Here are some strategies that have worked for me the past 14 days:
- Stay positive and stay focused on your goal. Nothing can drive you to buy a pack or take a puff if your mind is focused assiduously on your smoke-free future. A healthier, more productive phase of your life begins now, and begins with re-asserting your decision to ditch the cigarettes and all other forms of tobacco.
- Keep active at whatever you are doing, even relaxing. It sounds counter-intuitive, but keeping your mind active and educated about the addiction is of prime importance. Do plenty of breathing exercises, and learn to inhale fresh air again. It is life-sustaining and refreshing!
- Do not be discouraged by cravings or 'not feeling quite like yourself'. This is the time to re-learn yourself and your environment. It might be getting back to basics for most of us, but it should be both a humbling and a learning experience for most of us. Discover again those things you had enjoyed before tobacco 'took-over'.
- Remember always that the benefits of quitting swiftly outweigh the temporary inconvenience or distress of any withdrawal or cravings.
- Accept that this period of time will most likely be a good challenge. A successful smoke-free phase bears the mark of a good tool kit: variety and number, and the most-used tools at quick reach.
- Try to increase your own discipline in other areas of your life. Resisting the nicotine urges takes discipline and practice, but the urges and cravings only come once-in-awhile. Gear up your response in other aspects of your life (keeping clean house, getting work accomplished, making it to work on time, ridding yourself of other bad habits) to match the effort you exert against the nicotine cravings.
And, here are some strategies I plan to use in the maintenance phase (to avoid complacency):
- Education. Continuing to read and re-read posts on this site & other sites, books and articles. Never a dull moment!
- Support. Maintaining and expanding my supports, online and in person.
- Persistence. Remembering my mantra - something to repeat, which reassures me of my decision.
- Resolve. Reminding myself of the three reasons I chose to begin a new phase of my life.
I thank you all so much for being so caring and supportive during this first phase of mine. I hope to add many more weeks to the short period of time that I have remained nicotine-free. I promise I will keep you and all people struggling with addiction in my prayers in the hope and faith that we can be saved from this condition.
Many blessings and best wishes for your holiday today and for your nicotine-free future! Thanks be to God!