Quitting smoking seems like one of the hardest things to do ever!
People seem to always be stuck in a limbo of constant quitting and re-addicting themselves.
It's so hard to quit because of nicotine withdrawal.
Not only does smoking become part of a daily routine, the chemical nicotine makes it uncomfortable to quit.
- Change your routine. If you're in the habit of smoking after meals, make sure to leave the table as soon as you finish eating. Start a new, healthy habit, like taking a short walk after each meal.
- Whenever possible, avoid situations where you know you'll have the urge to smoke, particularly in the first few days of nicotine withdrawal.
- Spend as much time as possible in places where smoking isn't allowed. Libraries, museums, theaters, and churches are just a few examples.
- Make your home and car smoke-free zones by asking others not to smoke there.
That's just to try and break the routine of smoking, which is ingrained in your brain, so it can take some time to get away from.
When it comes to the chemical side of things, it might be a bit harder, but there are some great ways to try and overcome nicotine withdrawal, like:
- Change the scene. Get up and move around, go into a different room, or go outside.
- Change your thinking. Try to find a way to redirect your thoughts away from the idea of a cigarette. Remind yourself of your reasons for quitting and tell yourself that smoking is not an option.
- Exercise. It reduces cravings, helps relieve stress, improves mood, and can help to keep you from gaining weight.
- Breathe deeply. Visualize the fresh air filling your lungs and remind yourself of the health benefits of quitting smoking. Learning relaxation and meditation techniques could help.
- Drink fluids. Water and juice are good choices — if you’re concerned about weight gain, dilute juice with seltzer. It's best to limit caffeine and alcohol while you're going through nicotine withdrawal, particularly if you associate them with smoking.
- Have a substitute. Eat a healthy snack, chew sugarless gum, or have a piece of hard candy or a mint when you have the urge for a cigarette, but be sure to avoid any foods that you associate with a cigarette.
- Hold something in your hand. Try a pen, coin, or paper clip, so that you have something to do with your hands, the way you did when you were smoking cigarettes.
- Talk to someone. Call a friend or relative or speak with a sympathetic person in your office.
- Be more active. Get involved in an activity you enjoy. Do a puzzle, send an e-mail, play a musical instrument, knit, write in your journal, organize your photos, play a video game. Find an activity that will occupy your hands and change the focus of your thoughts.
- Delay. Tell yourself you must wait 10 minutes before you have a cigarette. By then, the urge may have passed. If not, try another 10-minute wait. Cravings usually come and go, and last for only a brief period of time. Remind yourself that the craving will pass. The nicotine withdrawal period will pass, too.
So follow those tips and hopefully you will be able to kick the habit once and for all!
Do it for you, do it for your health!