If you smoke, you’ve probably heard this a million times before: you should think about quitting. It’s easier said than done though. We all know the health risks of smoking but that doesn’t make it any easier to give up cigarettes. Quitting smoking is one of the biggest challenges you’ll face, but- and you probably already know this- it is worth it. Read on for our 10 best-ever tips on how you can quit smoking:
Tip 1: Plan Your Quit
The first step is to make a plan that works for you
The first step is to accept that quitting smoking is not easy. But it can be done. What you need is a plan that works for YOU. Read up all you can about quitting and talk to your doctor about the various quit options open to you. Think about whether you want to reduce to quit or stop all at once. Then, set a quit date. Choose a date to quit smoking, within the next two weeks, and stick to it. This is a great way to mentally prepare yourself for quitting, without losing your motivation to quit. Try to pick a time when you have less stress in your life, so you can focus on quitting.
Tip 2: Find Your Reason
Find the reason that’s most compelling to YOU
Ask yourself what your most compelling motivation to quit is. Choose a reason that will be strong enough to resist the urge to light up. Invest some time in identifying a powerful, personal reason to quit. It may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke. Or lower your risk of getting lung cancer or cardiac disease or other harmful hazards of smoking. It could be one reason or many. Write it all down so you have a visual affirmation of why you want to quit.
Tip 3: Lean In
Ask your friends and family for support
Tell your friends, family and loved ones that you are trying to quit and enlist their support. If you don’t have a large social network, your doctor and other healthcare professionals can provide support. You can also join a support group or talk to a counselor. Those who are close to you will go that extra mile to support you in your quitting journey. They know that you are doing something amazing!
Tip 4: Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) uses a therapeutic dose of nicotine through product forms such as nicotine gum, lozenges, and patches so you can manage nicotine withdrawal and cravings while staying committed to quitting cigarettes. It enables you to step down your dependence on cigarettes gradually. Nicotine replacement therapy can help you cope with the tough physical withdrawal symptoms, so you can focus on the psychological aspects of quitting smoking. Studies have shown that using nicotine replacement therapy can increase your chances of quitting smoking by 50%.
Tip 5: Identify What Makes You Crave A Cigarette
Strategize about how to deal with triggers and cravings
Learn how to identify your triggers including specific situations, activities, people and feelings, and figure out the best strategies to manage withdrawal symptoms. Identifying your triggers will help you figure out ways to eliminate or limit them. Cravings usually last 5-10 minutes, so figure out ways to keep yourself busy when a craving strikes so you don’t give in to the urge to smoke. You could try getting out in the fresh air for some time, calling a friend, hopping into the shower or running up and down the stairs.
Tip 6: Give Yourself A Break
Don’t forget to take a break!
Find ways to help you relax and unwind so you’re not tempted to turn to smoking. Physical activity is a great way to deal with the stress of quitting. Take up running, swimming, cycling or join a Zumba class; you’ll keep cravings at bay while burning calories and keeping fit. You can also try meditation, listening to soothing music, making time for a hobby or treating yourself to a massage.
Tip 7: Think Positive
A positive attitude goes a long, long way
Quitting smoking can be hard and it is also a process, not a one-time event. Take your quit journey one day at a time and stay positive to help you get through it. Don’t give up and don’t lose your faith in quitting. It may seem tempting at times to just throw caution to the winds and have that one puff, but don’t do it. Stop and think about your reason for quitting and all the positives that come with staying smoke-free.
Tip 8: Celebrate You!
Small wins. Big wins. Celebrate them all!
In addition to the many health benefits of quitting smoking, it too has many financial benefits as well. Celebrate yourself by spending the money you are saving by quitting smoking, on something rewarding and fun. You are doing something incredible, so don’t forget to celebrate your wins, both big and small.
Tip 9: The Double P
Hang in there!
Patience. Persistence. You’re going to need both these P’s to stay committed to your quitting journey. Be accepting and forgiving of yourself even if you slip up managing relapse and try, try again. Remember that time is on your side. As soon as you quit, you start to get immediate benefits and they just build up over the years, adding to your lifespan.
Tip 10: Do Some Spring Cleaning!
Time to detox!
Spring clean your way to a smoke-free start. Do a complete detox of your health and your home. Try to eat healthily; include more fresh fruits, green vegetables, lean protein and whole grains in your diet. Avoid alcohol and cut back on caffeine. Get moving with whatever form of exercise you prefer. Stay hydrated with healthy fluids and make sure you’re getting enough sleep and are well-rested. Spring clean your home, car and immediate surroundings to get rid of anything that reminds you of smoking. Surround yourself with people you care about, who will stay with you on this journey.