Knowing you want to quit smoking is a start but it takes a lot more than this to get the job done. Quitting smoking requires dedication, persistence and above all one major motivating factor. Simply saying you want to kick the habit because it is bad for you isn’t going to cut it. To truly motivate yourself you need to come up with a powerful and personal reason to quit. It could be you want to find your true love and studies show nonsmokers are found to be more attractive. You may want to protect your family from the health effects of secondhand smoke. What about being able to watch your children grow up and being a good role model? Do you have one motivating reason why quitting smoking is the right thing to do?
In the United States alone there are over 68 percent of smokers reporting they want to stop. In 2002, the number of former smokers exceeded the number of current smokers. You can join them!
Quitting isn’t as easy as it sounds and many people have to try several times before being successful. It requires more than just willpower but determination and the ability to learn from previous attempts. Nicotine is a powerful drug and is the most common form of chemical dependence in the US. People often relapse because of stress, weight gain and withdrawal symptoms.
Understanding the obstacles you will face will help you plan for them before you quit. The more educated and prepared you are the better your chances of long-term success.
Stress is likely the number one cause of relapse because smokers have been using it as a crutch to deal with life for many years. The thought of making it through a stressful situation without it is hard to imagine. Smoking has become second nature and healthy tools for managing stress haven’t been developed. The good news is you can quickly and easily learn how to manage stress. By making lifestyle changes you can manage, reduce and overcome stressful situations without smoking. Walking, biking, hiking, breathing exercises, relaxation exercises, yoga, meditation, stretching, positive thinking and screaming into a pillow are good ways to manage your stress. Work a few into your weekly routine and see what happens.
Weight gain on average is minimal after quitting as your metabolism gets back to normal. Luckily many of the techniques used to manage stress can also be used to manage weight gain after quitting. Avoid eating binges and high caloric foods that offer little nutritional value. Get physically active.
Nicotine withdrawal varies from person to person you can experience different things such as anxiety, trouble sleeping, difficulty concentrating and so on but withdrawal symptoms lessen over time and are usually gone in a couple weeks. Stick it out!
Understand the challenges of quitting smoking and prepare for what is to come. Make a list of things that stress you out and plan for them. Put together a weekly meal plan that is healthy for a week or two so you know what you will be eating and view yourself as a nonsmoker.