Smoking is a habit which turns into addiction very easily. Everyone of us who start smoking never expect to become addicted. It starts with one cigarette you smoked because to look cool or under influence of close ones or just curiously. Once you start taking it, body and mind quickly get used to nicotine. Soon, you want to have more. But no matter in which stage you are, you can quit smoking. Let’s get to the information you need to quit smoking.
You need to understand that tobacco cravings or urges can be controlled by you only. When you stop smoking, your body has to get used to not having nicotine. That’s withdrawal.
Withdrawal symptoms are common. Craving cigarettes, feeling irritable and trouble sleeping are common symptoms which last a few days to few weeks. The first week after quitting is when you are most at risk for a slip because withdrawal symptoms are strongest. So, you will make a plan which will help you to get rid of this habit permanently. Take your best effort.
Here, are the 10 tested ways which can help you resist the urge to smoke and helps in quitting it.
1. Make a Plan and Stick to it
After you made the decision to quit smoking, you need to know beforehand what will happen to you in next few weeks. This will make you ready for the obvious things and you can tackle them easily. Revisiting your quit plan can make your quit days little easier. You will stay focused, confident and fully motivated to quit and stay quit. If you haven’t made a quit plan yet, just do it!
2. Learn and Avoid Smoking Triggers
Whenever you get triggers or urges, you smoke. These urges may be the situations like feeling stressed or habit like after food/coffee or the places like party/bars. So, Triggers are the places, things and situations that set off your urge to smoke. Identify your trigger situations and make a plan accordingly to avoid Or manage them entirely till you quit smoking.
Learn to Spot your Smoking Triggers :
Few days before the day you will stop smoking, keep a journal and record the urges through out the day. Make notes on phone or notebook that you can easily carry with you. Every time you light a cigarette, record it.
- Time of day and how many per day.
- Intensity of your craving on a scale of 1 to 5.
- What you were doing at that moment
Learn to Avoid triggers :
Once you are aware of your pattern, then next step is to learn to avoid them. When an urge to use tobacco strikes, always remember it will probably pass within five to 10 minutes. Each time you resist a tobacco craving, you are one step closer to stop this habit.
Better plan is to outsmart your triggers before they strike. To do this, change your routines and surrounding so that you can avoid the triggers. Here are some tips to help you out:
- Spend time with non smokers more as hint of smoking by smell also can make you do it for few days.
- Throw away your all cigarettes, lighters and ashtrays. Don’t keep even one cigarette.
- Avoid too much caffeine, it can make you feel jittery, dehydrated and irritable. Try drinking water or juices instead.
- Go to places where smoking isn’t allowed and explore new places to go for keeping you excited.
- Eat healthy and can add healthy snacks for free time to keep your mouth busy for few days.
3. Stay Positive
Once you set the quit day, you need to be positive about the decision. Quitting starts with one moment, one hour and one day at a time. Take your first step and keep yourself motivated. Pay attention to this moment and the time will add up. It helps to stay positive. Your quit day might not be the perfect but all that matters is that you don’t smoke. Reward yourself for even small steps like being smoke-free for 24 hours as you deserve it.
4. Increase Physical Activity
According to the studies, increase physical activity secretes hormones in the body which can help you from tobacco cravings and reduce their intensity. Even short burst of physical activity like running up and taking stairs a few times can make a craving go away. So, exercise everyday and make a routine to do it.
If you’re stuck at the office, try to do stretches on the chair and take 5 minutes break to take a walk or a set of stairs. It can elevate your mood and will make you more happy.
5. Practice Relaxation Techniques
You need to have a calm mind to achieve any goals. You need to be relax and able to enjoy your day without smoking. Feeling stress can trigger craving and can keep you on your toes whole day. Believe that once you are done with smoking, you will have great days.
Try to control stress by practicing relaxation techniques. You can learn them and then practice as much as possible. You can choose any of them like deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, visualization, massage or listen meditative music. There are lot of options, choose yours.
6. Eat healthy
To control this habit you need a calm mind and healthy body. To control withdrawal symptoms, you need a healthy diet which can keep you energetic through out the the day and will make you less irritable. Try to include healthy options in your diet and take 5-6 small meals.
As smoking make you feel something missing and you start having craving, chew on gum or candy. You can choose the other options like raw carrots, celery, nuts or sunflower seeds, something crunchy and satisfying.
7. Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is a therapy which helps in dealing with withdrawal symptoms and to control cravings. This is a option you can ask from your doctor. The options which will be given to you include:
- Prescription nicotine in form of nasal spray or inhaler.
- Over-the-counter nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.
- Prescription non-nicotine stop-smoking medications
The options of spray, gums, lozenges are Short-acting nicotine replacement therapies which can help you overcome the episode of intense cravings. These can be use with combination of long-acting nicotine patches or medications as per advised by the doctor. Don’t self medicate yourself with these options without professional help.
A new alternative is available now a days which has lot of attention are Electronic cigarettes. More studies are needed to determine the efficacy and side effects of electronic cigarettes for smoking cessation and the long-term safety of these devices. So, discuss this option with your doctor.
8. Join Group
To keep yourself motivated, you need a support group. Touch base with any of family member, friend or support group member for help in your effort to resist a tobacco craving. You need someone to talk to who will keep you motivated. You can discuss the obstacles and problems you are facing at that time. Take a walk together, share a few laughs or get together. It will make a difference.
9. Remind yourself of the benefits
Why you want to quit smoking ? Write it down and maintain a journal, the reasons for which you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. To make yourself better, for getting healthier, to save money, for loved ones. Read this journal everyday to keep yourself focused.
10. Take online support
If you are unable to get a support group, friends who dont smoke because of any reasons like very busy schedule or living single. You have option to join an online stop-smoking program, help groups to chat. Read blogs and discussion forums to understand that there are others like you who are trying. Learn from them to handle your situation.
Remember, each time you resist a tobacco craving, you’re one step closer to being totally tobacco-free. Keep trying and you will quit smoking and one day it’s not going to bother you anymore. All the best!
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