Stop Smoking – What Will You be Missing Out On?

Just thinking about stopping smoking can create fear and anxiety in a person. At first, we think we are going to be missing out on something good or we’re losing our best friend and it makes quitting hard. Why would you want to give up something that’s such a major part of your life and ‘used’ to bring so much pleasure? Do you remember the first few times you smoked? I bet it hurt and made you cough, tasted like crap and probably made you a bit nauseous. Or, do you only remember the buzz-like feeling which kept you coming back for more?

In the beginning, smoking wasn’t a best friend. It was one of those things we did to fit in, rebel or chase a buzz. Who would have thought we would turn it into a crutch to manage everyday life? When you stop smoking you aren’t going to be missing out on anything and you won’t be giving up your best friend. Instead you will be ridding yourself of the crutch you’ve used for years and learning to walk on your own.

Stopping smoking is going to open up doors for you. Instead of hanging out on the side of the building where you work you’ll be more productive. If you replace your old lifestyle with a new healthier one you will look and feel better, possibly increasing your sex appeal. You will be sick less, have more time to spend with family, do more, see more… Your day will be scheduled around the things you want to do rather than having to break away every couple hours to keep the withdrawals to a minimum.

Instead of managing stress, anxiety, boredom, fear, anger, etc. by smoking join the rest of the world that does it naturally. If you need a best friend to make you feel good then get yourself a dog or choose something healthy like walking, running, swimming, yoga, biking, or going to the gym. Anything that has to do with exercise is going to release a feel good chemical in the brain while helping you manage stress. Just think of all the things you’ll gain by stopping smoking – you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Stop Smoking – Pain vs. Pleasure

Just knowing something is bad for you doesn’t always mean you aren’t going to do it. People love instant gratification and if doing something, even if it is a bad idea, can lead to a quick feel-good sensation then it is likely the easy road will get taken. Smoking damages the body from head to toe and every smoker knows this, but the feeling one gets when they satisfy the physical and psychological cravings usually drowns out the voice of reason. A person usually doesn’t decide to quit until the pain of smoking outweighs that of not smoking. This pain can be physical, financial, mental, social, or a combination.

Every major, and lots of minor, life changing events revolve around one thing – pain vs. pleasure. People will work at a crappy dead-end job for years enduring the pain until they finally break and the pain is too much to bear. The same holds true for stopping smoking – when the pain of smoking finally outweighs the pleasure that’s when you’ll finally make the decision to stop. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy, it just means you recognize the need to change and you are finally ready to take action.

When you stop smoking it is helpful to understand the pain vs. pleasure conflict because even though you know you’re better off quitting the nagging voice from within is going to do everything possible to keep you smoking. Here are a few common thoughts you are going to encounter when quitting:

  • You can just smoke one. No you can’t! You never have and you probably never will. None of us would be in the trouble we’re in now if we could just smoke one. Addiction doesn’t work that way. You can’t just smoke one.
  • Quit tomorrow instead. Set your date to stop smoking and stick with it because if you give in to this thought you will smoke for days, months or years before you finally give it a go.
  • You need to smoke in order to manage your current situation. This psychological tactic is brutal because you think you need to smoke in order to deal with every aspect of life whether happy or sad. You’re pissed off at work so you head out back to unwind and of course the old way of doing that was lighting up and kicking a can across the parking lot. Smoking won’t help the situation but a brisk walk, a few deep breaths (of fresh air and its pollutants), and getting away for the situation for a short period can work better.
  • You’re better off if you carry an unopened pack in your car, just in case. Really? Just in case what? Just in case you decide to give into to the nagging voice that’s feeding you lies about smoking? Don’t tempt yourself or make it easy to relapse because the only thing you are accomplishing is prolonging the process.

It is interesting how our own mind will work against us for instant pleasure and gratification even if it will eventually lead to death. By examining your pain vs. pleasure threshold you can understand what is motivating you to want to take the easy road. Over time, in relation to smoking, you are going to have more pleasure than pain not smoking. If you deal with the psychological effects of smoking it won’t always be hard to refrain from smoking. You are going to go days, weeks and months without ever giving it a second thought. More often than not you are going to be grateful you joined the millions of people who’ve quit.

Fuel Your Motivation to Stop Smoking

There’s no doubt about it – quitting smoking is one of the hardest undertakings you will ever do. But when you evaluate the effect that smoking has on your health, the decision to quit is much easier to make. On average, people who smoke will lose 24 years of life and 1 out of 3 will die from a smoking-related illness – an illnes that could have been prevented.

