Many smokers want to quit. However, the big challenge is how to quit smoking effectively. This may not be the first time that you’ll try to quit. Maybe the attempts in the past were short-lived. Don’t be disheartened. Deciding to stop smoking is not an easy road to take. There will be plenty of obstacles ahead. But always keep in mind that it is a journey worth taking. It is good for your health and well-being as well as for those around you like your family and friends.
To be able to finally take the right steps to stop smoking, let’s first identify the reasons why it’s difficult to quit in the first place. This will give us a deeper understanding as to why many smokers find it so hard to stop. Hopefully, this will make the journey to quitting much more bearable.
Why is it Hard to Quit Smoking?
It’s not just quitting smoking that’s hard. Any change you make with your lifestyle is not going to be easy. Remember those New Year’s Resolutions that you make every year? Not everything on that list becomes a reality. But that’s okay. Don’t be too hard on yourself. Don’t feel disappointed when you don’t get the results that you want immediately.
Most of the time, we set goals far too high that it’s just impossible to attain them. That’s what makes it hard to achieve those goals. We then feel disheartened about not being able to quit smoking or form a new good habit. We feel like we’re a failure. But that shouldn’t be the case. Sometimes, all we need is a good push from an awesome support system that can back us up if we feel that we’re falling back to our bad habits.
Quitting smoking is a mental and emotional struggle. But don’t forget that your body’s reliance on nicotine is also a big factor why it’s difficult to quit. Let’s try to understand the effects that nicotine has on the overall physiology that keeps us from letting go of smoking.
What You Need to Know About Nicotine
A few people can quit smoking cold turkey. For many smokers, it’s not that easy to decide one day to just stop smoking altogether. To be successful in your attempt to quit, you may have to ask a healthcare provider to support you. This means getting prescriptions for the right medications as well as counselling. Stopping the habit of smoking is not just a matter of willpower, you have to understand that your brain has gotten used to having nicotine in the system.
When you’re smoking, nicotine gets to the brain. It then triggers a release of dopamine, that’s why you feel calm and somewhat happy. However, this effect doesn’t last too long. You will feel the urge to light another cigarette and repeat the process. When you quit smoking, you will experience withdrawal symptoms that are going to be unpleasant. You’ll feel anxious, depressed, irritable, and you may have difficulty in focusing on your tasks. This often makes many smokers go back to smoking.
Don’t be too Hard on Yourself
While there are some people who can successfully quit on their first attempt, it may not be the case for you. For many smokers, there will be a number of attempts to quit before they can stop smoking successfully. If you find yourself going back to smoking, don’t be too hard on yourself. The process is going to be rough and blaming yourself, feeling guilty, or feeling like a failure won’t help.
When you have a slip-up, don’t immediately think that you failed. Remember that for each hour and each day that you were able to resist the temptation to smoke, you were successful for that moment and you ought to celebrate it. Quitting smoking is a behavioural, mental, and physical challenge for you. You have to realize that it’s not going to be easy. But nevertheless, it is not impossible. Take each day as they come and don’t be afraid or ashamed to ask for support from your family and friends.
Reasons to Quit Smoking
For every smoker who is trying to quit, there’s a different set of reasons behind it. If you’re planning to quit smoking and want to strengthen your reasons for doing so, here are some of the best reasons to quit smoking.
To Regain Your Health
This is something that you already know, of course. Once you quit smoking, you will give your health a chance to improve. In doing so, the quality and length of your life will also be better. When you quit smoking, your body will start to do repairs to the parts that have been damaged by the habit of smoking. Yes, your body can undo the damage for as long as you quit early on and as soon as you can. Even if you think it’s too late, you can still experience improved health so never think that stopping is useless.
To Save More Money
This is another thing that you may already know. Smoking is like burning your money. It’s an expensive habit and the price of cigarettes continue to go higher. Imagine the money you can save in a year if you don’t smoke. You may be able to take a vacation or buy a really cool gadget that you like. Think about it; your money can be better spent elsewhere than just on cigarettes.
