Thousands and thousands of people across the country have tried and failed to quit smoking. There are also many thousands who have decided to quit and successfully done it. Here are a few tips from those who have managed to drop their smoking habit.
Know Why You Are Quitting
You want to quit smoking, but do you know why you want to quit smoking. “Because smoking is bad for you” is not a strong enough reason to quit. We all know it is bad for us. You probably knew smoking was bad for you long before you started smoking. To really be motivated to quit, and stay motivated to quit, you need a personal reason to quit. Maybe the desire to feel younger and look younger is your reason. Maybe you want to stay healthier to be around longer for your children and grandchildren. Perhaps you have decided to undertake a daunting physical challenge like running a marathon. Whatever the reason, it needs to be something important to you to help fight the urge to have “just one”.
Cold Turkey Is Not The Way To Go
If you are thinking about quitting, just completely cutting loose may seem like a good idea, but for most of us it is not. Out of those who try to go cold turkey without any medication or therapy, 95% end up relapsing. Nicotine is addictive and your body will crave it. If it does not get the nicotine it is craving, nicotine withdrawal will occur. Headaches, dizziness, depression, and irritability can set in. You are far better off trying to wean yourself off of it, then dropping the habit all at once.
Try some sort of nicotine replacement therapy. Nicotine gum or patches can double your chances of successfully quitting smoking.
Tell Everyone You Plan To Quit
Tell your friends, family, co-workers, and even your pseudo-Facebook friends. Just like any other goal, telling people about it will help hold you more accountable to it. You might want to even take it a step further and find a local support group to join. Managing your mind is just as important as managing your cravings while trying to quit.
Nicotine does have a relaxing effect on our bodies. Once you quit, you need to find another way to help cope with stress. Massages, relaxing music, yoga, and exercise are all popular methods people use to relieve stress. During the first few weeks after you quit smoking, try to avoid stressful situations when possible. Stress is one of the causes of people falling back into their old smoking habit.
There are certain things that you may do that will trigger your craving for a cigarette. Alcohol is a very common one, so try to avoid it or at least drink less when you first quit. If you usually smoke right after eating, try chewing a piece of gum instead. Many people who smoke love a cigarette with coffee. If you are one of them, switch to tea for your caffeine for the first few weeks.
Physical activity will help to reduce your cravings for nicotine and can soften some of the withdrawal symptoms. If you are feeling a craving, go for a walk or a jog. Even something simple like doing some yard work can help. In addition to helping you fight your cravings, the extra exercise will help prevent some of the weight gain that is fairly common with those who first quit smoking.
Quitting smoking is not easy, whether you have been a smoker for 20+ years or the past 3 years. Do not give up. If you do not succeed your first time, that does not mean you should not try again. Giving up your smoking habit can have a hugely positive impact on both how you feel and how you look. It is worth the challenge.