Smoking has become part of your life, it’s like eating breakfast, drinking water, and sleeping. If you don’t have a solid understanding of why quitting is a good idea for you, your chance of success is going to be low.

Why Stopping Smoking is a Good Idea

You might already have a laundry list of why quitting smoking is the right thing to do, but don’t stop there. The more information you have about the harmful effects of smoking, the better. Every year more people are killed by a smoking-related illness than people killed by murder, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, car accidents, suicide, fire and AIDS combined. In the United States, over 400,000 people die from a smoking-related illness each year. Many of these illnesses are preventable.

On an annual basis smokers can spend around $2,000 on cigarettes alone. This number doesn’t take into account lost productivity at work or the cost of treating smoking-related illnesses. For more information check out the health effects of smoking on the body, society and non-smokers.

There is no silver bullet or magical stop smoking method and it is going to be uncomfortable and difficult. There isn’t any one method that works best for everyone – often it comes down to trial and error but the key to victory is persistence. You may try and fail one hundred times but it’s the one hundreth and one attempt that could lead to victory and a life free from dependance on cigarettes.

What is your motivation to stop smoking?

To really give power to your reasons for quitting smoking, write them down. It is this list that is going to motivate you when times get tough. The stronger and more personal your list is, the more power it will have when you are tempted to smoke. Here are a few things you may want to add to your list or use these suggestions to get your list started.

Reasons to Stop Smoking

  • Your body will begin to heal itself shortly after quitting smoking.
  • You will have more energy.
  • You will be more physically fit especially if you adopt a healthy lifestyle.
  • You will be able to mentally focus better.
  • You will have more time for other interests.
  • You will be able to breathe easier and cough less.
  • You will have healthier gums and whiter teeth.
  • You won’t stink like an ashtray.
  • You will lower your risk of cancer, heart attack, stroke, cataracts, emphysema, COPD, bronchitis and many other smoking-related illnesses.
  • You will be more fertile, lower the risk of premature births, and lower the risk of low birth weight babies.
  • You will stop exposing your friends and family to secondhand smoke.
  • You will have more money to spend on other things.
  • You will have more time with your children.
  • You will have more sex appeal.
  • You will be freeing yourself from an addiction.

Remember, if other people have stopped smoking, so can you! It is estimated that 20 percent of Americans smoke and 70 percent (of that 20 percent) actually want to quit. One out of three smokers will die from a smoking-related illness and the sooner you quit, the better your odds of reducing your risks.

Stay motivated to stop smoking by making a list of compelling reasons to quit, read it often, and lean on your list to get you through the tough times. Your reasons to stop smoking are your truth, not the voices in your head when your addiction is screaming for a fix. Whether or not you stop on your first try, keep on trying until you succeed- NEVER give up.

If I Stop Smoking Will I Will Gain Weight?

Are you worried about gaining weight after stopping smoking? You are not alone. Many ex-smokers who quit are concerned because the reality of weight gain is real. In fact, it is likely that you will gain a few pounds after quitting but luckily only a few gain a lot of weight.

The average weight gain for someone after quitting is around 10 pounds. Compared to the health risks of smoking it should never be a question of quitting. It is very easy to lose 10 pounds in a short period of time rather than dealing with a major illness down the road. It is estimated that you would need to gain 100 – 150 pounds after quitting to make your health risk as high as when you smoked.

Weight gain should not be a deterrent from stopping smoking. It is simply another step in the process that you need to plan for. Smoking increases the heart rate and after kicking the habit your metabolism is going to return to a normal state, a state which you have not seen for a very long time. It’s likely you will need fewer calories than you once did and if you don’t make adjustments to your diet or physical activity it can lead to weight gain.

Planning for weight gain is easy and you should never keep smoking just to avoid it. You are going to need to undo much of the damage smoking has caused to your body over the years and you do that by fine tuning your diet and getting physically active. You are doing much more than kicking a bad habit, you are making a major life-style change.

How Much Failure is too Much

You’ve heard people say they are going to accomplish their goal or die trying. You’ve also heard about people giving up on their dreams after things not quite working out the way they were planned. At what point do you give up and stop pursuing your goals? In essence, how much failure is too much? Well, I guess it all depends on the person.

