Though it’s an uphill battle, it’s a battle you can win.
When saying “no” is not enough, there are still a couple of ways to start your journey towards cleaner lungs and a smoke-free existence.
Create Your Love And Hate List
Similar to a pros and cons list, your love and hate list is more personal; noting down the things that you love and hate about smoking. Writing down your thoughts on a piece of paper about your smoking habits will give you a better perspective on how far gone you are on your addiction.
Be honest about the things that you despise – for example, how smoking interferes with your mental focus, how it severely affects your physical well-being, and how it has created a rift between family, friends, and co-workers. On the other hand, jot down the positive impacts of smoking in your life like how it relaxes your mind or whatever made you continue opening those pack of cigarettes.
Does your hate outweigh your love or is it vice versa? The moment you recognize how adversely smoking has personally done to you, it’s a vivid sign that you are quitting.
TRIVIA: “We see the end result in older people, but we know that people who smoke start before they turn 17, and that is when the disease process begins, which makes these pediatric illnesses.” – Amy V. Lukowski, PsyD.
Create A List Of Why Quitting Is Hard
Be as comprehensive as you can be, even if what you’re writing becomes somewhat discouraging and disconcerting. One of the primary reasons why people have a hard time quitting is because they just see the reasons why it’s hard and not the things that can counter those reasons.
So here’s what you’re going to do: Opposite each reason, think of options on how to overcome that hindrance. For example, if you wrote that smoking is a form of stress reliever, you can respond on the opposite side that you can meditate or do walks instead. There are a lot of sound techniques to manage your stress and smoking is most certainly not one of them.
When smoking addicts look forward to the challenges connected to quitting, it’s easier to find an appropriate solution to help you fight the habit and be successful in your goal.
According to Amy Lukowski, PsyD, “Nicotine is highly addictive and is associated with cardiovascular disease, birth defects, lung infections. Inhaling nicotine stimulates production of saliva and phlegm, increases heart rate and blood pressure, elevates serum cholesterol levels, promotes blood clot formation, and aids in plaque formation in the cardiovascular system.”
Note Down What To Do When Your Craving Arises
Without a to-do list, people often find themselves aggressively needing to quench their thirst for nicotine. Here are some suggestions to satisfy your craving immediately without turning to that one stick of cigarette.
- Walking, jogging, hiking, or biking
- Taking your dog for a stroll
- Drink water or tea
- Do household chores
- Take a nap
- Brush your teeth and wash your face
- Chew some gum
- Practice deep breathing
- Have sex
You can add more to the list for as long as the activities will keep your mind off of thinking about smoking. Bring this list everywhere you go so that when the craving starts, you know how to retaliate healthily.
Vaughn I. Rickert, PsyD said “Although only 5% of daily smokers enrolled in high school think that they will be smoking in 5 years, 75% of these adolescents still smoke 5 to 7 years later.”
Throw Away Smoking Paraphernalia And Memorabilia
Do not keep anything that reminds you of smoking as it will serve as a trigger to continue with your bad habit. Smoking paraphernalia includes boxes of full or empty cigarettes, ashtrays, matches, cigarette holders, and even car lighters. They will serve as a temptation that can easily lure you and convince you to smoke just this once. In other words, break up with your habit because it’s toxic and destructive.
Always consider those who will be severely affected by your smoking habits, especially your family. Think of how your addiction directly affects their physical and mental health through secondhand smoke. Furthermore, remind yourself of how smoking has ruined the majority of your life.
If you find yourself relapsing, just start all over again because if you fail the first time, there’s always a second, a third, a fourth, and the list goes on until you get it right. Just be determined and know why you’re doing this and who you’re doing this for.