Studies suggest that around half of long-term smokers will die of the deadly addition. Quitting smoking, therefore, is one of the best things that any smoker can do in order to improve their health.
Here are 9 great tips which will help you to quit smoking forever.
Find your reason to give up the habit
In order to get and remain motivate to quit any habit, you need a strong and personal reason. Where smoking is concerned, the reason may be to protect your family from secondhand smoke or reduce your chances of contracting lung cancer, heart disease, or other diseases caused by smoking. Or it may be that you want to give up smoking to feel fitter and, perhaps, look younger.
Be ready to go cold turkey
When a person smokes the brain has an addiction to nicotine. When they stop smoking therefore, there is a difficult period of withdrawal. It is important to be ready for this and ensure that you have plenty of support around you to help you through those difficult moments. Talk to friends and family. They will be able to encourage you to stay on track. You can also look into joining a support group or talking to a behavioral therapy counselor to help you identify strategies which will help you to quit.
Stock up on the nicotine patches
Withdrawal from nicotine when you stop smoking may give you headaches. It may also cause mood swings or drain you of your energy. This is where nicotine-replacement therapy can help. Nicotine gum may help to alleviate some of these symptoms and may help you to avoid that sneaky cigarette.
Avoid stressful situations and allow yourself to relax
The nicotine found in cigarettes helps smokers to relax. When you quit, you will need other ways to help you unwind and relax. You can exercise, listen to music, talk with friends, pamper yourself with a massage, or make time for a new hobby. Avoid stressful situations especially during the first few weeks after you stop smoking.
Stay away from alcohol and avoid triggers
When you drink, it’s harder to retain your discipline. Whist you are adjusting to your new, healthier lifestyle and trying to form new habits, it’s wise to limit the consumption of alcohol or cut it out completely. Also, if there are other triggers which may remind you of smoking try to avoid them. For example, if you tend to smoke whilst enjoying a cup of coffee, switch to tea. Or if you usually light up after a meal, try chewing gum or brushing your teeth instead.
Keep trying and don’t be too hard on yourself if you relapse
There is a good chance that you will have several attempts to stop smoking before you are able to quit the habit for good. If you light up, don’t allow yourself to be discouraged. Instead, try to understand what caused you to relapse. Use it as an opportunity to renew your commitment to quitting the habit.
Do some exercise
Movement and exercise can help to curb nicotine cravings and ease some withdrawal symptoms. When you have that urge to reach for a cigarette, put on your jogging shoes instead. Any form of exercise helps. Walk the dog or go and do some gardening. The calories you burn will also help you to avoid any weight gain.
Eat nutritious food
Don’t try to diet while you are quitting smoking. Too much deprivation is likely to backfire. Keep things simple and eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. These are nutritious foods and are good for fueling and repairing your whole body.
Reward yourself and remind yourself of the benefits
Remember to reward yourself. One of the benefits of quitting smoking is the reduced financial burden. Use the money to reward yourself with something nice. Also, remind yourself of the benefits of giving up smoking. Within a short period of time your heart rate and blood carbon monoxide levels will return to normal. Within 2 to 3 weeks your odds of having a heart attack or stroke are significantly reduced and your chances of developing cancer also decreases.