We all struggle, there are good times, bad times and times in between. No one on this planet is spared from failure, we all experience it. It doesn’t matter how educated you are, how hard of a worker you are or if you are a good/bad person. Failure is simply a part of life.

When we experience failure it can lead to feelings of frustration, anger, hopelessness and guilt. We can be so hard on ourselves that we begin to feel worthless and want to give up. Stopping smoking is a challenging thing to do and the majority of people that have quit experience failure.

Behind every success story are a 100 stories of failure. Often failure is viewed negatively; that we aren’t good enough, strong enough or lack the will power to succeed. When you stop smoking the odds are high that you are going to experience failure. How many times have you said you would stop yet haven’t set the date? How many times did you quit for a day only to run out and buy a pack of smokes because the urges go to be too much? What about eating too much after quitting? Going to the club Friday night and taking a few puffs off your friend’s cig? All of these can lead to failure.

There are going to constantly be hurdles in your path as you pursue your goal to stop smoking. Failure is a part of growth and it is this challenge that will teach you the most. If you can quit smoking you can do anything, right?

The difference between success and admitting defeat is determination. How determined are you to stop smoking? Are you committed to do whatever it takes and quit 1,000 times if necessary? Are you going to learn from your failures and improve your stop smoking plan or are you going to admit defeat and give up? You will be tested each day after making the decision to quit. Your success hinges on whether you pass the challenge or give up – the choice is yours. Choose to learn from your failures and achieve your goals and dreams.

Resisting Temptation

Making the decision to stop smoking is fairly easy – it’s the resisting temptation part that is a major struggle.

Resisting the temptation to smoke is a battle that can occur by the minute, hour or day. We never know when the urge will strike, sure we have ideas but what constitutes a major craving? Why all of a sudden do we feel like we are going to go out of our mind if we don’t light up that very moment? Addiction is a powerful state of mind no matter what it is. We have changed the way we think about things giving them power over our thoughts and actions.

There are certain temptations you can avoid such as going out Friday night to the local pub for a couple drinks. You know darn well when you have a drink or two you want to smoke. Or, what about hanging with your smoking buddies at work. It’s a no brainer that you will feel left out and want to join in on the ‘fun’. Avoid putting yourself into these types of situations until you have a couple weeks under your belt of not smoking. Identifying situations, people and things that tempt you to smoke is important. That way you know what, who and where to avoid until you are well on your way to living a smoke-free life.

The first few days after stopping smoking you are going to have the urge to smoke. The urge will come and go, sometimes it will be a simple thought, other times it will be a punch to the gut. Cravings are short-term (you may just have a lot of them) and the key to getting through them is to remember your long-term goal of never smoking another cigarette. Remember why you made the decision to quit in the first place and follow that up with getting your mind onto something else besides smoking. You can do this by getting physically active (going for a quick walk), drinking some water or calling a supportive friend – engage your mind.

With each day you go without smoking you just become that much stronger. Don’t listen to the lies your brain tries to tell you. The physical withdrawals of nicotine are pretty mild compared to the psychological so prepare yourself for battle within your own head. Whichever beast you feed is the one that will win.

Why I Care if You Stop Smoking

I have been where many people are right now. They want to stop smoking but have doubts, fear and questions. They have tried quitting before only to fail and feel worse about themselves. I know what it is like to want something so badly that I will tell myself whatever it takes to give in – I KNOW WHAT IT IS LIKE!

Often times we take on the biggest decisions of our life alone. We don’t want people to know if we fail or we are embarrassed by the fact we let something get the best of us.

I share my experience because I know there are others out there that can learn from my mistakes and successes. I may never know if I am helping anyone but at the end of the day I think I am contributing some good back into society.

I would love to see the tobacco companies go out of business. To not have to worry that my child (or any child for that matter) would get addicted to nicotine because they thought it would never happen to them or that the peer pressure was too much.

If you were to take anything from visiting this website I hope it would be that you are not alone and that you shouldn’t go at it alone either. Many people are going through what you are this very moment and when you reach out you become more powerful – there are strength in numbers.

Stop Smoking with Exercise

When you make the decision to stop smoking your life is going to change dramatically. Chances are you will be adding new routines and habits to the way you live. If not, you should probably reconsider.

No matter how you decide to get your exercise it is important to remember that consistency is key. There are many benefits to exercising when stopping smoking. For starters it helps manage stress and we all know stress was the number one trigger that caused us to light up. Next, you will feel better, look better, have more energy and exercise will help keep your mind off of smoking.

