Is there a way to make quitting smoking easier?
If you’ve ever attempted to kick a smoking habit, you already know how difficult it is.
It’s not always a pleasurable experience, and those damn stinkies seem to always get under your skin no matter how hard you try to ignore them.
Now to the good news: there are proven, effective ways to make quitting smoking easier.
We hope they can aid you on your journey to true freedom!
Quitting Smoking Ain’t Easy
While some people have the willpower needed to put down the cigs and never light up again, most people find giving up their cigarettes extremely taxing and challenging.
Hell, I know it was an uphill battle for me.
Just know that you are not alone.
What you should also realize is that it is 100 percent possible to quit — especially if you’re willing to keep an open mind to some other beneficial life changes. We’ve had numerous success stories come into our site, and we hope to read yours next!
How to Break the Social and Psychological Habit of Smoking
“[It’s] difficult because not only are you addicted to the nicotine, you’re also addicted to the routine, the habit, and all that accompanies the habit,” psychologist Dr. Michele Barton, of Psychology Life Well, told Bustle.
You’re accustomed to taking smoke breaks, to socializing with friends and coworkers outside, to fidgeting with something in your hands. The addictive chemicals in cigarettes aren’t the only habit you need to break in order to quit.
“The social habits and psychological benefits that may accompany the cigarette need to be continued without the cigarette, or else other issues will arise and quitting will become more complicated than just stopping smoking,” Barton says.
The most difficult aspect of quitting can often be the feeling cigarettes gave you. This isn’t a lecture on why you should quit cigarettes, the benefits are clear.
You can take a look at how others were successful in quitting or take a look at the tips below for formulating a personalized sheet that best suits your needs.
SUCCESS TIPS TO QUIT SMOKING
1) Get A Vaporizer
This first tip may seem like a shameless self-promotion, but it’s really about the facts.
Study after study is coming out to reveal how effective vape use is when quitting. There’s a reason why smoking rates have significantly declined since the vaporizer boom in 2014.
Not only is vaping a much safer and cheaper alternative, it can also provide a community of people who have been in your position before and can empathize with your struggle.
Grab yourself a vaporizer and use it to help you find your freedom.
2) Cut Back A Little At A Time
We’ve all heard the term “cold turkey,” but sometimes it’s just not that simple.
Those who have tried and failed to quit using the cold turkey approach should consider waning instead of a complete break.
Setting a quit date in the future and working towards your goal gradually can help to alleviate some of the stress and get some early “wins” under your belt to instill confidence.
“The cold turkey thing is very jarring to your nervous system and does not make the process any easier,” Barton says. “Depending on how many cigarettes you smoke, slowly cutting down by half each week as you approach your ultimate stopping date is recommended.”
3) Utilize Apps
There are a bunch of amazing apps out there to help smokers kick the habit.Coach.Me, Livestrong.com’s MyQuit, Kwit and Butt Out are just the tip of the iceberg.
Tracking when you last smoked and quelling cravings has never been easier. You can also engage with others to help find support systems.
These apps will help you set attainable goals, a huge first step on your path to freedom.
4) Write Your Cigarettes a Break-Up Letter
Obtaining results from putting ideas and goals on paper is not a novel idea. Yet, it’s something many people tend to overlook.
Grab your pen and pad, and make it as sappy, angry, heartfelt or silly as you’d like. Putting your decision to quit on paper will cement your goal and give it roots.
As health coach Claudia Matles says, “Write a break-up letter to the cigarettes explaining how you want to go your own way, how you don’t need them anymore, how the relationship has been for years, and why you’d like to break up.”
5) Note Your Vulnerabilities
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news…
There is no escaping cigarette cravings when trying to rid yourself of the stinkies.
Ask yourself when and where you feel most like lighting up. Note these triggers and staying ahead of them can help you get a jump on those pesky cravings.
“Note your most vulnerable times (i.e after going out to dinner, going to a bar, at a concert) and for one month, if possible, avoid those situations,” says psychologist and radio show host Dr. Joshua Klapow. “Just until you get your feet underneath you.”
Get your foothold, and plant your willpower flag down as firmly as possible.
6) Habit Replacement
When urges arise, have a replacement habit ready to occupy yourself.
“When you’re working to quit, keep your body and mind comfortable and occupied,” says Lauren Wolfe, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and certified tobacco cessation specialist. “Make sure not to skip meals, and keep healthy snacks available throughout the day. You also need to figure out how you can ride out your urge to smoke — rest assured, urges do pass.”
Ideally, it’s an activity that will stimulate both your body and brain such as taking a walk or playing an instrument.
Reading a chapter book, playing a quick online chess match or doing a set of push-ups have all been used by myself or friends who have been through the quitting process.
The power of visualization has helped many creatives, habit breakers and athletes accomplish their goals.
The best part – you don’t have to move a muscle! (expect your brain)
Start visualizing what it would feel like to be a non-smoker.
What benefits would you gain from it? What things would you do to replace smoking that would better yourself? Picture everything as vividly as possible.
“The subconscious will kick in with the conscious and you will very well be that nonsmoker you’ve been visualizing in your meditations,” Matles says. “These tools worked for me and it’s been about twenty five years and I’ve never looked back!
8) Ditch Any Reminders
We know that ashtray granny gave you a few years back has sentimental value, but it’s time to get rid of anything that triggers memories of your smoking days. Ditch it.
If you’ve made the decision to quit, throw away ANYTHING that could cause a trigger-response.
“Get rid of the cigarettes and anything related to the cigarettes in the house and at work (matches, lighters, ashtrays),” Klapow says.
Not only do visual reminders subconsciously affect your actions, but having to go out and buy them again might help to regain some clarity of your decision to better yourself.
9) Keep Yourself Accountable
When it comes to goal setting, accountability means being held responsible for the achievement of your goals.
Some think of this negatively, as if they will be judged or be blamed for faults. We see it more as a means to track success and take pride in your accomplishments.
Many studies have shown that sharing your goals with others can double your chances of success. This is a crucial element of goal setting that is often ignored.
Grab a few buddies that you care about and ask them to help you better yourself. You’d be surprised at what a support system can do for you.
10) Get Active
Meditation, yoga, hitting the gym, and dive into athletics are always a great place to start.
Getting active helps to release toxins and endorphins that can replace the feeling you get after smoking. Every time you want to reach for a cig, do a few pull-ups instead.
Accomplishing physical goals can be a reality, and become a huge motivator to continue on your journey to a healthier lifestyle.
There are numerous benefits to an active lifestyle, but none are more visible as when you quit smoking. You’ll feel better, alive, and healthier in no time.
Get Over the Discomfort of Quitting Smoking
Even with all these tricks, quitting smoking sucks. There is no getting around the discomfort, but you can simplify the process. Replace the feelings and habits with positives until you’ve given your brain time to adjust.
YOU CAN DO THIS
If you just can’t shake the stinkies, don’t hesitate to ask for help!