How to Quit Smoking
These days a lot of people are smoking. People have various reasons for it, some of them began under peer pressure and got addicted, some smoke to release stress. In contrast, others find it fashionable to hold a cigarette between their lips and puff out smoke. The fact is that smoking is hazardous, and no explanation is valid enough to continue smoking. Many smokers do realize it’s harmful but have no idea how to quit smoking.
Smoking is that poison that harms nearly every organ of the body- cancer, cardiac disease, stroke, pulmonary disorders, diabetes, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), to name a few. Smoking does not only cause harm to your body but affects people around you as well. It is known as secondary smoke.
This is a significant reason why there are numerous “no smoking” signs in public places because the secondary smoke may harm the other non-smokers, even infants and unborn babies. Children exposed to secondhand smoke fall at risk for sudden infant death syndrome, acute respiratory infections, middle ear disease, more severe asthma, respiratory symptoms, and slowed lung growth.
If reading all this makes you feel threatened, and you sincerely wish to quit smoking, we are here to help you with just that. People often realize the benefits of quitting smoking, but they do not know how to quit smoking. If you are one of them, read on as here I enlist the best ways to quit smoking.
Find your reason and stay motivated:
Smoking is more of a psychological instinct that you fail to suppress. Sometimes, the best way to quit smoking is to find your reason to quit smoking– may be a promise that you made to a loved one, a concern for your health, or thinking about your loved one… this will help you stay motivated.
Prepare before you take the decision:
You need to understand that merely hiding or throwing the cigarettes out of your site will not help you get rid of the addiction. If you are a regular addict, you may want to help with nicotine substitutes, counselling, and classes.
When you stop smoking, you may experience withdrawal symptoms like headaches and nausea. Initially, it may be challenging to control your urge for “just one puff.” There are various options like gums, tablets, and even prescription pills available that provide an easy way to stop smoking to combat that urge.
Let people around you know:
Smoking is a habit; if you are willing to get rid of it, you should be proud of yourself! Sharing this decision with your co-workers, family members, and friends will not only make you feel good about deciding the first place, but they will also stop you every time you reach out for a pack.
Take a break:
Most people find it difficult to discontinue smoking because nicotine gives them a sense of relaxation. If you have made this life-changing choice of giving up on cigarettes, you must give yourself a break from stressful situations. You may take a week’s leave from work, indulge in yoga, meditation, music, sports- anything that relaxes your mind or gives you a rush of thrill.
Watch the trends:
You must have noticed that there are specific times when the desire to smoke is the highest. Some smoke with a cup of tea or coffee, some smoke while driving, while some have a particular spot where they smoke; watch out for those triggers! You will have to consciously engage your brain in some other activity at those times to resist the urge.
Do not give up:
Giving up a habit does not happen overnight. It requires consistent effort, many failed attempts, and an overall desire to achieve. Do not only give up if you fail to quit smoking on the first try. Give yourself time, try again! Do not lose hope, join a group, go for counselling, take breaks, look for substitutes- don’t give up!
Set a goal for yourself- most psychologists say that you can either make or break a habit in 21 days. Try it out: keep a journal. Record all the achievements, feelings, thoughts, failures that you may encounter during the time of your rehabilitation. Once you have not touched cigarettes for the fixed duration of time- consider yourself triumphant! But remember that merely cutting off the source and just suppressing the urge will not do the job- you have to find the will to continue remaining distant from the cigarettes.
The initial days will be tough- you will experience withdrawal symptoms like irritability, mood swings, extreme cravings, constipation, and even an increased appetite. But remember- you are a warrior! Slight discomfort for a short period will serve a greater good in the long run.
You will soon be able to acknowledge the benefits of quitting smoking includes the following:
- Better heart health and controlled blood pressure. You will feel fresh due to the reduced amount of carbon monoxide and an increased amount of oxygen reaching your organs.
- You will experience less frequent fits of coughing and wheezing, your immune system will improve, and your lungs will be able to function better.
- The potential risk for heart disease or stroke will be far less than when you were smoking.
- You will save yourself and your loved ones (due to the effect of secondary smoke) from the high risk of dreadful diseases like cancer.
- You will be able to save time, money, and relationships that were burning in the fire of your addiction.
- You will be able to embrace the satisfaction of letting go of a bad habit.
Once you feel that you have overcome your addiction, you can say “no” even if someone insists on a drag, reward yourself! Firstly, clean your surroundings, throw away all the ashtrays, consider changing your home’s setting, change the room freshener and car perfume, and remove every sign of the toxic smoky past that you have left behind. Then, you can go on and give yourself a treat, go to your favorite exotic restaurant, buy your clothes, or spend a relaxing weekend at a spa resort- whatever you enjoy!