It’s now a new year. Hard to believe another year has slipped right on by. Many people have considered taking steps at New Years toward living healthier, such as making a commitment to stop smoking. Some people feel energized that this is a chance to begin anew, and take control of the direction they want their life to go. Other people may feel a sense of discouragement, as they may feel little control over the important things in life such as their health and are less energized to follow through and stop smoking in the New Year.
For those who have already made a New Year resolution to stop smoking, CONGRATULATIONS! Your body thanks you. Even though your mind may not yet be comfortable with your new life style it will get better. Reward yourself. Do something you wouldn’t normally do or buy something you wouldn’t normally buy. Feel good about your stopping smoking even if it has only been for a short time. Remember, your body makes amazing changes when you quit smoking, some common improvements include: carbon monoxide is cleared from your body within one day, and in a few months your risk of heart attack begins to drop and your breathing begins improving. Stopping smoking for a year reduces your chance of having a heart attack by a whopping 50%! That’s right by half in only 12 months. Enjoy being healthier.
For those who are discouraged, remember you are not alone. Many people struggle with stopping smoking. It is often a process that begins with working through that feeling of discouragement. This may be a good time to build your motivation to stop smoking, inventory your reasons for quitting, and look at other things you’ve accomplished that can help build your confidence. Think about other things you have accomplished in the past. Were they all easy? Did any of them require some planning and effort? If you have gone a half day or a week without smoking, think about that as a path to longer times without smoking and build on that. Remember those are cigarettes NOT smoked. You should give yourself credit for going without those cigarettes.
As that feeling of discouragement fades take steps to feel more in control. Talk with others who have quit about what has helped them to finally become smoke-free. Talk with your health care provider or the Specialists at the Tobacco Quit line about tools you can use to make this next time work for you. Join a community on becomeanex.org. Be good to yourself, take control when you feel able, and move ahead into a better and healthier life.