Introduction On How To QUIT Smoking And Take The Control Back
Below is a comprehensive list for tips to quit smoking. Some people are looking for “the easy way to stop smoking” and Bergeron can tell you that there is no “EASY” way. You need to want to quit and if you do, keep reading.
Do you smoke a cigarette after every meal? Do you light one up at work when you are trying to concentrate? Do you go for another one to unwind at the end of the day? Then this blog is for you.
Smoking is a common problem. Many people have turned to it over years for one reason or another. However, smoking has serious consequences for you, your health, and your quality of life. On top of that, society as a whole has begun to turn against smoking and many cities and states have banned smoking in the workplace and/or public places such as restaurants. Quitting smoking has become a necessary achievement if you want to live a healthy and full life in our society.
There will always be stress factors in the workplace or home. There will always be deadlines to meet and telephone calls to make. There will always be someone that will nag you for one thing or another. However, you must learn how to cope with these situations without the aid of your friend, the cigarette, now. Fortunately, stopping smoking for good is an achievable goal. There have been many people over the years that have been in the exact same position as you are in right now. Perhaps you have already attempted to quit smoking but were never successful. Perhaps you were successful in first attempts to quit smoking but were unable to keep up the good work. That’s okay. You are not doomed for a lifetime of smoking. You still have a shot at smoking for good. All it takes is a desire to stop smoking, learning about smoking, understanding that you are the only one responsible for your smoking regardless of external influences, and an open mind to the ways to cease your smoking. This is the basis for QUIT, the four steps to stop smoking.
QUIT is a four step method to quit smoking. Like the acronym ROY G BIV you learned in elementary school to remember the colors of the rainbow, QUIT is an acronym to help you remember the four steps.
Q stands for “Question Yourself about Your Smoking.” It is important to question yourself about your smoking because this will give you an understanding about why you want to stop and why you smoke.
U stands for “Understand What the Problem is.” Equally important as questioning yourself about your smoking and is making an effort to understand what the fundamental problem is. Many people will say they have a problem but have no idea what the problem is. There are many reasons why people smoke and it is important to understand what drives you to smoke even if you have quit smoking before.
I stands for “I Am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Stop Smoking.” It is important that you stop because you want to stop not because someone else wants you to stop. You are the one who makes the decisions about you every moment of every day. You can’t blame others for your decisions.
Question Yourself about Your Smoking
It is important that you start this process by questioning yourself about your relationship with smoking. The only way you can stop and continue to not smoke is by learning and addressing the real reasons behind your smoking.
Why Am I Smoking?
You are smoking because somewhere along the way you decided to try a cigarette. It does not matter when you smoked your first cigarette. It does not matter why you smoked that first cigarette. It does not even matter that you did not care for the taste and turned green. All that matters is that you smoked it. That cigarette was filled with nicotine. Nicotine is a drug. Nicotine is also a fast-acting drug that affects your brain within thirty minutes. Your heart gets pumping and your brain is tricked into thinking it loves this stuff. You have got a good buzz going. But eventually you get to the end of that first cigarette. As soon as you finished smoking that first cigarette, the nicotine started to leave your body. They say distance makes the heart grow fonder and your brain is no different. Once the nicotine started to leave, your brain felt lost without it and only wanted you to smoke more of its beloved nicotine. (Never mind the fact that your brain wasn’t even aware of nicotine’s existence until you smoked that first cigarette.) Your body starts going through physical withdrawal – in fact, your body goes through physical withdrawal every second that a cigarette is not in your mouth. More on this later though.
The time comes when you decide to smoke your second cigarette. You still don’t care for the taste but now you have a buzz to look forward to. Something doesn’t feel right as you finish the second. So you go for the third. The buzz comes but it doesn’t feel as strong as you remember. Guess what? The buzz wasn’t as good or strong as the first one. See, your body quickly develops a tolerance for nicotine. The technical word for this is “rapid acute tolerance”. Once you have hit this point, you have to perfect your balancing act.
