We all know that smoking isn't good for us. It's a proven fact that smoking is a leading cause in lung cancer, among many other health issues. But as with other drugs, they are terribly addicting. So how does one manage to break free from the hold that a smoking habit has on someone?
1. Believe That You Can
The first step is just believing that you have the willpower within you to quit. So, before ever laying down the cigarette, search deep within yourself and find that willpower, find the reasons that you, yourself, know you need to quit smoking. Is if for your spouse? Your kids? Your own health? Your job? Your money situation? All of the above? Once you have came to a realization, and believe that you can quit, you are ready to make the next step.
2. Get Support
Though you have the strength and willpower within you to quit, encouragement is very necessary in the beginning of breaking a habit. It is vital to the outcome of your new journey to have the support of friends and family. If you have smoking friends, ask them to join you in your quest for freedom - and if they can't, ask them to at least respect you and not smoke around you. True friends will do all they can to help you overcome your addiction.
3. Start Exercising
Believe it or not, exercising will actually aid you in the process of breaking your smoking habit. As one site said, "Exercise is simply incompatible with smoking." For many smokers, the act of smoking is a stress-reliever. Exercise does the same thing - only having positive effects on your body rather than negative. Talk to your doctor before starting an exercise regimen.
4. Try Yoga
Yoga has the same effect on your body as exercise. Yoga is calming - yet strengthening. If your health care professional doesn't think that active exercise is a good idea at present, try yoga, since it is less strenuous on your body.
5. Plan a Celebration
The excitement and anticipation of having a party with family and friends in honor of your success may be just the incentive you need to carry on! A couple weeks into your quitting process, as it's getting really hard to stick with it, start planning a party. Not only will it give you incentive, but it will be something to take your mind off of it as well.
6. Drink Lots of Water
Not only is water good for you in general, it's good to help flush out the nicotine and other chemicals out of your body. Besides, putting a straw dipped in a bottle of water in your mouth may help to satisfy that need to have something small and round in your mouth!
7. Avoid "Triggers"
What's that? A "trigger" is something - a habit - that triggers the need to have a cigarette. For instance, when you're stressed, after a meal, taking a drive, etc. If completely avoiding these situations is impossible, (like finishing a meal) simply find another way to deal with them, or something else to do.
8. Keep a Journal
Whenever the familiar urge hits you, rather than reaching for you pack and a lighter, reach for your journal and a pen. Write down what you're feeling, what you want, and anything else you feel like writing. Don't stop until the urge has left you and you're feeling normal again. And whatever you do, don't dwell on that cigarette!
9. Find a Replacement
If holding a cigarette is what you miss, find you something else to hold. Many people use straws. Others find that those artificial cigarettes work wonders. Whatever works, go for it!
I've never personally dealt with a cigarette addiction, though a few in my family have. I don't envy your position, and know it must be hard to give up something like that. Good luck on quitting, and remember - it's for your family, but most importantly, it's for your health!
Do you know any tips to help a smoker quit, that I didn’t mention?
Top Photo Credit: Muadh N M