Quit Smoking Now in 5 Simple Steps!
You would know that smoking is the greatest source of preventable premature death across the world. You must also be aware that about 87% of lung cancer cases are known to be a result of smoking. Several studies also reveal that smoking reduces approx. 6-8 years from an individual’s life.
But did you know that nearly 70% of smokers claim that they want to quit smoking? Recent data also shows a spike in the number of people who’ve successfully stubbed out smoking forever. Want to join the smoke-free way of life? Read on.
Smokers or those who’ve known them closely would understand that deciding to call it quits is only half the battle won. The real struggle is treading smoothly on a smoke-free course. To make the transition easier, we’ve got you a step-by-step guide to kick the habit, starting now!
Step 1: Resolve to Quit Now!
While most smokers do admit that they need to stop smoking at some point in their lives, it is essential for them to identify the reason behind quitting. Since quitting is rather challenging, it is important to clearly delve deeper and know your reasons well. A good way to rise to the challenge is by making a mental or written list with your goals neatly defined before fixing a quit date. Once this list is internalized and reviewed, fix a date. Additionally, if you’ve tried to quit before and not made it, don’t let that come in the way. Research proves that trying to quit frequently only amps up your chances of success.
Step 2: Things to Consider When Setting a Quit Date
Setting up a quitting plan helps prepare your mind subconsciously. Therefore, avoid picking a date when you are too busy, stressed or have an important event planned. A good way to choose a date is to review your calendar and fix a day within the next month window. Ensure to have your set date written down somewhere to keep yourself motivated as the days go by.
Step 3: Stock Up Alternatives!
Since smoking is essentially an oral addiction, it is important to soothe your nicotine deprived brain with something. As part of the plan, stock up on oral substitutes like raw veggie sticks, chewing gum, hard candy, carrots, or anything that can keep your mind off cigarettes. In case your smoking cessation plan involves using a nicotine replacement, consult your doctor for any potential side effects well in advance.
Step 4: Spread the Word Around!
Seeking support from friends and loved ones makes quitting a whole lot easier. However, be careful to choose people who you think will encourage you. Spread the word around your friend circle and let them help distract you from the addiction. You can further share your struggles or keep light conversations going to stay on top of your game.
Step 5: Identify, Anticipate and Avoid Your Triggers
Smoking is not merely a physical addiction to nicotine, it is a psychological obsession. To break the obsession and plan a foolproof path ahead, dive deep into the reasons you smoke. Does it serve as a release during a hectic day? Or is it an excuse to steal some time just for yourself and relax with your thoughts? Most people smoke either to escape, relax, or reward themselves. It is therefore crucial to know what makes you light up in the first place before you stub it out for good. Identifying the triggers therefore helps anticipate high-risk circumstances and equips you with alternatives to curb them. Most smokers experience cravings in one of the following events. Identify which one of these is your trigger and course correct.
With the morning coffee?
If coffee motivates you to smoke, switch to some other beverage for a few weeks or change the setting that makes you enjoy your first smoke. Alternatively, you can skip your morning coffee until you reach work and have it there instead.
Right after a meal?
Look for alternatives as soon as you finish your meals like taking a walk, texting a loved one or simply chewing gum to ease the oral fixation.
While commuting to work?
Consider taking a busier route that keeps you “on your toes” while driving. This will break the monotony and help you keep your mind off smoking.
Stressful work days or during relaxed weekends?
Avoid stressful circumstances or drinking for sometime.
With friends during social events?
Seek their support and avoid smoking even passively.
Once you’ve kickstarted your journey, take one day at a time and rest easy. Talk to yourself and indulge in relaxing hobbies to keep yourself occupied. Everytime you feel like not quitting, remind yourself of the reasons you noted in step 1 and resolve not to fall back to your old ways. To quit smoking is a personal commitment that involves a whole lot of unlearning, pep talking and belief in self. So, Start now!
By: Anubha Hatwal | on 2020-09-04