How to Fight Your Smoking Addiction
Once a person starts smoking, escaping from the addiction is undeniably arduous. Whether a person is a long-time user or an occasional one, getting rid of this vice has constantly been challenging.
The risks of smoking include cancer, heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other numerous diseases. Despite these, quitting is never easier as it is both a physical addiction and a psychological habit.
The intense urge to continue smoking is compelling to most users due to the nicotine content in the cigarette, which is what makes it addictive. However, you should not let these cravings overpower your reasoning.
Keep in mind that the sudden urge would not last long, so you must only brave the impulse for this short yet challenging period. Nevertheless, resisting a stick of cigarette pushes you one step closer to finally eliminating this harmful vice in your lifestyle.
To further help you in your goal, here are some steps on how to quit smoking:
1. List your motivation
One of the essential steps in starting your journey to quit smoking is to find your motivation.
“Why do I need to stop?”
“What will happen if I stop?”
These are some questions that you can ask yourself to realize the purpose of your goal. You can also start your list by thinking of your loved ones, ambitions, or other tangible and intangible things that can keep you motivated to resist your craving for a smoke.
In the long run, this list can encourage you to keep going whenever you need support. These motivations can help you bet the urge to smoke as they are the precise reasons why you wanted to quit in the first place.
2. Take note of your smoke-free days
Just merely stating that you are going to quit smoking can’t do the trick for many people. A concrete plan of when and how you will start the process is what you need to initiate it. Keep a record of when you plan to start quitting and condition your mind not to have any stick of cigarette once you start.
However, in most cases, the first time trying to quit does not eventually work out. That does not mean that it never will. Keep trying and trying by building your mental strength against temptations and cravings. By keeping track of your smoke-free days, you will see your progress, motivating you to keep pushing yourself.
3. Get support
Support can be in the form of a family member, friend, support group, or therapist. Keeping them close during your journey can help you have someone to lean on, especially if you are experiencing the side effects of withdrawal. They can also encourage you to keep going whenever you feel the urge to light up a cigarette or feel like you are not making any progress.
Quitting is not different from any other problems you face, so it is still essential to have someone by your side.
4. Try cigarette alternatives
Immediately ceasing the use of cigarettes can cause intense withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, mood swings, or insomnia, that are worse in the first five days. The loss of nicotine intake causes these symptoms because your body receives this substance through cigarettes.
There are several alternatives to combat this: prescription nicotine spray or inhaler, over-the-counter nicotine patches, non-nicotine stop-smoking medications, and vape or electric cigarettes.
Vaping is similar to smoking, but with lesser toxins from burning tobacco, which means it still has nicotine, so it is not entirely unharmful. It is only a way to bridge you to your smoke-free goal while still adjusting from the loss of cigarettes in your lifestyle.
5. Avoid triggers
Staying away from smoking means that you should also refrain from doing things you usually associate with smoking for a while. For example, if you typically smoke while drinking, then stop drinking in the meantime. If seeing other smokers do it makes you feel like you should have “just one” stick, then avoid places frequented by them.
Identify your trigger factors as early as possible so you can avoid them. But if you can’t seem to pry away from those situations, you can distract yourself by doing other things that can keep your mind off from temptation.
6. Get moving
Exercising promotes a stronger and healthier body and decreases your appetite, which includes a craving for tobacco. Even minimal exercises like cleaning the house, running up and down the stairs, and walking the dog can significantly help.
In addition, smoking withdrawal can cause sudden weight gain due to the craving to lean more on food instead of tobacco, so moving around can also help maintain your weight. Another good thing about exercising is it can keep your mind occupied, leaving no room for tempting thoughts.
7. Don’t wait too long to quit
Smoking induces life-threatening diseases, and as much as many people know it already, they can’t find themselves stopping as it truly is a challenging feat. But you will never know unless you try. All it takes is a solid determination to end the unhealthy addiction, and every other step just follows.
The first thing you need to do when trying to quit smoking is to determine your motivation. No matter what it is or where it’s coming from, as long as it can hold you off and bring you closer to your goal, keep your motivation in mind.
Another thing you need for this process is to continuously have encouragement, whether from a list of your progress or your support systems. The steps like trying cigarette alternatives, avoiding triggers, and exercising are just supplementary to pave a smooth smoke-free journey for you.
No matter how hard quitting looks like, keep in mind that it is for your betterment. No triumph comes easily, so it is never too late to stop smoking. Whenever you get the urge to smoke, think of the consequences you might face if you start to pick up a stick. Not falling into this trap of addiction is better than escaping from it.