Smoking is an unhealthy habit that affects your physical and mental health. It may be pleasurable, but it damages your lungs, messes up your brain’s reward circuit, increases your risk for heart disease and different types of cancer, and affects your oral health. It also affects your interpersonal relationships and career goals. If you wish to quit smoking for good, then you’ve come to the right place. Here are some of the few ways you can form good habits that will eventually help you quit smoking.
Find a Good Reason to Stop
What’s your motivation to stop smoking? Find one big reason why you should quit smoking for good. One good reason is to protect your loved ones from the chances of being affected because of secondhand smoking. Another reason would be to prolong your life and collect more beautiful memories as you live. Choose one good and powerful reason that will outweigh your urge to smoke.
Get Rid of Everything That Reminds You of Smoking
It’s about time you start cleaning up your surroundings. According to WebMD, you can get rid of ashtrays, lighters, cigarette boxes, and other household items that remind you of smoking. This act is the same as avoiding people who remind you of smoking. It’s not that you ignore the people who remind you of smoking permanently in your life, but the next time you see that uncle who gave you your first cigarette or that friend who offers you the best menthols, learn to say no.
Make Some Changes in Your Routine
Smoking may be triggered by certain cues, most especially by your routine. You may be the type to smoke after breakfast, or you may be the type to smoke during study or work breaks. Some people smoke when they feel stressed or disgusted. Maybe it’s about time you make some changes in your daily routine, such as taking a brisk walk after eating breakfast. Eat nutritious fruit or sweet candy instead of smoking cigarettes when you feel disgusted. Play an upbeat song, and dance to it like no one is watching when you feel stressed. These little changes will help you quit smoking in the long run.
Set Some Rules
These rules apply not only to you but also to the people around you. For instance, you may strictly impose to your family members or friends that no one is allowed to smoke inside your home or inside your car. Anybody caught breaking the rules must pay a penalty or do an essential household task. When social support is present and when your loved ones are also living a healthy lifestyle, your chances for quitting smoking are high.
Learn about Health Interventions
Ask your doctor about possible interventions that can help you quit smoking. You may ask about therapy, support groups, quit-smoking classes, apps, counseling, and medications that can help you stop your bad habits. Through consistently following your doctor’s advice, you will be more than ready to face a smoke-free life.
Take a Break
For the first few weeks that you have taken steps to quit smoking, you must avoid stressful situations. Or you might want to learn how to manage your stress effectively so that you wouldn’t resort to smoking once again. As a pleasurable act, smoking relieves stress. You might want to go on a short vacation for the first few weeks of your smoke-free life to avoid relapse. Eat your favorite food every once in awhile. Treat yourself to a makeover or a spa session. Or you might want to consult a psychologist about managing your day-to-day stressors in life.
List Down Your Triggers
If you want to quit smoking permanently, then you must be able to determine what triggers you to do so. Nicotine does not leave your body easily since its effects can be long-lasting and mess up with how your brain and your body process it. Why do you smoke? List down the reasons why, and inform your doctor, psychologist, family members, friends, and colleagues about it. Feel free to talk about your struggles with smoking. This way, more people can help you stop this bad habit.
If you cannot pinpoint the exact triggers or reasons why you find smoking pleasurable, note down every single time you smoke a cigarette. Bring a small notebook everywhere you go, and write details about your smoking habits. When and where did you smoke today? Why did you smoke today? Write them all out. This way, you can find a pattern of your triggers. You can also show this notebook to the health-care professionals who are helping you quit smoking so that they can find better interventions for you to stop.
Nicotine is an addictive substance present in every cigarette stick you smoke. And there are ways to know if your body is flooded with nicotine. Know your levels today by testing yourself in the privacy of your own home. A nicotine test kit will help you determine your nicotine or cotinine levels in just five minutes.
The journey to achieve a smoke-free life is not magic. Quitting does not happen overnight. Some even relapse after a few months. But with little steps done consistently, you can successfully quit this habit. You can consult the right health-care professionals for you to develop coping techniques regarding smoking. And as mentioned before, social support can really help you say goodbye to your unhealthy habit.