5 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

5 Tips to Help You Quit Smoking

Last update: 25 September, 2017

The decision to quit smoking is a personal one that most smokers have considered at least once. But many of them can’t do it. Some try but aren’t successful, especially if they’ve been smoking for a long time.

Modern society is characterized by avoiding short term suffering, and in all types of drug use you see people do everything possible to avoid withdrawal symptoms, which are both physical and psychological. Therefore, different strategies are needed to face the process of quitting.

The tips you’ll read below are a guide to make quitting more manageable. But don’t forget, quitting use of a drug is a difficult process, and you might need help achieving it. You should welcome any resource within your network that could help you through the process.

heart or cigarettes

There’s no magic recipe to help you quit smoking without putting in effort, and if that’s how it’s being sold to you, then it’s likely a scam. I know it takes a lot of effort, but it’s not impossible, and if you do your part by heeding the tips below, it will be much easier to achieve:

Find motivation

Saying you want to quit smoking is much easier than doing it, because like everything, it requires a lot of effort. So before you begin the process, I recommend that you make a list of pros and cons for this decision.

Next, weigh each reason in each column from 1 to 10 according to how important it is to you, thus obtaining what we call decisional balance. If there are more reasons for quitting, or the reasons are stronger, you’re ready to try.

If not, review the reasons and make sure you have true intrinsic motivation to quit before you begin the process. This step is essential. Quitting depends on you, not on what other people tell you.

face in clouds

When your motivation runs low, its also advisable to have resources prepared to remind you why you chose to stop smoking, such as a letter to someone you love. You should always have this letter with you so you can go to it whenever you need it.

The letter should begin as follows: “Dear son, today I’ve decided that I’m going to stop killing myself slowly, I’m going to stop smoking…” Then, continue by outlining the reasons you listed in the pros column you wrote before.

Learn breathing techniques to reduce your anxiety

Once you’re sure of your motivation, before you quit smoking, you should learn some sort of relaxation technique to help you get through moments of anxiety. If you master one beforehand, it’ll be easier to use once you start the process.

Breathing from the diaphragm is the best way in this case, since it’s similar to the way you breathe when you smoke. Inhale slowly and deeply, and exhale slowly, thus reducing your heart rate.

hands holding heart

Understand that quitting is an individual process

Never forget that we all have our own stories, and the best treatment will be the one that adapts to your own particular circumstances. It’s a good idea for your psychologist to adapt any sort of general treatment to you.

It’s better for some people to quit cold turkey, while others do better with a gradual process. Either way, the withdrawal symptoms will always be easier to handle if nicotine consumption is reduced gradually.

This process involves progressively reducing nicotine consumption to reduce withdrawal symptoms and anxiety. Once the process has begun, you’ll forget about the cigarettes that are less important for you to smoke, until you stop smoking the ones that seemed essential to you before.

Don’t go to war if you don’t have any weapons

Without any weapons, you won’t emerge victorious. In the case of cigarettes, when you start quitting, you should get rid of everything having to do with smoking, meaning no ash trays in the house or lighters in your bag.

It’s also helpful to avoid situations in which you’d be very likely to smoke as much as possible. If you tend to smoke during your lunch break, you’ll have to temporarily eliminate these breaks while you’re trying to eliminate the habit. You could substitute them by taking a short walk.

cloud over head

Remember that smoking has never solved any problems

In my experience, no cigarette had ever solved a problem. When you quit smoking, your mind might feel disorganized due to the anxiety you’ll feel. Disorganization impedes concentration and makes you feel more scattered in the first few days. However, don’t forget that going back isn’t a solution, and if you persevere, your feelings will become positive again.

Smoking is a problem, not a solution. It poisons the brain and reduces performance. Learning problem-solving techniques will give you effective resources to face each new day without cigarettes.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.