some of them physical and some of them mental, that you can take towards quitting smoking for good and improving your life in a huge number of ways.
Top Tips For Quitting Smoking
Tell Everyone You’re Quitting
In most situations in life, people will suggest that you take steps to take the pressure off yourself so that you won’t get too stressed out. However, when it comes to quitting smoking, some experts suggest that you deliberately pile on the pressure. This means that you should tell your friends, family members, co-workers, and whoever else that you are planning on quitting smoking. This will raise the stakes beyond just a personal quest. You’ll have to question yourself as to whether having a single cigarette is worth letting down your spouse, parents, kids, or friends. These people will be rooting for you to quit and improve your health, and they are aware of how difficult it is to quit. By telling people that you’re in the process of quitting, you’ll probably become afraid of disappointing them, and for some people that is just the kind of motivation they need to fight the urge to smoke.
Read Alan Carr’s Book
Obviously there are many books, articles, and videos about the benefits of quitting smoking that offer people advice on how to drop the habit. However, few books are as acclaimed and popular as “The Easy Way To Stop Smoking” by Alan Carr. Many ex-smokers have credited the book as helping them finally distance themselves from cigarettes forever. The book has many unique ideas. First of all, it recommends that smokers continue smoking while reading the book and then quit once they’ve finished. It advocates against cutting down on cigarettes, as that only makes a cigarette seem more precious in a smoker’s mind. It recommends that people do not use nicotine patches, gum, or other nicotine products, as those only serve to keep one’s nicotine addiction going further and aren’t conducive to properly quitting. Carr makes the argument that quitting smoking is pretty easy compared to most things. The urge to smoke only lasts a few minutes at a time, and physical withdrawal symptoms only last for a few days and aren’t as unpleasant as people make them out to be. Carr says that one must simply consider themselves a non-smoker and stick to that line of thinking. His own method seems to have worked for him, as he quitted smoking after being a heavy long-term smoker, allegedly smoking around a hundred cigarettes a day at one point. Obviously Carr’s method requires a lot of willpower and, as such, it isn’t for everyone. Still, if you’re looking for a new way to think about quitting or if you’re looking for some motivation, “The Easy Way To Stop Smoking” may become your bible as it has for many people.
Keep Yourself Busy
So much of the addiction to nicotine is mental. For many people, when they go to quit smoking, they are frustrated by the kind of thoughts they start having. They fetishize the idea of cigarettes. They feel envy when they see other people smoking in public. They bargain with themselves; one cigarette as a reward for some kind of another good action, or one more cigarette and that’s it. The best way to avoid the kind of mental torture that comes with quitting smoking is to stay busy and keep your brain occupied on other things. Since you’ll hopefully be able to save the money that you were spending on cigarettes before, you’ll have some extra money to take up a new hobby that can keep your restless brain occupied. Since you’ll have some extra time that you used to spend going out for a smoke or going to the store to buy cigarettes, you can go for a little walk and calmly reflect. Spend more time working on your hobbies or on personal development and you’ll notice that the time since your last cigarette will start to feel as thought it has flown by.
One of the most important factors when it comes to quitting smoking, or anything else, is confidence. If you feel sure that you can do it, you will. If you feel weak or have a sense that you will fail, that will probably come true as well. Have faith in yourself and stay positive. What you’re trying to do is very difficult. Millions of people fail at quitting smoking every day. Instead of letting that discourage you, let it motivate you. You’re taking a huge step in a positive direction for your general wellbeing when you quit smoking and it’s important to remember that when you’re feeling bad. If you see someone smoking at a party or in the park, don’t feel envious of the pleasure that you feel that cigarette is giving them. Instead, feel proud of yourself that they’re smoking right now and you’re not, and that smoking is no longer a part of your life.
Recognize Your Triggers
Many smokers will realize, on reflection, that they have certain patterns that lead to smoking. Many people form a kind of mental bond between smoking a cigarette and drinking a cup of coffee so that it seems almost unimaginable to have one without the other. If that’s the case for you, consider dropping the coffee as well. Many people also have a kind of connection between drinking alcohol and smoking, with a cigarette starting to feel almost irresistible as they become drunk and lose their willpower. If that’s the case for you, consider giving up alcohol for a little while. While giving up coffee and alcohol may seem intolerable for some, realize that it is only a temporary step towards quitting smoking. Once you’ve broken those habits, you’ll be able to consider a cup of coffee or a can of beer without thinking of cigarettes. At this point, you can enjoy those substances again without them being triggers for your smoking addiction. Many people also form a connection between stress and smoking. This is a kind of paradox of course, because people also feel stressed when they want a cigarette. Which is to say, this stress that is relieved by smoking would not exist in the first place without the smoking. Still, if you recognize that you fail in your attempts to quit smoking while you’re stressed, then take steps to tackle the stress without using smoking. Meditation, therapy, and medication can be ways to tackle the stressful parts of your life without resorting to smoking carcinogenic products to improve your mood when you’re feeling bad.
Remove The Temptation
This seems obvious maybe, but when you’ve decided to quit smoking you need to get rid of everything in your home that is affiliated with smoking for you. The cigarettes need to go, as do ashtrays, as do lighters. If you’ve still got some cigarettes laying around the house, it’s really easy to pick up smoking again in a moment of weakness. If you would need to buy a pack, and a lighter from the store in order to have a single cigarette, maybe you’ll think twice and overcome a particularly bad craving. There is also temptation to bum a cigarette off of friends, which comes back to the importance of letting everyone know that you’re quitting. If your friends know you’re trying not to smoke anymore, they won’t want to give you a cigarette from their pack. Some people will keep some “emergency cigarettes” around the house, in the car, or at work once they’ve quit so that if they need a cigarette very badly, they can get their fix. This is probably an ill-advised idea. As Alan Carr talks about in his book, the second you have decided that you’ve quit smoking, you can consider yourself a non-smoker. A non-smoker has no use for cigarettes.
This list is but a starting point when it comes to good advice to help you quit smoking. Every smoker has a different relationship with the addiction, and a different relationship with their bodies, so there is no one size fits all solution. Still, there are many ideas that are applicable to everyone. It’s important to start exercising more as you’re quitting. You’ll notice an improvement in how your body feels, especially your respiratory system. This positive upswing in health will give you incentive to keep avoiding cigarettes, as you won’t want to lose all of your progress. It’s important to lean on your family and friends when you are having a hard time with quitting; they’ll want to know what you’re going through and will happy to offer you advice and support. Finally, treat yourself a little. Quitting anything is difficult, and you should make an effort to make yourself comfortable. Eat your favourite foods, watch your favourite movies and tv shows, and spend time relaxing. You’re making a huge life choice that will save years of your life and improve your life quality. Good luck!