For ALL NEW QUITTERS Ten STEPS TO QUIT SMOKING
We all want this quit to be the quit. We're looking for permanent freedom from nicotine addiction. This article takes a look at some of the things you should avoid when quitting tobacco. Build a strong quit program by educating yourself about the process!
1. Don't be impatient. The natural tendency is to quit smoking and expect to be done with it within a month. Cessation just doesn't work like that. When you quit smoking, you are letting go of a habit that you've had for many years, if not all of your adult life. It's only fair to expect that breaking all of the old associations down will take some time. Sit back, relax, and put some time between you and that last smoke. Have patience with yourself, and with the process.
2. Don't worry about forever. It can be overwhelming to think you'll never smoke another cigarette. Don't do that to yourself. Train your mind to stay in the here and now of today. This is where your power is, and always will be. You can't do a thing about yesterday or tomorrow, but you sure can control today. If you find your mind wandering in either direction, pull it back. Pay attention to your thoughts, and do your best to stay focused on the day you have in front of you.
3. Don't be negative. It's been said that the average person has approximately 66,000 thoughts in a given day, and two-thirds of them are negative. We can be so hard on ourselves! Don't beat yourself up for things you can't change, such as the years you spent smoking. Don't look at past quit attempts as failures. Learn from the experiences you've had and move on. Think about all of the positive changes you're creating in your life. Successful long-term cessation always starts in the mind. Focus on your purpose and develop an attitude of gratitude. We have a way of believing what we tell ourselves over and over. Don't feed yourself negatives. Affirm the changes you are working to create in your life, and action will follow more easily.
4. Don't neglect yourself. This is a time when you should be taking extra care to make sure all of your needs are getting met. Following these simple guidelines will help you weather withdrawal more comfortably: Eat a well-balanced diet. Your body needs good quality fuel now more than ever as it works to flush the toxins out of your system. Get more rest. You will need it, and chances are you'll feel extra fatigue for a few weeks. Don't fight it. Sleep more if you can. Drink water. Water is a great quit aid. It helps you detox more quickly, works well as a craving-buster, and by keeping yourself hydrated, you'll feel better overall. Drink as much of the stuff as you can manage. Exercise daily. Walking is a wonderful way to get your exercise if you don't already have a favorite physical activity. It's a good, low impact aerobic workout, and it works well to keep cravings in check. Take a few 15 minute walks every day and see if it improves your spirits. Take a daily multi-vitamin. Giving your body an extra boost this way isn't a bad idea for the duration of the withdrawal process. Cigarettes deplete so many nutrients. It may help you regain your energy more quickly. Withdrawal isn't a pain-free experience, but it is survivable, and it is certainly short-lived. Always keep in mind the fact that withdrawal from nicotine is a temporary condition.
5. Alcohol and tobacco go hand-in-hand...Don't drink. I probably don't need to tell you that alcohol and tobacco go hand-in-hand. New quitters are tender. Putting yourself into a social setting where there is drinking too soon after quitting can be dangerous. Don't rush it. The time will come when you can have a drink without it triggering the urge to smoke, but don't expect that to be within the first month, or perhaps even the first few months. We're all a little different in how we go through recovery, so defining a specific time frame isn't realistic. Just be aware of your own situation. If you have an engagement coming up that involves drinking and you feel nervous about that, it may be best to postpone until you're feeling stronger. If that's not an option, have a plan in place for how you'll manage the event smoke free. Will you be able to excuse yourself to step our for some fresh air? Can you request that people don't smoke around you? However you decide to handle a situation, don't be shy about it. This is your life we're talking about here, and quitting tobacco has to be a top priority for awhile. Whatever you need to do to maintain your quit, you should do. Period! Remember, life won't always be this way - it will return to normal eventually.
6. Don't overdo. We've talked about taking care not to neglect your physical health. Your emotional well-being is every bit as important. Stress can build if you're not careful, and before you know it, you're fighting a strong urge to smoke. Early cessation creates its own tension, let alone all of the other things that come and go in our busy daily lives. Make sure you don't let yourself get run down to the point of exhaustion and that you take time every single day to destress with an activity that you enjoy. Whether it's time alone with a good book, a hot bath, or working on a hobby, make sure you incorporate some YOU time. Fatigue and stress are big triggers to smoke, and it can be a quick jump to feeling that you need a cigarette to cope. Plan ahead of time how you'll keep yourself out of those danger zones.
7. Don't take yourself too seriously. You will have bad days. Expect and accept that. Such is cessation, and such is life. On those off days, make a vow to put yourself on ignore! Sometimes the best thing we can do is to get out of our own way. Our minds can make a small issue huge, and make a drama out of every little thing if our moods are out of whack. When you have a bad day, use it as an excuse to pamper yourself excessively. I say that in all seriousness. Be good to yourself and put your thoughts on hold. Decide to wait and see what tomorrow will bring. Nine times out of ten you'll wake up feeling 100% better, and I promise you you'll be grateful to still be smoke free
8. Don't be afraid to ask for help. Statistics show that people who quit with a healthy support system in place have a much higher rate of success over time. If you don't have people around you who are supportive, and even if you do, add some online support to your quit program. There is nothing better than bending the ear of a person who knows exactly what you are going through. Getting help from people who have 'been there and done that' is worth its weight in gold.
9. Don't believe that you can have "just one". There is no such thing. It doesn't work with Lays potato chips, and it sure doesn't work with cigarettes. Smoke one cigarette, and you run a very high risk of being back to a pack a day quicker than you can imagine. Don't fall for faulty thinking. A relapse always begins in the mind. If you recognize unhealthy thoughts of smoking cropping up, it's time to renew your resolve.
10. Don't forget. You quit smoking for a reason. Probably several. Don't let time and distance from the habit cloud your thinking. Keep your memory green by reviewing your reasons often. They will never be less true as time goes by,but they can feel less critical if you're not careful. Cessation is a journey. Take it one simple day at a time, and you'll find that what started out as a difficult task soon enough becomes an enjoyable challenge.