Many people struggle to quit their smoking habits, but it requires more than just deciding to stop. Quitting smoking entails a lot of motivation, willpower and planning. Having a plan of action could help boost your chances of quitting and then abstaining from smoking. If you are convinced you are ready to stop the smoking habit, this article will provide insights on things you need to know to make your nicotine addiction a thing of the past.
How to Prepare to Quit Cigarettes for Good
First, you need to identify the motivating factor behind your decision to quit smoking. Do you desire a longer life? Or you want to have the money that goes into buying cigarettes? Do you want to be free of cigarette related health issues? Having clarity of purpose about your decision can make it easier for you to manage the withdrawal symptoms that are sure to come later.
One of the most prevalent symptoms of quitting smoking is to feel uncomfortable and irritable immediately after you stopped smoking. You feel a strong urge to smoke at this time. Your body is starting to learn to live without nicotine. This is what is known as withdrawal.
The peak of the withdrawal mode is known to last between a few days and a few weeks. During this period, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Sleep issues
- Brain fog
- Anxiety, nervousness and restlessness.
You may be tempted to smoke again to take off the pressure of the withdrawal symptoms at this time, but if you can stay strong, the urge will gradually wear itself away.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
One of the best treatments that can help in your quest to be nicotine free is Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT). NRT helps to reduce the effects of withdrawal symptoms and is capable of boosting your chances of permanently quitting smoking. NRT can be in the form of the following and can be bought without a prescription:
- Nasal sprays
- Nicotine patches
Involve Your Family and Friends
Your family members can support you if they know you are determined to quit your smoking habits. Give them instructions on what to do to make the process easier for you. Here are some tips to achieve this objective:
- Let your loved ones be aware of your reason for quitting.
- Ask them to help you measure your progress by checking on you once in a while.
- Make your loved ones come up with smoking free activities that you can do together.
- If you have a family or friend member who smokes, ask them to quit with you or not to smoke in your presence.
- Tell everyone to be patient with you during the withdrawal period as you will be cranky and irritable.
- Tell your family and friends never to offer you a cigarette, even if you ask for it.
Tobacco cravings can be triggered by many things, and sometimes they just come to mind abruptly. Your cravings for nicotine may even be difficult to control than your withdrawal symptoms. Seeing a smoking passerby can bring on a strong craving for a cigarette. These visual cues are known as triggers.
It is essential to have a plan for managing sudden tobacco cravings as it can be triggered by almost anything. However, these cravings only last for an average of 15 to 20 minutes.
Distractions are very efficient at bringing cravings under control. Many people report that getting busy for the next 20 minutes helps to take their thoughts away from the craving, for example taking a shower or walk.
Creating a Plan to Combat a Nicotine Addiction
In the first days of your quitting smoking, a lot of triggers will build up cravings for nicotine. Below are some strategies you can employ to control the urge:
- Take good care of yourself because you will need all the strength and willpower you can muster to overcome your cravings. Maintain a healthy diet, take lots of water, ensure you get enough sound sleep of 7-9 hours every night.
- Try to be in an environment where you can’t smoke in the first few days after you quit. Spend a lot of time in public places where smoking is disallowed. You can manage your cravings better if your environment does not support it.
- Stay away from people and things that can remind you of smoking, e.g. friends who smoke or an antique ashtray you owned.
- Whenever you see a trigger or feel a craving, take a few deep, cleansing breaths.
- Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, call a family member or friend. If you have no one to call, visit websites that deal with addiction control. You will meet people with the same challenge facing you, and you can offer yourselves encouragement.
- Once in a while, reward yourself. A reward is a form of positive reinforcement that encourages you to keep up with your new ways of living.
Quitting smoking involves much more than a decision to stop buying cigarettes. You need to have a plan on how to control triggers and cravings, and a lot of self- discipline. The determination and hard work you invest in the present will inevitably yield great rewards in a nicotine free future.