Getting physically active after stopping smoking doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym every day and pumping iron. The last thing we want to do at our age is hurt ourselves. Getting physically active is a combination of cardio and strength training both of which can be done in or out of the gym. Go for a brisk walk, hike in the hills, ride your bike, swim, do sit-up and push-ups at home, jump rope, take a yoga class or any class for that matter. The key is to just do it and keep doing it. Find activities that interest you – those will be the ones that prove the most beneficial.

Find the time that works best for exercise. Is it in the morning before you leave for work, during lunch or after work? Sometimes putting off exercise until the end of the day can make it difficult to sustain. We feel drained and want to relax but that always isn’t the case, so find the time that works best for you.

Manage stress, be consistent in your efforts and experience the benefits of exercise combined with not smoking.

What Would You Do to Save Your Marriage

People will go to extreme lengths to save their marriage, rightly so. Our relationships are the most important things in our lives, they provide support, love, encouragement, pain and hope. Why is it that we treat our addiction to smoking as a relationship? We often feel like we’re giving up our best friend when stopping and that we simply can’t make it through one day without it.

Did you know that there are many of the same resources available to save your marriage as stopping smoking? Counseling, support groups, cognitive behavioral therapy, books and self-help resources. There are a variety of resources available to anyone wanting to save their marriage as well as stop smoking. So why is it people will go to extreme lengths to save their marriage but barely scratch the surface when it comes to stopping smoking?

We all see the benefits of marriage. We love our spouse and family and it would be hard to imagine life without them. That goes the same for cigarettes; it is hard to imagine life without smoking. Here’s the problem! We view smoking as a best friend that has helped us get through some very tough times. Who knows what would have happened if the Marlboro Man wasn’t there to save the day.

If you truly want to give up smoking and be glad you did you need to stop using it as a crutch. Smoking is not your best friend. Smoking is killing you with each puff. There’s nothing you can’t overcome or handle in life that requires smoking, NOTHING! The sooner you believe this to be true the closer you will be to a person that enjoys life without ever wanting or ‘needing’ a cigarette again.

The Cost of Smoking in the Workplace

I work in an environment where there are few remaining smokers; in fact, over 60 percent of individuals who smoked have stopped. The ones that continue have tried to quit over the years but found it to be too much of a challenge. As an outsider looking in it appears the problem they are having is the belief that smoking is helping them on some level. To them it helps manage their stress – I see it every day. A problem presents itself and they are high tailing it out the back door for a quick smoke. I completely understand where they are coming from, I used to be there but unless people are able to see the problem they won’t be able to react and come up with a solution to fix it.

There are several problems for smokers who smoke at work. For starters, they are perceived to take more breaks than their counterpart nonsmokers but this could be debatable. I have a coworker that spends hours reading magazines, chatting it up in other’s offices and surfing the internet, why she has a job her baffles me but if anyone were to get paid for doing nothing it is her. The difference between a nonsmoker and a smoker taking a break is that it is obvious when a smoker heads outside to light up versus a nonsmoker pulling up YOUTUBE to watch a few videos. Nevertheless, it’s the perception that matters and this perception could interfere with opportunities within.

Monetary Cost of Smoking

Studies show, current smokers missed more days of work and experienced more unproductive time at work compared with former smokers and nonsmokers. The average annual cost for lost productivity for nonsmokers was 2,623 dollars/year compared with 3,246 dollars/year for former smokers and 4,430 dollars/year for current smokers. More than half the costs were due to unproductive time at work. Current smokers incurred the highest productivity losses, which translated into higher costs to employers for current smokers. Costs were lower for former smokers and nonsmokers.

Offensive to the Senses

In most workplaces people work closely with one another. You can always tell when someone has gone out for one of their little breaks. The smell follows them in the hallway, you can smell it in meetings or one on one conversations. Often times it can be hard for a nonsmoker to get past the smell and they want to move on quickly. I think smokers are oblivious to the smell because they are used to it but to those around them it can be very offensive.

I’ve been there, I understand how hard it is to stop smoking but I have quit and witnessed many others do the same. You may think you are only hurting yourself and you have every right to smoke; maybe you do but you could be hurting yourself in areas you are unaware – relationships and possible promotions. Don’t let smoking be what is holding you back. You can stop smoking if you really set your mind to it and enlist the help of a strong support network.