Everyone knows why smoking is bad. It gets hammered into our heads that it shaves ten years off the average smoker’s life; we see warnings on every tobacco product on the market, and 70 percent of smokers want to quit. Whether this is your first try, your tenth, or your 40th, you are not alone. Keep reading for some inspiration and maybe some new ideas to help you through.
Define Your Motive
You need to make your motive specific and clear for those times when you are questioning if you actually want to quit. If the general longer life, better health argument was enough, you wouldn’t have started in the first place. If it’s money, figure out how much money you will save and make a ledger. If it’s being there for your kids and grandkids, make a vision board with what you plan to do with them when you don’t have a smoker’s cough holding you back.
Choose Your Method
Fifty years ago, you pretty much had two options. Smoke or don’t smoke. Now, there are so many options it may be difficult to choose. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t fret. Just choose what resonates with you, and you can always reevaluate if it isn’t working.
This is very ineffective but some swear by it. These are usually the people who say they just woke up one day and didn’t want to smoke anymore.
Cutting back on smoking gradually is a good way to help reduce your nicotine cravings and get yourself used to occupying less of your time with smoking.
It has recently become apparent that e-cigarettes and vapes may be dangerous to your lungs because you are still inhaling unknown chemicals. You could eliminate the inhalation while still getting the nicotine and the ritual, by using non tobacco chew instead.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
This is often under the supervision of a doctor, who can prescribe pills, inhalers and even nasal sprays with nicotine. Lozenges, gums or patches are also an option. This is one of the more expensive methods in the present, but definitely less expensive than continuing to smoke in the long run.
Prepare for Withdrawal
Regardless of which method you choose, you are still saying goodbye to an aspect of your life that has been integrated into almost everything you do. Keep that in mind and prepare for the fact that you will experience some sort of withdrawal no matter what.
Line Up Support
We generally have an easier time doing something that is challenging when we have someone to cheer us on. Make sure you talk to your friends and family ahead of time and let them know what you are about to do. If you can, line up a couple of people ahead of time that you feel comfortable asking for help when you need it. You can also look for local or online support groups, and there are even numbers you can simply text to chat with someone who can give encouragement.
Choose a Day
This is a big and important decision, and treating it as such will help instill that into your mind. What you are doing for yourself will affect the rest of your life, as well as your friends and family. Make it the monumental deal that it is.
Ways to Help Get Through Cravings
You are going to need some go-to methods for making it through your cravings. Know that the average craving lasts about 15-20 minutes. They will keep coming in waves, but each one you make it through gets you closer to the end.
Though you can’t necessarily do it to get through every craving, exercise is a great tool. It triggers the release of dopamine in your brain and requires most if not all of your focus. If you join a gym or a fitness class, you can also get the social reward out of it too, increasing your likelihood of sticking with it.
Giving in to those munchies and eating sugary or salty foods will just intensify your desire for a cigarette in the end. Do your best to stick to fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Keep some crunchy healthy snacks on hand so you can reach for them when you want to reach for a cigarette.
Talk to a Friend
Chatting with friends gives you a hit of dopamine and distracts you from the mental anguish of wanting a cigarette. Just make sure you’re avoiding spending time with friends who smoke, and don’t spend time with them where you would normally smoke.
A massage is a great way to relax when your withdrawal has you tense, and you deserve it! Most places have packages where you get a discount if you buy more than one session at a time. Go ahead and treat yourself.
Black pepper has proven to help reduce cigarette cravings significantly, and it also stimulates the respiratory system in a way that feels similar to smoking. Some people simply put a drop of the essential oil onto a tissue and take a deep breath when they want to smoke.
Keep Your Hands Busy
Now is as good a time as any to take up that new hobby you’ve been considering. Try planting a garden, knitting, woodworking, cooking, painting, whatever strikes your fancy.
Don’t Give Up
You may not have been successful at quitting in the past, but you can do it. Every time you try gets you closer to the time you never smoke again. So take a deep breath, plant your feet, stand tall, and get ready for a journey to a healthier tomorrow.