Quitting smoking is not an easy thing to do. You have to break the habit and you have to deal with the withdrawal symptoms that you feel when your body begins to crave nicotine. What you will gain from giving up smoking goes beyond just the health considerations. You will save money, feel better in yourself, and you won’t feel so much like a social outcast. There is no easy way to give up smoking and it does take a lot of will power, but here are ten things that you can do to make quitting smoking that little bit easier.
1. List out the reasons why you want to quit
Make a list of all the reasons why you want to quit smoking and then you will have something to refer to when you get the urge to light up a cigarette. Your list might include; the health reasons, the money, or the fact that your kids want you to quit smoking.
2. Plan your campaign in advance
Set a date in your diary that will be the day that you stop smoking for good. Work out in advance how you will beat the carvings; decide if you are going to use any nicotine patches, or gum, and plan what you will do if you do become tempted to smoke a cigarette.
3. Have a five-minute strategy
Generally, when you get a craving for nicotine, that craving will be at its strongest for about five minutes and then it will begin to wear off. Work out a method of distracting yourself for those important five minutes. That could be taking a walk, eating some mints, or phoning somebody. You will need something to occupy your mind while you wait for the craving to lessen.
4. Don’t keep it a secret
Do tell your friends and family that are going to quit smoking and they will be able to provide you with some support. Be sure to tell your friends that still smoke that you are giving up too, so that they stop offering you cigarettes.
5. Throw out or give away all your cigarettes
The day before you give up, remove all packets of cigarettes, lighters and any other smoking reminders that you have so you don’t get tempted to smoke. The more difficult you make it for yourself to light up; the easier it will be to resist the urge when you get a craving.
6. Change your drinking habits
For many smokers, a cigarette goes naturally with their morning coffee, or their lunchtime beer. You will find easier to break the habit if you break your usual routines. Swap coffee for tea, and change the beer that you drink. That will help remove the association between drinking and smoking that you have probably built up in your mind.
7. Don’t think that you can get away with having a sneaky smoke
As is the case with all addictions, if you want to quit smoking, you really do have to quit totally. Don’t think that you can have just the occasional cigarette because, that will just get you right back into the habit again.
8. Eat more fresh tasting food
Cigarettes taste better after you have eaten heavy, strongly flavoured foods, but not so great after sweet foods. One research study found that smokers enjoyed smoking less after they had eaten fruit or vegetables, so changing your diet might help you stop smoking.
9. Don’t risk having a single cigarette
Don’t think that you will be able to have just the one cigarette, because that is likely to get you straight back into the habit again. If you quit smoking then you need to quit 100%, or you will find yourself right back where you started and have to go through the whole process again.
10. Get more exercise
Science has proven that exercise can dramatically reduce cravings. You will find that you have more energy when you quit smoking, so make use of that and go out for more walks and get some fresh air. Give up smoking and you will be able to enjoy it more.