Smoking is one of the toughest habits to kick. Many are so daunted by the challenge that they don’t even bother trying. So if you’ve decided to quit smoking, congratulations! You’ve taken the difficult first step. Now the question is: how exactly are you going to beat your nicotine addiction?
It’s true that everyone has their own path to take when it comes to giving up smoking. However, over the years millions of people around the world have followed similar steps that proved extremely effective. So if you are looking for the best way to quit smoking, follow these 10 steps!
Preparation, Progress, and Perseverance
Chances are you’ve tried to quit smoking before. In which case you’re well aware that it requires considerable planning. There are two schools of thought when it comes to stopping smoking. Some believe it’s best to stop abruptly, also known as quitting “cold turkey”. Others think it’s better to cut down gradually over a period of time. Research on this topic isn’t conclusive, so it’s up to you. Whichever method you choose, though, the following steps will help.
1. Let Your Loved Ones Know
It’s not just that they’ll be delighted! There’s a practical benefit in telling your friends and family about your decision. It’ll create a sense of accountability in your mind. Once you’ve told others that you’ll quit, it won’t be easy to go back on that promise without facing some uncomfortable questions!
2. Sweep the Ash Away
Depending on how strong your smoking habit is, there’ll be a certain amount of cigarette packs, stubs, and ash in your environment. Take a few hours to throw them all away. It’s not just to get rid of the temptation, mind you. Many who’ve quit have talked about how good it felt to cleanse themselves of the sight and smell of tobacco. Once your fingers, face, and shirt smell fresh, you’ll start wanting to keep it that way!
Why not combine cleansing your room of tobacco with an overall overhaul? Take up “The Declutter Challenge” and feel an empowering lightness by setting your surroundings in order!
Once you decide to stop smoking, it’ll only be a matter of time before the cravings begin to kick in. The best way to prepare for this eventuality is by building up certain habits that will protect you and help you to progress through the tough weeks and months ahead.
3. Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate!
Water is the ultimate magic drink. A minimum amount is crucial for the body; a generous amount will help you in not just biological, but psychological ways as well. Staying hydrated optimizes your brain function, thereby reducing stress and mood swings. Moreover, research has shown that taking small sips of water helps when you’re battling a sudden craving for smoking. Simply put, keep a water bottle nearby at all times!
4. Run Away from Your Problem
Yes! Literally, run away from a cigarette! Studies have shown that regular exercise is an excellent deterrent when it comes to nicotine craving. Running, aerobics, weight training or any other form of intense physical activity helps to reduce cortisol levels, regulate your blood pressure and mood, as well as increase the production of endorphins. You’ll be less stressed, less moody and much happier after working out. Meaning you’ll be less tempted to light up!
It’s never too late to take care of your physical health! “Start an Exercise Habit” Journey will teach you how to build a sticky and effective exercise routine!
5. Snack Sensibly
Eating clean, nutritious food should be a lifelong goal for all of us. But when it comes to quitting smoking, what you have in the pantry and fridge takes on greater importance. One of the ways your body will cope with the lack of nicotine is by snacking a lot. Use that to your advantage by stocking up on fruits, vegetables, low-calorie nuts, and whole-grain items. You’ll satisfy your snacking needs while also deriving the nutrition needed to overcome the physical and emotional challenges that lay ahead!
6. Keep Yourself Busy
One of the biggest triggers for smokers is boredom. Think back to a slow day at work or a lazy Sunday afternoon. Sitting idle is what caused you to reach for the pack over and over again. The best way to cope with craving is by being busy enough to ignore it. So immerse yourself in work and fill up your free time with new activities or hobbies. The best way to stop smoking is to make yourself too busy to do it!
7. Eliminate Your Triggers
A trigger is any event that kicks off an automatic urge to complete a habit. Common triggers for smokers include alcohol, a heavy meal, and feelings of drowsiness. Explore what you are experiencing when you get the urge to reach for a cigarette, and you’ll identify your trigger. Then the aim should be to either eliminate the trigger or substitute the habit. You could switch from alcohol to juice in order to avoid the urge to smoke. Or treat yourself after a meal with a piece of chocolate rather than a cigarette!
8. You’re Not Alone
The process of quitting can seem extremely daunting. But it need not be a lonely journey. Especially since loneliness is one of the strongest triggers for smoking! So don’t think of this as a battle you have to quietly face on your own. There is nothing wrong with seeking support, whether in an informal or professional setting. Groups such as Nicotine Anonymous encourage and guide individuals in their fight against tobacco addiction. Counseling and therapy sessions are also effective when it comes to coping with emotional dependency. However, you’d like to get help, remember it’s best not to hesitate!
9. Take a Deep Breath
Perhaps the strongest and most common trigger when it comes to smoking is stress. Smokers have been conditioned to use nicotine to relieve the tension in their body and mind. Which is why meditation is crucial in order to quit smoking. Don’t worry about having to perfect this habit. Instead, by simply meditating for a few minutes every day, you’ll start seeing the immense benefits. And beginning it is as simple as taking a few deep breaths.
10. Don’t Give Up Even if You Give In
Put simply, the best way to stop smoking is to There are many biological and psychological reasons why it’s so difficult to stop smoking. Which is why out of all the habits you can develop to arm yourself, the most useful one is perseverance. It doesn’t matter if you relapse and light up tomorrow or in a few weeks time. As long as you persevere, you can restart any of the other habits.
Quitting tobacco is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face in life, which means it’s also one of the things you’ll be most proud of. Practice visualizing a life free from nicotine, and you’ll be able to develop the tenth and final habit. Once that’s in place, it’s just a matter of time before you’re free!
Don’t beat yourself up if you relapse while trying to stop smoking. Take up “The Managing Addiction” journey to learn how to build the habits to recover or manage your addiction.