Thanks to the combined efforts of us die-hard therapists, the ‘recently on-board’ government agencies and private health organisations, more and more people are recognising the deadly effects of smoking.
And if you are a smoker who has just recently decided to quit, you just made one of the best decisions of your life. Quitting smoking is not always easy, especially if you have been a smoker for many years. But once you have beaten the bad habit, you begin to experience rapid and massive improvement in the quality of your health and well-being.
Quitting can be really tough because cigarettes contain an addictive substance called nicotine. When your body runs out of it, you experience withdrawal symptoms, such as intense craving, nausea, irritability and more. But don’t worry, these unwanted feelings are only temporary. Once your body get used to the absence of nicotine once again, you will star to feel much, much better.
Below are some great tips to deal with the hardest days (often the first few weeks) of quitting smoking:
Drinking alcohol is one of the easiest ways to break your commitment to quit smoking for good. That is because it weans down your willpower, so you end up lighting once more. Also, many people associate cigarette smoking with alcohol drinking.
Go to places where you can’t smoke.
Going to pubs and places where smoking is allowed is not going to help you resist the urge to light up. So don’t make it too difficult for yourself, and stay away from these places! Find your smoke-free zone. Dine at a restaurant that strictly prohibits smoking, go to a library and work from there, or somewhere else where you are not distracted with people who smoke.
Hold on to your commitment.
You must have very important reasons for quitting smoking. It could be health-related or something more personal. Maybe you have seen many people lose their lives and family because of their addiction to cigarettes, or you don’t want your children to be smokers themselves in the future. Whenever your quit smoking journey gets tougher, think of your reasons. They will help you stay committed.
Exercise is a scientifically proven way to fight nicotine cravings associated with smoking cessation. When you exercise, your brain releases endorphins – the “feel good” compounds that boost your mood and well-being, so you are less likely to crave for cigarettes. Furthermore, exercising helps your body recover faster from the health effects of cigarettes, particularly on your heart and lungs.
Plan it out.
If you want to increase your chances of success, you’ve got to plan it out really well. Preparation is essential to quitting smoking. Begin by setting a timeline. When do you intend to stop smoking completely? Next, write down what strategies you are going to take. Are you going to try patches or will you go with a therapy or counselling? What about hypnotherapy? Write down your options. Do your homework. Research on various tips and tricks to fight cigarette cravings. Being prepared matters so much.
People who eat whole, fresh produce tend to experience less cigarette cravings than those who opt for fatty and sugary processed meals. Try nibbling on a slice of fresh carrot. You will find that it actually weans your urge to light up.
Secure your support system.
Knowing that someone is there to support you strengthens your will to quit smoking and inspire you more to make better and healthier lifestyle changes. Tell your family and friends that you are quitting smoking. It would be better if you can ask a friend or family member who smokes to quit with you. Having supportive people around can make quitting incredibly easy.
If you have any more useful tips, please feel free to share in the comments.