To Save Yourself from Inconvenient Situations
You have to admit, it’s a hassle to smoke. Right now, more places are banning smoking indoors such as in public spaces, restaurants, and bars. You would have to go out just to smoke. Imagine having to stand in the rain and be cold just so you can have your fix. If you’ve successfully quit, you don’t have to go through all those inconveniences anymore. And that would be ideal.
To Protect Your Family and Friends
When you smoke, you don’t just harm yourself. You also affect the health of those around you. Second-hand smoke can harm your loved ones and it can make them sick. If you have children at home especially, you should think of their health and what you can do to keep them healthy. You won’t only feel better when you quit, those around you will, too. The house won’t smell of cigarettes anymore. This includes your clothes and your hair. Everyone can sleep soundly at night.
Preparing Yourself to Quit Smoking
As a Toronto-based alcohol rehab centre, we have seen people destroyed their lives when addicting to drugs, which seem to make smoking cigarette like a smaller problem. If you are looking forward to stopping smoking once and for all, it is important to perform things that imply small lifestyle changes. No matter how small these changes are, you can get the assurance to see yourself having the strong will and determination to resist the temptation of lighting up a cigarette.
The Five Stages to Quitting Cigarette that You Ought to Know
If there is something that you can do to help you improve your life and overall health then that has to be quitting smoking. Your attempt to quit this kind of unhealthy vice will make you stronger. It’s not yet too late to have all the benefits it offers and you might be surprised to find some of them even in the first few days of your attempt. With a strong will and determination combined with support and consistent practice, you will be able to stop smoking for life.
But are you aware of the fact that smokers generally pass through five successive stages during their process of quitting? Here are the five stages that you ought to know, each involving certain challenges and issues:
Usually, at this stage, a person does not think about quitting and when he is challenged he would certainly defend his smoking behaviour. He might have been discouraged regarding his previous attempts or believed that he is practically too addicted to stop smoking. Smokers in this stage are commonly known to be less or not receptive to messages about the potential benefits and advantages of quitting. But on the lighter side, a huge number of “pre-contemplators” start thinking about their quitting journey.
While a smoker is at this stage, he is actually considering about quitting sometime in the future. Persons at this stage are more familiar with the potential consequences and they consider smoking as a behaviour problem that needs to be resolved. They are more open when it comes to receiving information about smoking and pointing out the potential barriers that prevent them from doing it.
This entails the condition wherein someone is getting ready to quit. It is here where smokers made their decisions to quit smoking. This is also the time when they see the disadvantages of smoking as outweighing the advantages so they usually take small steps towards their quitting journey. For instance, a smoker’s initial planning phase entails smoking fewer sticks of cigarettes. While these people believe that something has to change, they would usually set a date when they can fully stop smoking.
This stage entails the actual quitting of a smoker. He would often give himself short-term rewards to keep himself motivated. He would often run to his family and friends to get the support he needs. Smokers at this point mentally review their commitment and action plans to effectively deal with external and personal pressures that could lead them to potential slips.
This final stage depicts former smokers who have learned to handle and anticipate temptations. They are able to find and use new ways to deal with boredom, social pressures, and stress that have been part of their previous identity as smokers.
Best Ways on How to Quit Smoking
As of today, more than six million Canadians smoke – 22.3% are males and 17.5% are females. While many of these people are heavy smokers, it is alarming to note that a large percentage of smokers fall under the teen category or youngsters with ages fifteen to nineteen years old. So, in what category do you belong?
Whether you are a young or an adult smoker, it is important to take note of the bad effects of smoking on the body. Generally, smoking is a form of habit which is commonly associated with different kinds of health problems especially cancer. These diseases are a way too dreadful to deal with so it is a good idea to quit smoking as early as possible.
Seven Helpful Tips to Stop Smoking
In Canada, millions of people are confined to smoking cigars and cigarettes and surprisingly many of these people are looking forward to stopping this kind of unhealthy habit. Authorities in the country such as Health Canada offer a wealth of information that can help people on how to quit smoking effectively. Here’re some tips:
Maybe you have already tried quitting from smoking in the past but unfortunately, you weren’t that good enough to manage it. Don’t be discouraged and do not let that first attempt to put you off. You can start the process once more. Think of your experience and what it has taught you in the process. Be firm and positive on how you are going to do it again this time.
