Are you shackled to the demon of smoking? We know the health risks of smoking, but that doesn’t make it easier to quit the habit. Whether you’re an occasional smoker or a lifetime pack-a-day smoker, quitting tobacco can be a daunting task.
You smoke a cigarette. Then, you reach out to another one, and it continues. You are in a vicious cycle. Who is the culprit? The active ingredient in tobacco - “Nicotine”. It is nicotine’s “feel good” effect on the brain that makes you crave cigarettes.
No matter how hard it is to break the habit, you can certainly put an end to it. You can follow these measures and wean yourself off!
Set a quick date
Mark a specific date on your calendar. Take enough time to prepare your mind without losing motivation to quit smoking. If you mainly smoke at work during the weekdays, you can quit on the weekend. So, you have a few days to adjust to the change.
Write down your smoking triggers
Certain instances trigger you to take a puff. Note down when you smoke, why you smoke, and what you are doing when you smoke. Put in efforts to avoid them, and you can cease the smoking habit.
Strong reasons keep you motivated and help you quit smoking. The reasons could be:
- To protect your family from secondhand smoke
- To lower your risk of getting lung cancer, or heart disease
- To look and feel younger.
You have to choose a reason that makes you determined to evanesce the urge to light up a cigarette.
Tell family, friends, and co-workers that you plan to quit
When you firmly decide to forgo smoking tobacco, discuss your plan to stop smoking. Make your friends and family an active part of your mission to quit the habit. With their support and encouragement to stop, you can quit sooner. Look for a companion who wants to stop smoking like you. You can help each other get through the phase and say an early goodbye to tobacco.
Anticipate and plan for the challenges
Most people who begin smoking again do so within the first three months. You can help yourself make it through by preparing for challenges, such as nicotine withdrawal and cigarette cravings. You can remove cigarettes and other tobacco products from your home, car, and work. Get rid of anything and everything that gives the tendency to smoke. Throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, ashtrays, and matches. Wash your clothes and freshen up anything that smells like smoke.
Give yourself ways to relax
If smoking is your way of dealing with stress, fighting back against a tobacco craving can itself be stressful? Do something that calms you down, such as taking a warm bath, meditating, reading a book, doing yoga, visualization, massage, or listening to calming music.
Consider Nicotine replacement therapy
When you stop smoking, nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood, or sap your energy. Nicotine replacement therapy can curb these urges. These products slowly break your addiction with controlled doses of nicotine that get lower and lower as you take them. So, you get used to less and less nicotine before you stop altogether.
Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings. Even short bursts of exercise can make a tobacco craving go away. You can go out for a walk or jog. Engage yourself in squats or take the stairs.
What you should eat
Try to eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. These are good for your body. Give your mouth something to do to resist a tobacco craving. You can chew sugarless gum or hard candy, or have something crunchy and tasty like nuts.
Resist the urge to smoke
You might want to have just one cigarette to resist your tobacco craving. But, having just one leads to one more. And you may end up using tobacco again. Every time you resist a tobacco craving, reward yourself with something fun. Keep your hands busy if you cannot constrain your impulse to take a puff. You can squeeze balls, and use pencils, or paper clips.
You can do it!
After you take that last puff, your body will start to recover. 20 minutes after quitting, your heartbeats and blood pressure drops. Carbon monoxide levels in your blood will drop after a week. Within a week, it will be easier to breathe. In a few years, the risks of getting cancer and heart attacks drops dramatically. Are you ready to go strong with your “Quit Smoking” plan?!
If you still feel it tough to break your smoking habit, you can reach out to the Psychology Department at Cancer Clinics. Our experienced psychologists work to craft a personalized “Quit Smoking” plan and help you abstain from smoking tobacco with relative ease.