Today there are more ex-smokers than smokers. Almost all programs to help you quit smoking use a set a date and prepare method. That means setting a date that you will quit smoking and then preparing for that day. Preparation is important because it can help minimize the effects of withdrawal. Understanding these principles may help you prepare to quit smoking and stay free from cigarettes for life.
Preparing to Quit
- Set your target date. Let everyone know about it because those people can be a great support to you.
- Begin a healthy eating lifestyle if you already don’t have one. That means snacks of raw vegetables and drinking eight glasses of water a day.
- Start an exercise program if you are not on one. Exercise has proven to help with success in quitting smoking as you gain more energy and it helps you from putting on more weight.
- Find those things you really enjoy doing that make you feel good and energetic. These will be important during your first few weeks of quitting because they will be great distractions and also great rewards.
- Stay away from alcohol, coffee and other drinks containing caffeine because they make your desires for nicotine stronger.
- Replace the urge to smoke with a few deep, slow breaths followed by a drink of water.
- Keep away from smoky areas.
- Remember the things you have tried before that worked good for you in stopping smoking.
- Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. Each day repeat one of these reasons at least ten times.
- Understand that withdrawal symptoms last for only a week or two. This will be the hardest period because your body will not be getting the nicotine it desires.
- Be aware of stress events or times with other smokers during the first few months. These things trigger relapse so be prepared to deal with them.
Remember that most ex-smokers got there after making several attempts. If you slip, just resolve immediately to stop now.
Be Smoke-free For Good
Many of us have quit smoking for a day or so, but it’s staying smoke-free that’s the real challenge. Start by actively appreciating your new non-smoking behavior. Tell yourself daily how proud and good you feel. When you have an urge for a cigarette, call a friend or distract yourself with some form of physical activity. Drink plenty of water to flush nicotine from your system, and practice deep-breathing techniques. Quitting smoking doesn’t have to be the “impossible dream;” rather, it can be the realization of a long-sought goal.