Most people are well aware that smoking is bad for your health, that it is expensive, and that it does not necessarily contribute to the quality of life. Still, once you are addicted to smoking it is extremely difficult to give up smoking. Cigarettes are highly addictive, both physically and emotionally. Although the first few weeks are the toughest to go through after you have quit smoking, the desire for a cigarette diminishes only very slowly. As such, there are many people who start smoking again after they have quit for months or even years.
It cannot be denied that quitting smoking is difficult. However, there are a few things you can do in your everyday life to increase the chances of success. Regardless of the method, you choose to quit smoking, these 5 things can actually help you, at least a little bit, in your everyday life.
Determination and pro’s / con’s
It is usually not possible to quit smoking when you are addicted unless you are absolutely determined to do so. In order to help your determination, you can make a list of the pros and cons of quit smoking. It is well possible, that your list of pros will end up pretty long, and the list of cons will stay near to empty.
Think about your health and the fact that smoking increases the risk of lung cancer or cardiovascular diseases. Or consider someone being 20, and smoking one pack a day (costing 6 Euros) for the next 30 years. That is 54,750 Euros in 30 years. And inflation has not even been considered. Another pro’s to think about is no smelly clothes after a night out, no coughing in the morning, a fresher breath, a no need to leave your friends sitting every half an hour to go outside for a smoke.
Another aid in your determination might be to tell your friends you have quit. This makes it more difficult at a later stage having to admit that you were not determined enough. But when you do, stay in the present. Don’t say “I will quit”, but “I quit”. Make it a fact, and a powerful statement. Set a date as of when you start or already started. Maybe even put a note in your calendar that this is the date when you quit smoking.
Clean up your home
Smokers usually have things lying around, which in some way relates to smoking. It could be an ashtray or a lighter. Perhaps a cigar cutter. It might even be the smell. One way of making it easier to quit is to eliminate everything from your home, which reminds you of the time you smoke: eliminate your ashtrays and get rid of your lighters. Perhaps you even want to take it a step further in case you used to smoke inside and have your walls freshly painted, and your furniture cleaned.
Many people who smoke grab a cigarette in certain situations. For example a cigarette with the coffee, a cigarette after a meal, a cigarette with a beer or whiskey, a cigarette during lunch break, a cigarette before a flight. Such associations make it more difficult to quit smoking, because each time you encounter one of these situations, your longing for a cigarette will become stronger.
Therefore, you will need to do things differently. Perhaps you want to start drinking tea instead of coffee. Or you drink coffee on the go. Perhaps you plan your flights in such a way, that you simply do not have any spare time available at the airport. Perhaps you go to different restaurants than your usual favorite ones. The key is not to give up drinking coffee, beer, or going out, but simply to do it differently in order to get out of your routine.
Find a substitute
Every time you have the urge to smoke, find a substitute for it. This can be anything from doing pushups to taking a mint. Also, you can drink a glass of water, but be careful not to do anything which can be associated with smoking (such as having a coffee in the above example). Also, try not to go outdoors into the fresh air when you have the urge to smoke since that might provide for an ‘opportunity’.
Many smokers, even heavy ones, can survive for hours without a cigarette when they are really busy, for example with work when having to meet a deadline, or with an interesting hobby. Smoking is a typical leisure activity, and most frequently people smoke in front of the television, or when sitting at home in front of their computer, or when having drinks with friends, or when taking a break; in other words, people tend to smoke when they are not really ‘doing’ anything physically, and/or when they do not have to be alert.
Therefore, by being busy, you limit the time in which you are actually not doing anything. It also means, that you will have little time to rest or to relax, but that you are continually doing something, which over a long period of time can be very tiring. Still, it might help you at least through the first few weeks, when quitting smoking is the hardest.
Quitting to smoke is not an easy task, especially if you have smoked for many years, and if you have the feeling of ‘needing’ it. Still, the benefits of not smoking clearly outweigh the benefits of smoking, if there are any at all. If you want to quit smoking, you should consult your doctor in order to get a good overview of all the available possibilities. But your doctor will only be able to give you advice and perhaps a head start. Therefore, it is important to mind some things you do in everyday life, which can make quitting smoking easier and more pleasant.
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