The start of summer is the time for many to give their health and lifestyle habits a bit of a makeover. For those that smoke, stopping can be one great thing you can do to help your health. I won’t pretend to know what it’s like to quit smoking permanently as I’ve not done it, and this post isn’t about judgements on those of us that smoke. It’s a difficult addiction to beat whether you’re looking to cut down or quit cold turkey, so here’s a collaborative post covering just a few tips and suggestions that may help.
Smoking is a habit and addiction that is difficult to stop, but once you do quit, you’ll likely find that the quality of your life improves significantly.
Smoking comes with a lot of potential dangers, as we all know. On the extreme end of things, it increases your risks of dealing with heart and lung diseases in the future, and on the less extreme end, heartburns can be more common among smokers. The benefits are quitting can be many and varied, most notably including the reduced risk of lung diseases. Many find quitting itself to be a good treatment for heartburn that was caused by smoking. Here are five simple tips to help you quit your addiction.
1. Find Your Motivation
Quitting smoking isn’t as easy as saying the words “I’m never going to smoke again”. For the most part, it’s a full-blown addiction with habitual and ritual elements to it, so it’s not easy to simply quit. If you want to stop smoking for good, you need some solid motivation. To really drive it deep, it should be a very strong personal reason.
Some reasons other people have stopped smoking include lowering their risk of getting lung or heart-related diseases, extending their lifespan and protecting their loved ones from being exposed to second-hand smoking. It could be that you want to feel better, fitter, stronger and healthier, free from the cravings and addiction. Once you find that strong motivation, you are one step closer to achieving your goal.
Keep your motivation refreshed and at the forefront of your mind. You might want to try reminders or motivational mantras on sticky notes around the home to keep you on track.
2. Speak To Your Doctor
As mentioned earlier, smoking is often an addictive habit, so simply throwing out your cigarettes isn’t going to be enough to keep you grounded. Since it is an addiction, cessation can have some effects on your brain, as you’ll likely experience some pretty intense nicotine withdrawal.
That’s why it is important to speak to your doctor about your decision so they can discuss some additional options with you. Some of these options may include therapy, hypnosis, self help books, and classes designed to help you quit smoking, even meditation. They might provide the information or prescription, or signpost you to local services. Once you are equipped with this information, you can prepare for what is coming.
3. Consider Other Options
With nicotine withdrawal, your brain can try to trick you into feeling like you absolutely need to smoke. During this time, you may experience headaches, loss of appetite, mood swings, or constant drained energy. Just know that your brain will try to convince you that just one smoke will make you feel brand new.
Instead of going through this blindly, you might want to consider some options, one of which is nicotine replacement therapy. This may involve nicotine patches, nicotine gum, or lozenges. Several studies have been conducted on these therapy methods and suggest that they can successfully help many people quit smoking when combined with a corresponding program.
Cigarette alternatives are another option. Some people prefer to go cold turkey without moving on to vaping, whereas others find vaping or e-cigarettes to be the key to getting them off the cigarettes.
There are also things like self-help books, audiobooks, hypnosis, website tools, printable tracker sheets and apps that can help keep you accountable or give you ideas and inspiration.
There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to quitting, so it’s helpful to have a few options at your disposal to see what works for you.
4. Try Switching Up Your Diet
Smoking is often something you do after eating, and there is actually a reason for this. Studies have shown that some certain foods make you want to smoke and make a drag feel much more satisfying, for instance red meat and fatty foods.
On the other hand, vegetables, fruits and cheese can make cigarettes taste less appealing. So if your aim is to quit smoking, you might want to consider going over your diet and making some substitutions if you find that you’re mostly consuming the foods that make you want to smoke.
5. Lean On Family & Friends For Support
External support is often hugely beneficial in the process of stopping smoking. To better your chances of quitting, inform your family and your friends about your decision. Do this so they can encourage you when you are overwhelmed with the urge to smoke. You might also want to consider joining a support group in your local community so that you have a support system comprising people who have the same goal as you.
Not everyone will have a support system with friends and family, and not everyone will find the idea of an in-person community group appealing. As an alternative, there are various online tools, social media groups and forums that may be beneficial for support, new ideas and motivation.
[ This is a collaborative post & as such the ideas expressed here are that of the author ]