It is estimated that around 1.3 million people quit smoking each year, and that showed me I should be able to do the same. At first, I thought it was going to be easy, but the truth is that it took a lot out of me, so I want you to be prepared if you are thinking of taking the leap.
Learn About Quitting
Making the decision to quit came easy to me. I knew I wanted to quit, and I just took that leap. That is not exactly the best idea because quitting can be overwhelming, especially if you are not prepared for it.
Remember that quitting means you are going to experience things like withdrawal symptoms, such as the following:
- You may not be able to control your temper or you might be irritable
- You might feel anxious.
- Concentration might not be optimal, especially if you are feeling distress.
- Headaches or other forms of discomfort are common.
- You are definitely going to have hard cravings for cigarettes.
Trust me, knowing what to expect should make you feel a little more in control since you know these things may be coming.
Address Your Weak Points
No matter how strong you think your will is, everyone has a few weaknesses, especially when talking about your smoking habit.
One of my triggers was being stuck in traffic. There was no way I was going to be in traffic without sparking a cigarette. What I did was stop going out during traffic and made my GPS reroute so that I wouldn't be stuck there.
I also found that another of my triggers was all those cravings. I didn't know how to curve my cravings until someone suggested a vaping kit.
At first, the idea didn't sound too different from smoking other than it's a new fancy way of doing it, but I still went through the testing process to see if it worked for me and it did.
The following are other triggers that you need to be aware of and fight off:
- Drinking coffee (skip this drink or only drink it where smoking is not allowed)
- Finishing a meal (try to do something after eating)
- Using a phone (have a stress ball while you talk)
- Stressful moments (practice self-relaxation like yoga or meditation)
Gather Some Support
The next thing you want to do is make sure you reach out to friends and family members. Let them know that you are trying to quit because some of these individuals are going to be rooting for you.
I have to admit that this part was a bit of a struggle for me because I didn't want to burden others with my troubles, and I didn't want anyone to know I failed if I was unable to quit.
So, yes, there was a time when I neglected to say anything, but it made things harder for me. An innocent call to go out to a game became a trigger for me, so I just decided to spill the beans, and everyone was quite supportive. Quitting does take a village, and you have to be humble enough to accept help.
Your friends or family members are going to be able to do some of the following for you or with you:
- Provide distractions when you need them
- Help support and motivate you to stick to the process
- Be aware of triggers so they don't accidentally tempt you
- Lend you an ear if you ever need to talk
You do not know how many times I relied on friends and family to get through this. It might also be a good idea to form a support group, or join one in your neighborhood that could help with this transitional phase in your life.
I eventually quit smoking and have been a non-smoker for a few years now. I am not going to say that it was easy because it wasn't. I am not going to say that you won't be tempted even after years of not smoking; something could always trigger a craving, so keep your guard up.
Filed under: Life