Smoking is amongst the deadliest of addiction and yet millions simply fail to quit the habit. Why? Well, one reason for this apart from a cigarette’s core ingredient— “nicotine” being addictive is perhaps the fact that the ill effects that smoking causes are not instant whilst much less visible. So, how can one go about beginning their journey to a smoke-free life?
Here are 5 ways that can help.
1.Make a List:
Start by making a list of reasons on why you want to quit smoking. Beside each reason, state why it is difficult for you to quit. Then, jot down solutions that overcome your difficulty. For example, you may want to quit smoking because you want to live a more health-conscious lifestyle. It may be difficult for you to kick the habit because nicotine is an addictive drug. A solution may be to try a nicotine replacement to start off the weaning process.
It’s crucial that you are completely honest with yourself and accepting of your addiction when preparing this list. Its purpose is to pose as a constant reminder of the challenges that you are likely to face and their solutions alongside. Looking at the hard-facts can help you be on the surface of things and keep you focused on quitting.
2.Do One Day at a Time
Losing an addiction is all about taking it one day at a time. Doing this helps you narrow down your focus and channel your energy into not smoking for a conceivable period of time. Not smoking for 24 hours seems a lot doable as opposed to not smoking for 24 days. Having a short frame of time will help you deal with what is at hand at the present moment and because of that, you are more likely to succeed.
Another key approach is to be as mindful as you can when a craving appears. A helpful way to go about doing so is to accept its existence and to observe your experience of it. Another way to deal with the cravings is to assign yourself to a task that will get your mind off the craving each time it presents itself, for example: solving a puzzle or playing a round of solitaire.
3.Save Your “Tobacco Money” in a Jar
The concept here is the same as having a swear-jar, except for smoking. Every time that you would otherwise buy a pack of cigarettes, put the money that you would buy it in a jar. You could also do this every time you have a strong craving for a “single cigarette” for the day.
You could choose to go one step further and assign these savings for something meaningful, perhaps saving for a trip that you’ve been hoping to take for a long time, or donating to a cause that you deeply care about. By doing this you’d have a better grasp of how much money you were unconsciously investing in smoking and this understanding can help you stick to losing the habit for good.
4.Limit Your Caffeine Intake
It’s a good idea to limit your caffeine intake when you’ve just begun to stop smoking. This is because caffeine is likely to induce your craving and make you feel the jitters. A great substitute for coffee is herbal tea, and they come in a variety of flavours for you to find your most-suited one. You could also try brewing your own tea to drink, every time that you feel a craving. This can help calm your nerves.
It’s also good to switch your previous routine. For example, if your regular routine was to wake up, brew coffee, drink it at your usual spot and then follow up with a smoke, then try switching up the pieces a little. Opt for a fruit drink instead, change your usual setting, and follow up with reading or a new hobby. It’s all about substituting and adapting.
5.Create a Smoke-Free Environment
This is perhaps one of the most difficult things to do when you’re on your quitting journey. It’s important to observe and acknowledge your addiction and situations that trigger the habit. In order to create a smoke-free environment, you are going to have to go the extra mile. To start off, don’t allow smoking in your private spaces, i.e. in your home or your car. Put up signs if you feel they will help. At restaurants or public spaces, always opt to sit in a smoke-free zone.
To truly create a smoke-free environment, you may have to avoid company with friends and colleagues who smoke and don’t imagine themselves quitting the habit. In your journey to quitting the addiction, it’s important that you surround yourself with people who would truly support you in adopting a healthier lifestyle.