It can be very hard to quit smoking; that’s why so many people have to try it over and over again before it works. Smoking is not just a physical craving or a psychological need; it can also be a physical habit that is very hard to break. Often, smokers associate smoking with good things, and that can make it even tougher to quit.
One of the first things you have to do in order to find quit smoking success is retrain your brain to see smoking differently. Instead of seeing it as a pleasurable activity, think of the reasons why it’s bad. You can’t smoke in most restaurants, you have to take time out of your day to smoke, you wind up with clothes and hair that smells like cigarettes, and you can’t really taste all the nuances of your food. You spend an ungodly amount of money on cigarettes, and if you were to put all of that money into the bank at a good interest rate, a pack-a-day smoker might even be able to put their kids through college on the money spent on cigarettes alone.
Once you’ve focused on the reasons smoking is bad for you, it’s time to quit smoking! Remember, this is a journey that will take some time, so get prepared in the following ways:
Set a quit smoking date. The date you decide you will be free of cigarettes should be one that holds a lot of good memories or reasons for you, such as the birthdate of a loved one. In the weeks leading up to your date, make it tougher to smoke. Vow to only smoke in the car, or to avoid smoking at certain times. Help yourself by getting rid of the lighters, the ashtrays, and all other little things that make smoking possible for you.
As your quit date gets closer, start cutting down on how much you smoke. You can do this by having fewer cigarettes, or if that doesn’t seem possible, cut your cigarettes in half and only smoke the half you have left. Taper down until you reach your quit date, and then throw the cigarettes out – but soak them in water first, so you can’t possibly smoke them if you get that midnight craving and are tempted to dig through the trash to find them!
Keep in mind that the first few days are going to be tough, but soon you will be breathing easier. Your clothes will smell fresh, and you will have more time on your hands, instead of searching for a smoking area or taking breaks at work to smoke. Keep your desk loaded with mints, put gum in your car, and ask your doctor for a prescription to help if the situation gets out of control.
Most of all, look to your friends and family for support. Your reasons for quitting should include them as well. The healthier you are, the longer you will be around, and the healthier they will be, with no secondhand smoke to breathe in. Quitting smoking is a win/win!