On one hand, you want a strong buzz. As a smoker you know, the strongest buzzes only come from when you smoke after a period of not smoking like your first cigarette in the morning. That’s always a good one, isn’t it? On the other hand, if you hold off smoking frequently, you know you’ll get sick when you do smoke because your body reacts like it has never had nicotine before. So you keep at it even though most of those cigarettes do not give you a good enough buzz. Over time, you may become a chain-smoker trying to satisfy your brain’s nicotine craving.
The buzz is what smoking is all about. The buzz is what has gotten you into trouble. The buzz is what has you reading this blog.
Why Am I Smoking This Cigarette?
Think long and hard why you are smoking the cigarette you are currently smoking or just smoked during your lunch break. Were you trying to relax? Were you trying to enjoy your lunch? Asking yourself why you are smoking this exact cigarette will help identify situations that act as triggers to your smoking.
How Much Does Smoking Cost Me?
You may not be able to fully grasp how much smoking impacts your lifestyle. Putting a price on your smoking may help you to see your smoking problem in a more concrete way.
It is astonishing how much money you can save from stopping smoking. You can calculate the amount of money you have spent over the years to keep up your smoking using this guide:
Calculate the average amount you pay per pack of cigarettes. Or you can just look at your most recent receipt and use the price of the pack of cigarettes from that. Now figure out the amount of cigarettes you smoke each day and the amount of years you have smoked.
Got all those numbers written down on a scrap piece of paper? Good. Now, multiply the amount per pack (the first number) by the amount of packs you smoke daily. For example, $4 x 5 = $20. This is the daily amount of money you spend on smoking. Now you are going to multiply the daily amount by 365 (1 year = 365 days). For example, $20 x 365 = $7,300. This is the amount of money per year you spend on smoking.
Now you are going to multiply the yearly amount by the number of years you have smoked. For example, $7,300 x 10 = $73,000. This is the amount of money you have spent to keep up your smoking all of these years. Yikes.
When Do You Want To Quit Smoking? How Do You Want To Quit Smoking?
It is important to set a target date. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand as well as make the necessary preparation. You will also need to think about how you want to quit. See popular tips to quit smoking in the chapter “T stands for ‘Take Control
and Think Positive.’” You may need to do some more research on each method as well as discuss with your doctor to make the best decision for you.
What Are Your Doubts About Stopping Smoking?
It’s okay to be feeling some doubts right now. There have been countless other smokers in the exact same position you are in. You may not be confident in your ability to resist any future urges. It’s okay. Do not worry about the future. Take baby steps. You are making the choice to quit smoking for this moment. In the next minute, you will have yet another chance to make a decision to not smoke and then another one the next minute. Take it a minute at a time. Do not focus on the future.
If you are still experiencing doubts, think long and hard about what will make you feel like a failure this time. Write what will make you feel like a failure down. Then, list what you will gain by confronting your fear of failure. The best way to overcome your fears is to face them and persevere in spite of them. Stopping smoking for good is an achievable goal.
Still experiencing doubts? Then, list reasons why you have not followed through in past attempts to quit smoking. Tell yourself that you are committed to stopping smoking for good – write it down and date it. You are learning from your past mistakes and can put these lessons to good use this time.
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Understand What The Problem Is
There are two main problems that you face when you quit smoking. The first we started to cover in the previous chapter. Smoking cigarettes is a way to feed your nicotine addiction. The second problem you face are all the things you have been told about smoking and quitting smoking. Some have called this “brainwashing” but we’ll just call them myths. The two problems are actually intertwined with each other. We’ll get to the myths in a bit but first we must continue our education about nicotine addiction.
You see, the path to nicotine addiction does not just stop with you smoking the cigarette, the cigarette creating a nicotine craving in your brain, your body going through withdrawal until you smoke your next cigarette. Nope. See, your mind immediately starts to associate the situations in which you smoke a cigarette and thinks from that point on that you must need to smoke a cigarette every time you are in that situation. For example, you smoke a cigarette one day at work when you are trying to focus on a big project. From that point on, your mind associates big project work situations with smoking and you are tricked into thinking that you need to smoke a cigarette to focus on your big project at work. Sometimes you don’t even realize that you had the thought that you need to light up while working and you just find a cigarette in your hand. It’s okay. You are not the only smoker to whom this has happened. It has happened with a countless number of smokers before and it will happen to many smokers after you. However, you don’t have to worry about this happening to you any longer after reading this blog.
