Now that I reflect back almost 3 years ago when I quit smoking and how I went about it, I now see ways I could have made it slightly more improved, so to speak. My main suggestion would be to start tracking your cigarettes 2 months before your quit date, if you set one, that is. Go to Track Your Tobacco and Identify Your Triggers | Guides & Tools | BecomeAnEX and stop every time you want to light up and go to that link and log the time of day, the reason for smoking and even more useful, how you plan to separate from it. In other words, for me it was morning, 6:00 a.m., waking up. How I plan to separate was to instead of light up, making a list of to-dos that day. My next light up was normally between 7:00 and 8:00 a.m. That was stress (nicotine recharge); to separate, I got up and did something, cleaned something, picked up something.
The key here is to physically make yourself stop and think about the exact moment of when you are lighting up. When I was puffing away, I lit up one after the other after the other without even thinking about why I was doing that. Half the time I didn't even “need” a cigarette. I just lit up because they were there. But by tracking them and making myself stop and log them in every time, made me realize how many times I didn't “need” it after all. After a week, it gave me a summary of my most common times for when I smoked and the reasons for it. It's the most incredible tool on this site and really focuses on the whys. After about 2 weeks, I began noticing that I associated the time, the action (smoking) and how I can wait a little longer.
After about a month, I was cut down to half of what I was smoking. Then is when I started planning for activities around the house and my life in general I was neglecting and made a list. I noticed when I had a bad craving, I went to my list and focused on that. Before too long, the craving went away and I was prepared for when the next one hit. In my case, since I was a chain smoker (2 – 3 packs a day) and went at that speed for 43 years, it took a good month to a month in a half for the physical symptoms to lessen. I had tingling of the hands and feet, restless leg syndrome, sores in my mouth, bleeding of my gums, all due to the wonderful increase in my oxygen and enriching my blood flow.
The first month and a half for me was extremely difficult, but I had a lot of emotional ties to smoking. Some will use the excuse of well, I gained too much weight when I quit. Well, of course you did, you substituted the hand to mouth motion of smoking with shoving food in your mouth. That's what I did and I realize that. Just remember it's easy to pack on the pounds than it is taking it off. Make yourself a meal plan and stick to it. Some might crave sugar. Research fruits and vegetables to satisfy that. If you find yourself in a slump with depression, talk to your physician. I think now looking back it probably wouldn't have been so hard for myself if I would have went on a mild antidepressant during that first year. There's a lot of brain chemistry being rearranged at that time. And then there are some people that never experience depression but rather just being irritable. Quitting is not set in stone.
So in summary, this is probably the most hardest thing in your life to do but it can be done if you commit yourself and stick to your plan. Arm yourself with knowledge and all the tools this site gives you. Ask for help when you need it. Reach out to members of this community. Use the search feature and look up blogs and articles about the things that are concerning to you or you simply have questions about. Look back at members' profiles and read back to when they first joined the site and follow their journey. Go to Relapse Prevention if you're finding yourself falling back into old habits. There's many, many years of stories from many, many people on here. Allow them to guide you to who you want to become, to the goals you want to attain. You too can become a nonsmoker !!!! Share some of your own quit tips and tricks. Everyone could always use a new mind-set, a brain storm to get the train a moving.........