Imagine yourself faced with multiple smoking-caused ailments like tuberculosis and lung cancer. Now, you’re dying on your death bed and you have noticed that your only company is a pack of cigarettes. Are you happy? Then, it hit you; you should have kicked the habit a long time ago.
Quitting smoking is like a death sentence to chain smokers and the above scenario doesn’t cross their minds at all… well, not until they are confronted with it. Why is it so hard to quit smoking?
First of all, smokers become attached to the nicotine content of tobacco products. It is an addictive substance that acts as a stimulant and releases dopamine (a chemical that makes the smoker feel an elated sensation) when taken in small amounts, thus being responsible for the dependence-forming properties of smoking. Attempting to quit this will lead to withdrawal symptoms like depression.
But, we should never forget one definite thing about smoking: it kills. If we are to quit, NOW is the best time. And we can start by coming up with a sincere intention to stop. Smokers can only quit if they want to quit. They must have the will power and the mindset to put down that cigarette and walk away, without turning back.
Once you’re ready and very determined to quit, you must have a plan in order to stay focused. Your plan may consist of several things that will help you maintain that will and mindset. You can have a reward plan, a stop smoking help plan, or simply a call-a-friend plan. Have these plans printed out and posted on any areas near you, just to remind you why you’re quitting.
Every smoker should also have a motivation. It can be a healthy lifestyle, your spouse, looking good, or whatever. Remember: nothing is too simple or too grand.
Be disciplined. Don’t fool yourself especially when you’re faced with an urge. Stop telling yourself that one puff won’t hurt because it will. That one puff will lead to a second puff and a third puff and soon you’ll be back to square one. That is not quitting, that is smoking.
When you encounter an urge, take a deep breath and start thinking of other things. You can always munch on something or drink water as this may distract you. You may refer to your posted visual aids or call your friend.
Never be afraid to ask for help. There are several support forums or rehabilitation classes who can understand you fully and assist you in coping up with the quitting stage.
Lastly, don’t go back. This means that you should get rid of all your ashtrays, cigarette packs, or anything that may remind you of smoking. This also applies to your friends and loved ones. When hosting a party, remind everyone that it’s a smoke-free event. This will not only allow you to maintain concentrated on your will for change but it will also encourage others to follow your example.
Kicking the habit can be hard but it doesn’t mean that it is not possible. It’s all about the will power and the mind setting. Once you have managed to do this, smoking may become a thing of the past and its hello healthy living for you.