Now that we have covered the nicotine addiction, we can begin to look at common myths about smoking and quitting smoking.
Myth: Stopping Smoking Is Difficult. I Am Giving Up Something
No, stopping smoking does not have to be difficult for you. You may have personally experienced this for yourself or you have heard it from other smokers. For smokers who have found it difficult before, chances are that you thought you were “giving up” smoking or you waited for something to happen that would make you stop smoking all of a sudden. This is the wrong way to start this process. You are automatically setting yourself for failure with this thinking. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you are thinking doom and gloom, you will get doom and gloom.
When you stop smoking, you must start out with positive energy. Think more. “Great! I don’t have to smoke anymore.” Think less, “Great. I have to cut down on my smoking.” You are not “giving up” anything when you quit smoking. Smoking is not the same as eating or drinking. In fact, smoking ruins the experience of eating and drinking because
it destroys your sense of taste and smell. You do not need to smoke in order to survive each and every day as much as it may seem like it. You smoke to fill a void that was created the last time you smoked.
Smoking is a choice. You are faced with the choice each and every waking moment. You can always choose to smoke the moment after you have chosen to not smoke. It is all up to you.
Myth: The Withdrawal Period Is Horrible
You may have heard from others about how “terrible” withdrawal from not smoking is. However, the actual withdrawal will feel like a bad cold for a few days and then disappear.
The misery smokers feel when they quit smoking has to do with the doubt and uncertainty they face when they stop. You no longer have your trusted little friend to count on anymore. That can be a very daunting situation to face on your own. The doubt and uncertainty can be made even worse if the smoker has started out with the idea that they are “giving up” smoking. Now the smoker feels that they are being deprived of their best friend. All of the anxiety and doubt the smoker feels during the first few days can be felt physically through body aches, especially in the jaws, neck, and shoulder area. This is what makes you feel worse.
The bad cold feeling of the actual withdrawal typically lasts for a few days although it varies on how long you have been smoking. Your body is working to get rid of all the poison that you have been putting in your body. The good news is that the physical cravings disappear quickly. However, this is where a lot of attempted stoppers get into trouble. After a period of not smoking for about three weeks, your body can be free of the nicotine withdrawal and nicotine cravings. Attempted stoppers soon think that they have kicked the habit so they test themselves by smoking a cigarette. They think the cigarette tastes horrible and they feel good about that because it makes them feel that they can quit whenever. All they have actually done by testing themselves is putting nicotine back into their body and creating the physical craving for nicotine again. So don’t test yourself after you have quit smoking. You will always think that first cigarette will taste horrible. Stop kidding yourself.
Myth: Smoking Is A Habit
Smoking is not a habit. Smoking is an addiction. You are smoking that cigarette because you are trying to fill the empty feeling that your last cigarette created. That is not a habit.
When you first started smoking, you had to force yourself to cope with the nasty taste and smell that made your face turn green. Eventually you found yourself smoking them every day and you feel you have to have them. If you don’t have a cigarette when you feel you need it, you start to panic. You smoke even more. Soon, you don’t get a buzz from them anymore because your body has built up a tolerance so you smoke even more than you previously did. Smoking does this to you. This is not a habit. This is an addiction.
Myth: Smoking Relieves My Stress
No, smoking does not relieve your stress. In fact, it increases your stress. When you are not smoking a cigarette, you are suffering slight withdrawal symptoms so your body is slightly aggravated. Then you receive a telephone call from the boss or those kids are being really loud and you feel even more aggravated. You light up a cigarette. Your withdrawal symptoms are taken care of but your pulse quickens and your breathing gets heavier so your body is still more stressed than if you were dealing with the same situation as a non-smoker. Smoking does not keep you calm.
Myth: Smoking Relieves My Boredom
No, smoking does not relieve your boredom. When you are smoking that cigarette, you are not focused on the cigarette and saying to yourself, “I am smoking this cigarette. I am smoking this cigarette. I am being relieved of my boredom.” The truth is when you are bored you become focused on the fact that you are not smoking. You can go without smoking for an extended amount of time during the day when you are focused on something else and not on the fact that you are not smoking. Not only that, smoking increased your boredom because you are occupied with smoking as opposed to some other more energetic activity.