Create a Quit-Smoking-Plan
It wouldn’t harm you if you make a promise to yourself this time. Set a specific date and be able to be consistent with it. When you are in a difficult situation, be firm to yourself and say, “I don’t have and I won’t try even a single stick.” Cling unto these words you said until all your cravings pass. You should also think of occasions that you may find difficult to deal with – a party for example. Plan the necessary actions and even escape routes to prevent yourself from being tempted.
Watch Your Diet
Do you like smoking after your dinner or lunch? A US research team has revealed that there some kind of foods that can make smoking more satisfying. Meat is a given. However, there are food items that you can eat to make cigarettes terribly-tasting. These food items include cheese, fruits and vegetables. So, it would be a good idea to swap your burger or steak for a veggie pizza.
Change Your Favorite Drink
Are you a fan of fizzy drinks, cola, tea, coffee and alcohol? If you are then you should change them right away as they only pull your urge to smoke. When you are out, quench your thirst with juice or water. This will greatly help you in pulling yourself away from the tempting look and smell of a cigarette.
Learn to Identify when Your Craving Starts
A craving has a maximum duration of five minutes and before you give up, you need to come up with a list of five-minute techniques or strategies. For instance, dance with somebody or leave the party for a minute or two. And you should always be reminded by this: drinking and smoking when combined can raise your risk of mouth cancer by thirty-eight times.
Get Some Support
If family members and friends want to quit smoking too, tell them that you should stop together. You can also get the kind of support you need from your local quit smoking service. With the help of experts, you are up to four times more likely to quit smoking effectively and successfully.
Get Yourself Moving
Scientific studies have revealed and proven that exercise helps the brain in producing anti-craving chemicals. So, a five-minute walk or run is a simple way to cut your cravings.
Methods on How to Quit Smoking
Do you find it hard to quit smoking? Worry no more. Here, you will be learning some of the best ways to quit smoking and for sure, you may find any of them truly effective at your end.
The Cold Turkey Method
This simply entails making up your mind to quit smoking and do it as soon as you have thought about it. With this method, you ought to have a good ounce of discipline, willpower and commitment. Frankly, this is by far the simplest method every smoker can try when he decides to stop lighting up a cigarette. This method is safe as you will not have to take pills just to keep you going. Discipline yourself over time and before you knew it, your life is already smoke-free.
The Use of Relaxation Audios
When someone quits, he is more likely to become stressed. To be able to counter stress, it is important to fight off your nicotine cravings. This can be achieved by listening to relaxing audios. This simply works much better when combined with other methods.
The Use of Hypnosis
This is a method wherein you are putting yourself in a trance while your subconscious mind receives and assesses suggestions. Logically, hypnosis tends to reconfigure the way on how you perceive and feel about smoking. It eradicates the good attributes of smoking such as the pleasurable sensation you get from it.
While hypnosis has made wonders to countless smokers from around the world, you need to keep in mind that this may not be a good method for everyone. Nevertheless, you can have all the freedom to try it so that you may know if this one works for you.
The Chinese Acupuncture Technique
This is a Chinese traditional method wherein needles are used to stimulate the body’s energy points. If this is done correctly, your body will experience an extreme feeling of relaxation, reducing and eradicating your cravings in the process.
The Use of Herbal Treatments
With herbal treatments, a smoker usually feels the relaxing sensation he needs during his stressful quitting. Since herbs are natural and organic, they are safe to use. However, you need to consult your doctor first before trying any of the herbal treatments on the market today.
Choose the method you want and do it with the aid of some social support today.
Now that you know all these things, we hope that it will help you on your journey to quit smoking. Keep in mind that it’s okay to take small steps. Take each day as they come. If you have to count the hours that you’re smoke-free, that’s absolutely alright. You ought to be proud of yourself for being strong. Don’t forget to ask for help and support from your family and friends. For sure, they’ll be more than happy to give their love and support to you. It may be a rough road ahead but know in yourself that you can do it!