10 Helpful Suggestions for Giving Up Smoking
I just marked the one-year anniversary of the day when I decided to stop smoking. So, in terms of stopping for good… Just like the majority of smokers, I had attempted to kick the habit several times but was unsuccessful. But this time it was different, and I’d want to reveal the top ten elements that contributed to this quitting being effective while past attempts had been unsuccessful.
1. Give Yourself Completely to the Cause.
I only put only about half of my effort into the attempts to quit that were unsuccessful. I lied to myself and said I wanted to give up, but a part of me always had the feeling that I wouldn’t be successful. I did not put anything in writing, and I did not inform anybody else (maybe my wife, but just her). I made sure to record it this time. I made a plan and wrote it down. I discussed it in a blog post. A solemn promise was made to my child. I broke the news to my loved ones and close friends. I went online and signed up for a forum for former smokers. I was given prizes. A good number of them are going to be covered in the next advice, but the important thing to remember is that I went all in, and there was no going back. I did not make it simple for myself to fail in everything I attempted.
2. Make a Plan.
You can’t simply get up and announce, “Today is the day I’m going to stop.” It is necessary for you to get ready. Make preparations. Have a method of incentives, a support system, and someone you can contact for help if you find yourself in a bind. Put in writing what you intend to do the next time you experience the desire. It should be printed. Put it up on the wall where you work as well as where you live. You’ve already lost the game if you wait until you have the impulse to figure out what you’re going to do before you try to make a decision. When such desires do strike, you have to be prepared to act.
3. Be aware of your own motivations.
Your mind will try to convince you otherwise whenever the need strikes. “What could possibly go wrong?” And you’ll lose track of the reason you’re engaging in this behavior. Know the reason for your actions BEFORE you feel the need to do them. Is it for your children to consume? On behalf of your wife? Regarding your health… So you can run? Because the lady you want doesn’t like smokers? Have a very excellent cause or many very good reasons for giving up. Make a list of them. You should print them out. Hang it up on the wall. And make sure you remind yourself of these reasons on a daily basis and whenever you feel the temptation.
4. Not Even a Single Draw, Ever (N.O.P.E.).
The human mind is a complex organ. You will be led to believe that smoking one cigarette is harmless. And it is difficult to disagree with such reasoning, particularly when you are in the midst of an impulse to do something. And it is really hard to argue against such desires. Refrain from giving in. Tell yourself that you will not smoke even a single puff again, even if the impulse to do so arises in the future. Because the reality is that even just one puff will induce discomfort. One puff may easily lead to two, and then three, and before you know it, you’re not trying to stop anymore; you’re back to smoking. Don’t deceive yourself in any way. A single puff will almost always result in a decline in financial well-being. NOT EVEN ONE SNIFF SHOULD BE TAKEN!
5. Sign up for a forum.
An online support group for people who are trying to stop smoking (quitsmoking.about.com) was one of the things that was most helpful in this quit… When you’re in a bad mood, you’re less likely to feel alone. In the end, two heads are better than one. Go online, write about your miserable experience, get to know people who are going through the exact same thing you are, and read about those who are having it even worse than you are. Best rule: Post Before You Smoke. You will be able to resist this impulse if you establish this rule for yourself and adhere to it. You will get assistance from other people. They will rejoice with you when you make it through the first day, the second day, the third day, the fourth day, the first week, and beyond. It’s a ton of fun to do.
6. Give yourself a reward.
Make a game plan for how you will spend your prizes. Reward yourself after the first day, and then again after the second, and then again after the third. If you want to, you may do the fourth one, but you should wait until after the first and second weeks at the very least. And the first month, and the second month. And a period of one year and six months. Make sure they are prizes that are worthwhile and that you will look forward to receiving, such as CDs, books, DVDs, T-shirts, shoes, a massage, a bike, supper at your favorite restaurant, a hotel stay, or anything else that is within your financial means. Even better: put each day’s money that you would have spent on cigarettes into a jar instead of spending it on cigarettes. This is the Jar that contains your Rewards. Go nuts! Toast each and every one of your victories! You deserve it.
Wait if you feel the need to do anything. Carry out the activities listed below: take 10 deep breaths. Drink water. Have a bite to eat (at first it was candy and gum, then I switched to healthier stuff like carrots and frozen grapes and pretzels). Call your support person. Make a post in the topic for those trying to quit smoking. Exercise. DO WHATEVER IT TAKES, BUT DELAY, DELAY, DELAY. You will get through this, and the temptation to do it will eventually go. When it does, rejoice! You’ll be able to beat this if you just focus on overcoming one craving at a time.
8. Substitute constructive behaviors with destructive ones.
When you’re feeling stressed out, what do you do? If smoking is your current go-to stress reliever, you’re going to need to find something else to occupy your mind and hands. The combination of doing deep breathing exercises, self-massaging my neck and shoulders, and regular exercise has done wonders for me. Other habits, like as what you do first thing in the morning, what you do in the vehicle, or wherever you often smoke, should be replaced with ones that are healthier and more productive. Running has been the most beneficial habit I’ve developed, but I also have a few others that have helped me kick the smoking habit.
9. If you can survive Hell Week and then Heck Week, you will be successful overall.
The first two days after quitting are often the most challenging. If you are able to get over that, you have successfully completed the nicotine withdrawal stage, and from here on out, the withdrawal symptoms are mostly mental. However, the whole of the first week is a living misery. This is the reason why it’s known as Hell Week. After that, things will start to become less difficult. The second week is known as Heck Week, and although it is still challenging, it is not nearly as challenging as the first week. After that, everything went down without a hitch for me. I only had to deal with intense impulses once in a while, but the rest of the time, I only had mild urges, and I was certain that I could get through anything that came my way.
10. Get Back Up Again If You Fall. And Remember to Grow from Your Errors.
Yes, we all fail. That does not imply that we are not successful, nor does it indicate that we will never be successful. It is not the end of the world if you happen to take a tumble. Get back up, dust yourself off, and give it another go. Before I finally achieved success, I had a lot of previous failures. However, do you know what? Every one of those setbacks imparted valuable knowledge to me. I admit that on sometimes I was guilty of making the same errors more than once, but in the end I became wiser. Determine what the barriers to your success are, and make a strategy for how you will overcome them in your future attempt to stop smoking. And don’t make your next attempt to stop smoking a few months after the last one. Allow yourself a few days to plan and prepare for it, then make a full commitment to doing it, and go for it!
BONUS TIP #11: THINK POSITIVE.
This is the most essential piece of advice of them all. I saved that until last. Even though it seems trite, having a positive, can-do attitude is the single most important factor in determining whether or not you will be successful. Trust me. It is effective. Tell yourself that you are capable of completing the task, and you will succeed. If you keep telling yourself that you can’t do the task, you won’t be able to. Maintain an optimistic attitude even when circumstances are difficult! It IS possible for you to resist the impulse. It IS possible for you to survive Hell Week. And you can. I did. In addition to millions of other people. There is no difference between you and us. (In my situation, it’s much worse.)
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