Myth: Smoking Helps My Concentration
No, smoking does not help your concentration. In fact, cigarettes ruin your concentration. You have to stop concentrating on whatever it is that you need to concentrate on in order to light up a cigarette and however long it takes you to finish the cigarette. Plus, the cigarette fills the blood in your arteries and veins with poison so less oxygen gets to your brain. Less oxygen in your brain means your brain is not functioning at its full potential so you don’t have full concentration.
You are going to have mental blocks, regardless of whether you smoke or not. When you stop smoking, you tend to focus on the fact that you are not smoking. This blocks your concentration. You need to just get on with whatever you are doing and not focus on the fact that you are not smoking.
Myth: Smoking Relaxes Me
No, smoking does not relax you. Nicotine is a chemical stimulant. To see for yourself, check your pulse when you are not smoking. Then check your pulse when you are smoking. If you are like any other human being, your pulse will have increased after you have smoked.
Smoking stresses you out. It does not relax you. You only think it relaxes you because you have associated smoking with you being relaxed. Sometime whenever you started smoking, you took a break from whatever work or activity you were doing. You decided to light up the cigarette. Regardless of the fact that you were relaxing because you were taking a break from whatever it was that you were doing, your brain immediately associated relaxing with smoking. Thus, this myth was born.
Myth: I Don’t Have The Smoker’s Cough So I Am Healthy
No, the smoker’s cough is a good thing. The cough is the body’s mechanism for dispelling any foreign matter, i.e. tar, which does not belong in the body. When you prevent yourself from coughing by not exercising or by shallow breathing, you are preventing your body from getting rid of those tars and poisons. When your body cannot get rid of the tars and poisons, they build up and eventually lead to cancer.
When you are smoking, you are not healthy. You must quit smoking to avoid the health consequences.
I Am the Sole Decision Maker in My Choice to Quit Smoking
You are your sole motivation in your choice to quit smoking. There are so many benefits for you – healthier lifestyle, longer lifespan, easier breathing, no more smoker’s cough. It is important that you take responsibility for your actions and decisions. You are the only person who can make decisions for you in your life. As a healthy, normal human being, you have the right to put your health needs first. You have the right to make mistakes. You have the right to your opinions. You have the right to say no. You have the right to change your mind and take a different path. It’s okay for you to feel emotions.
If you are having trouble staying focused on stopping smoking for good, remind yourself that you are stopping for you. Remember all the benefits. You will have a healthier heart. You will be able to perform strenuous exercise and simple tasks such as carrying your groceries across the parking lot or upstairs. You will have more energy to do stuff that you like to do. You are stopping for you, no one else.
Take Control, Think Positive & Tips To Quit Smoking
Smoking is an issue that must be tackled on all fronts.. Once you know the situations that make you feel the emotions that cause you to smoke, you can start replacing your emotion eating with healthier ways to deal with those emotions. You are now taking control of the situation. The following are steps you can take to help you take control of the situation.
Don’t Wait For Your Fear Of Failure To Go Away
Do not wait to feel confident. You might be waiting to stop smoking for good for quite a while. Stopping something you have become accustomed to will always be somewhat frightening because you do not know what will happen next. Take it a moment at a time. Think baby steps. You are only choosing to not smoke for this moment. Next moment, you will have an entirely new decision to make about whether you will smoke a cigarette or not.
Make a list of reasons for why you like to smoke. Now make a list of reasons for why you do not like to smoke.
Keep these lists with you. They will help serve as a constant reminder of why you are quitting smoking for good and also serve as motivation.
Set A Target Date To Stop Smoking
This keeps you focused on your goal. Otherwise, you might never stop. Generally, people will set their date within 10 days. However, move at your own pace. This is not a race.
Discuss Your Plan To Stop Smoking For Good With Your Doctor
Your doctor may be able to help you with things you did not even consider when you decided you were going to stop smoking for good. Special considerations may need to be made for particular medications you are taking, your lifestyle and exercise regimen, etc. Your doctor can help you personalize from different methods to come up with a plan that best suits you.
