5 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking
In spite of being aware of the many health risks associated with smoking, people continue to smoke. That’s because for many, smoking is a way to cope with stress, anxiety, and boredom —making it both a physically and psychologically addictive habit. Putting down the smokes for good is undeniably difficult, but once you’ve made the decision to stop, you’ll need to address the underlying cause of your habit to successfully quit. Here are just a few tips to help you along the way:
- Find a Reason
Deciding to kick the habit will keep your momentum going for a few days, but giving yourself a real reason to quit will get you through the harder days when you’re bogged down by stress at work, around a bunch of smoker friends, or just looking for something to keep you occupied. Whether you want to prevent health problems, adopt a healthier lifestyle or just want to get rid of a bad habit for the mental prowess, think of why you really want to quit and make that your mantra. Whenever the urge to light up creeps up, repeat it to yourself — over and over if need be.
- Prepare for Your Quit Day
Begin by deciding on a quit date that isn’t too far in the future. Some people opt to quit abruptly the day of, while others decide to quit gradually – pick the method that works best for you. Prepare for your quit day by settling on a method, throwing away your cigarettes, letting your family and friends know to keep you accountable, and stock up on substitutes like hard candy, carrot sticks, toothpicks or gum.
- Try Nicotine Alternatives
Nicotine alternatives can help with your cravings and withdrawal symptoms. They are designed to give your body small doses of nicotine to help you through the initial quitting phase. Some prefer gum while others opt for a patch or other solutions, so pick the one that best suits you and keep it in your armor should you need it.
- Keep Busy
Staying busy is a good way to help you remain smoke-free, especially on your quit day and the few days that follow it. Try and engage in activities that will distract you from your cravings. Some good distractions include exercise, drinking water, chewing gum, keeping your hands busy with a craft, or going to a movie.
- Seek a Support System
Deciding to quit smoking can feel isolating at times. Seek out friends and family or even a support group on line to develop a network of people to keep you on track and get through difficult days. Let them know how they can help and set up a quitting plan involving them to help you kick the habit for good.