For non-smokers, it may be difficult to understand why those who smoke do so in the first place. After all, the health risks caused by smoking, such as heart disease, lung cancer, high blood pressure and stroke are fully publicized, and there are virtually no positive effects given back.
So why do they even start in the first place? There are various ways why smokers get sucked into the cigarette-induced addiction, such as peer pressure or the feeling of relaxation produced by nicotine.
If you are a smoker and you want to quit, congratulations. If you have tried it before, then you may have found out how difficult the process can be. Fortunately, it can be done! Read on below for tips on how to kick this bad habit to the curb.
1. Set a date
Pick a day on the calendar, and tell yourself that on that day, you are going to stop – and never return to – smoking. When that day comes, prepare yourself fully by throwing away all the cigarettes, the ashtrays, the lighters and the pipes that you have.
Get rid of the “stale cigarette smell” in your home or car. Pledge yourself that this time, you really have to quit smoking.
2. Write down the things you like about smoking
On a sheet of paper, try to write the things you like about smoking. On the other side of the paper, write how the things that you like affect the lives of your loved ones as well as your own life. Think about the list and take note of how your opinion changes over time.
Write down the amount of money you could save, the potential harmful risks that you’d be able to remove yourself from, and how the quality of lives of those close to you would become better.
3. Commit yourself fully
In order to quit smoking, you have to commit yourself fully. If you believe that you will fail, then you will. Always think about how you’d like to stop smoking, and commit yourself into the act.
It may be hard, and there may be times that you would teeter over the edge, but always pledge your whole being into quitting. You can tell people close to you, join forums online, and most of all. Telling others helps make it difficult for you to revert back to smoking.
4. Try to replace the “benefits” of smoking
You may say, nicotine is calming and helps you to relax. There are various ways to relax, such as taking a walk or doing yoga. Or, smoking helps your mouth feel busy. Why not replace it with gum or something else?
Expect the challenges to quitting, and try to come up with activities that you can use in order for you to deal with quitting, so that when the time comes that you have to face them, you have various options under your sleeve that you can use.
5. Motivate yourself
Why are you quitting? What are the benefits? Whose benefits are these for, anyway? Don’t let your mind get away with rationalizing – the process of creating reasons in order for you to get away with smoking. Spend some time thinking about your motivations.
Write them down, post them anywhere that you can easily see them, so that you will not get swayed by your thoughts and urges.
6. Use the rewards system
Rewards are definitely one of the best positive reinforcements, and when you beat a milestone, reward yourself with something that you really want (although not, of course, a cigarette).
Think about things that you want, and when you get through a day without smoking, reward yourself with one of those things. Do so on the first week, the first month, the first three months, and so on.
7. Don't give in to the urge
Think that a single puff of somebody else’s cigarette will do no harm? Don’t even think about it. If you’re staring at a co-worker or a family member who is smoking and you feel the urge, step away and go for a walk.
That one puff will eventually lead to another, and the third, until finally you find out you have finished that cigarette. Do not ever give in to the urge to take one single puff.
8. Resist the temptation
If you cannot get away from the abovementioned situation, try the following steps: Take deep breaths. Drink water or eat anything.
Just do anything that will distract you from the urgent need to begin smoking – and if you ever do get through from this experience, give yourself a reward.
9. Don't give up
If you find yourself taking a puff from a cigarette, do not let all your efforts waste. Remember that you are human and mistakes do happen, and begin Day One again the next day.
This may be your first time in trying to quit or it’s your gazillionth attempt, but we all make mistakes.
So get up on your feet, and get away from that person – or anything that gives you the uncontrollable urge to start smoking again.
10. Always believe in yourself and think positive thoughts
Negativity is often the start of difficulties and failures. Condition your mind to think positively – you can quit smoking, regardless of the number of attempts. This may be difficult for those who are naturally pessimistic, and it may sound cliché and overrated, but if you trust and believe in yourself, you can do it.
Everyone who has smoked and stopped has been through your experience, and there are tens of thousands of them who have resisted the urge and came away smoke-free. So if ever you’re feeling down or if you slipped off and fell back to your old routine, you can always get up and try again.
Everyone who has been in your experience has done so, one time or another. Failure comes when you no longer want to quit smoking because you believe that you can never do it.
If you quit smoking, you will find that quitting brings along its share of benefits over time – whether it is twenty minutes or twenty years. You will look and feel younger.
The risk of acquiring cancer and emphysema is dramatically cut into half. So what are you waiting for? Prime yourself up and get ready for better lungs and a better life!