Choose A Technique
There are many techniques to stop smoking for you from which to choose. Three of the most popular techniques are cold-turkey, hypnotherapy, and nicotine replacement therapy.
Quitting cold turkey is as simple as choosing not to smoke another cigarette ever again and then not smoking ever again. However, it is recommended that you keep your choice to quit smoking in the present so that if you should happen to fall to your urge, you do not feel you have failed the entire process and must become a smoker once again. If you keep your choice to not smoke in the moment, you will be able to re-start your attempt after that last fall. Dust yourself off and learn from the experience so that you can be better prepared to deal with the craving in the future.
Hypnotherapy is another popular method even though many people may view skeptically. Hypnosis has proven to be a valuable aid in other people’s journey to stop smoking for good. This method focuses on retraining your mind to respond the habit (smoking) that has become engrained into your brain in a different way. It allows you to overcome the nicotine addiction comfortably and without pain by creating new conditioned responses to the urges you feel. It is advised that you only use hypnotherapists that have been personally recommended by someone you trust.
Nicotine replacement therapy is perhaps the most well-known of quitting methods. The main idea behind it is that by lessening the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and urges by giving your body small amounts of nicotine through either a patch, a piece of gum, a lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray or pill. Some of these may be available for purchase over- the-counter while others will require a prescription from your health care provider. All methods work by starting out with a higher dosage of nicotine that you use for two weeks and then lessen the dosage of nicotine and use that amount for two weeks and so on and so forth.
Accept Your Desire To Smoke
Accept that you will have a desire to smoke. Relax and do not fight it. The urge to smoke is inevitable. If you resist the fact that you have a desire to smoke, you may be able to create an illusion for yourself that you have in fact resisted the desire to smoke. This will only make it easier for you to return to your smoking ways in the future.
Find Healthy Ways To Handle Your Urges To Smoke
You will get an urge to smoke – there is no doubt about it. It will last for approximately
five minutes. If you can resist the urge for this five minute period, then you can reduce the urge. You can handle urges using simple tricks such as taking a deep breath and exhaling as you would for your first puff on a cigarette, chewing on a piece of gum, sipping on a glass of water several times, or even just standing up and move around during the five minute period.
Record Your Thoughts And Emotions
A great way to learn what triggers your smoking is by recording how you feel and what happened the moment you got the urge to smoke. This will help you track the direct causes of your smoking so you can prepare yourself to deal with these situations in a different way in the future. Once you notice a pattern, you can begin to change it. Feel your emotions as they happen – do not try and resist. Allow yourself to feel the emotion of the situation. At the end of the day, take a moment to write how you felt about the day as a whole.
There are many ways for you to keep track of your thoughts and emotions these days. If you are more technologically savvy, you can use a Word document on your computer or use an online journal. There are also smartphone applications available for you to record when you get the urge to smoke. You can also always use a good old-fashioned pen and notebook. Don’t limit yourself. This will help everything feel less abstract.
Clean Your Home, Car, And Work Area Of All Smoking Paraphernalia
Throw your ashtrays and lighters in the trash; get rid of any remaining cigarettes. Saving smoking paraphernalia will only ensure that you are going to fail during your preparation to achieve your goal of stopping smoking for good.
Remove The Cigarette Smell From Your Home
Clean really well and remove the smell from your clothes, furniture, carpet, and walls. If you can afford it, consider hiring a professional carpet cleaner and painters. If you do not remove the smell, you will notice the lingering smell of cigarette smoke within the first 12 to 24 hours of smoking your last cigarette.
Seek support from family and friends. They can help by not smoking around you, listening to you, and providing encouragement. A support network is crucial to your
success at stopping smoking for good. Make a list of family and friends you can call or go to visit when you are having a particularly difficult time.
Talking to a therapist may be very helpful for you if you are still having problems with smoking and other issues related to your smoking and you have exhausted all of the other resources. On the other hand, there is no harm talking to a professional even if you are having no problem with the other steps and would just like to someone about this process. A therapist can help you define what your needs and goals in life are more clearly. You can find a therapist through online resources, community support groups, and your general care doctor.