Tips and tricks to stop smoking and stick to it
With New Year now here, many of you will have made New Year’s resolutions to; lose weight, give up smoking, do regularly good deeds and so on. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks for those of you wanting to quit smoking, and stick at it too.
Have a reason to quit
Many of you will want to quit smoking ‘just because’, but sometimes that’s just not a good enough reason and you may find yourself smoking again before you know it. Pick a really good reason. For example, do the maths and figure out how much you spend, then choose to save and spend that money on something else, or use your family as your reason, they want you around and healthy after all.
Make the necessary preparations
Going ‘cold turkey’ isn’t as easy as it sounds, particularly because smoking is an addiction. It’s wise to tell others around you what you’re planning to do to avoid the “Do you want to go for a smoke?” scenario or to avoid them smoking in front of you where possible. Also, they can be the support network that you need – if they know you’re trying to quit they’ll know to expect mood swings, they’ll know to say a firm “no” if you cave and ask for a cigarette, and they’ll be there to provide you with congratulations when you hit milestones.
There are other options too. You can download apps, attend smoking classes, look into meditation classes and even counselling or hypnotherapist appointments.
Quitting smoking, particularly for heavy smokers, can lead to nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as headaches, mood swings and a lack of energy. Nicotine-replacements, such a nicotine gum, nicotine lozenges and even nicotine patches can help to improve your chances of sticking to your guns.
Many choose to switch to e-cigarettes, but reports show that these can be just as addictive as cigarettes, so it’s best to steer clear of these if you can.
Steer clear of certain situations
For the first few weeks at the very least it’s best to try to avoid stressful situations or social situations where smoking is a large part.
When stressed, smokers turn to cigarettes to help calm their emotions and reduce their stress levels. However when you’re quitting smoking and you don’t have cigarettes to calm you down, the risk of you saying exactly what you’re thinking are more likely – removing yourself from stressful situations reduces your chance of exploding inappropriately or tracking down a cigarette in order to calm yourself down.
Similarly, social situations where members of the group go outside to smoke are best to steer clear of. You may think that you’re going to be strong and not be tempted to go outside with the smokers, but all it may take is someone asking if you want to join them, or you have one too many drinks and think just the one cigarette won’t cause any harm to your quitting. Don’t risk it, not for the first few weeks at least – wait until you’re feeling stronger.
Once you’ve made the decision to quit smoking, throw away all ash trays, lighters and smoking paraphernalia. Once you’ve done that, spring clean your house (and car if you smoke there too) to remove any sign that you smoked. It’ll need to be an indepth clean as smoke gets into everything, but you’ll feel so much better to no longer have a house, clothes and car that reek of smoke.
It’s the perfect time to get fit and healthy – help those lungs back to their best. When craving the taste of nicotine, why not reach for a piece of fruit or veg, or put on your trainers and go for a run, or walk the dog? You’ll feel much better and you’ll not only start to feel healthier, but also will see the pounds dropping off in no time.
When you hit milestones, such as one, six and twelve months smoke free, treat yourself. Treating yourself makes it all that little more worthwhile – you’re more likely to stick at it if you’re rewarding yourself.
And don’t beat yourself up
If you do cave in and have a cigarette, remember that it isn’t the end of the world, just start from the beginning again. If you made it for 80 days smokefree before caving, try to go 81 days the next time, then 82 days and so on. Figure out why you had a relapse and bear that in mind if you’re ever in that situation again – and find a distraction, something to replace the need or want for a cigarette. Caving once doesn’t mean you can’t try again – keep trying until you’ve quit for good.
If you’re looking to quit smoking, good luck, you can do it! Don’t wait until the New Year to start either, there’s no time like the present.
Found in Health Awareness