Have you planned any New Year resolutions for 2019 yet? Here are 8 easy steps to stop smoking for those ready to give up the ‘cancer stick’.
1) Eliminate triggers.
Do a deep cleaning of your house, office desk and car to remove cigarettes, ashtrays, smoke odours and other reminders of cigarettes. If you are living with an individual who smokes and is not joining in you in your quest to quit, make a plan, so you're not tempted when they light up. Ask them not to have a cigarette in front of you, at least during the early days.
2) Give it some time.
The urge to smoke won't disappear overnight and the first 7 to 10 days will seemingly be the toughest. Many smokers who return to smoking do so within the first three months after quitting. Even after several months or years, you might still have occasional cravings for a cigarette. It is quite normal. These desires will occur less often over time, and they'll ultimately stop altogether.
3) Slip-ups are OK.
Nobody is perfect, and your path to quitting this awful habit might not be either. Having a cigarette or just a puff doesn't have to mean you have failed in your attempt quit. If you've had a small lapse – you haven't failed as long as you take action to prevent it from happening again. Remind yourself of all the right reasons why you chose to quit and figure out what you'll do differently to move ahead. Be patient with yourself and keep looking towards a smoke-free future.
4) Wait it out.
A craving for cigarette only lasts around three to five minutes, whether you smoke or not. Call your friend, get a drink of water, play a game on your phone or do some deep breathing. Find something to distract yourself so you can make it through those few challenging minutes.
5) Plan for situations which make you want to smoke.
There are specific stressors and environments which can trigger a smoking craving. For example, being at a party while drinking alcohol makes many smokers have an urge for a cigarette. Get out of the room for a moment or ask a friend to keep you accountable and smoke-free. It might even be helpful to avoid these situations for the first few weeks.
6) Rework your routine.
Your schedule might have had built in smoke breaks, and cravings can hit particularly hard at those times. Know when such times are and what your triggers are, then make a smart plan to avoid these triggers. For example, if you used to take a small smoking break at work push that break 15 minutes forward or linger near the coffee machine. Basically, try to distract yourself from your usual smoking schedule.
7) Be patient with yourself.
There is no room for blaming yourself or feelings of guilt when you are quitting your habit of smoking. If you do start smoking again, don't consider that as a failure. You are still learning to stop. Figure out what made you weak and relapse. After finding out the reason, plan on what to do differently the next time.
8) Always Keep Trying.
Every smoker can quit if he/she gives full efforts. It might take some time, or a few attempts to quit, but you can break the addiction. Keep trying until you find the right blend of techniques for you and you will be able to stop smoking for good.
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