Considering that smoking is not only an addiction but also a psychological habit, giving up smoking can be very unnerving to many individuals. Regardless of its role in your daily routine like a stress relief method or social opportunity, it could e deeply indeed in one’s day-to-day life.
This is all due to nicotine, an active element of tobacco that is highly addictive and causes strong cravings. Therefore, if you are willing to try to give up smoking, you will need to work on resisting those cravings with multiple techniques like nicotine substitutes (gums or patches) or even prescription treatments to name a few of many alternatives. Finding and adopting new habits and changing your outlook and behaviour, however, can help you overcome those nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
To assist you with this journey, Pharmica gathered top tips that can help you give up smoking for good.
1. You will need willpower:
Unfortunately, if you are set to give up smoking for good, you will need willpower and there are no ways around it. For every single tobacco craving you experience, you will need to pass the willpower test and do the contrary of the decision you used to make before. To make matters worse, the temptation will also be very high from every sight and smell of a cigarette. Therefore, this is where you will need your willpower to fight those urges. It is worth reminding yourself about the key reasons why you started giving up and remember the key health benefits that your body (and your mind!) will thank you for. The reward from being able to give up will outweigh all of your struggles in the long run
With that being said, it is recommended that you do not try to give up with willpower alone. To achieve the best possible results, it is worth combining your willpower with appropriate medication.
2. Find and remember your motivation:
Giving up smoking is a long and difficult process and therefore you will need to find a clear set idea that brought you to this journey. Finding the key driving factor that motivates you to quit can be a continuous reminder of why you made that decision. The reasons might vary, from health implications to financial implications or even providing a healthier future for your children. It is also worth keeping a reminder of your motivation with you like keeping a picture of the key driving factor on you to fight the urge. This could help you get through the hardest cravings and overcome the urges.
3. Select a date:
Selecting a date that is the deadline for you to fully give up smoking, as well as sharing it with people close to you, can be a strong motivation for you to stick to a schedule and potentially fight urges more effectively. The same can be done if you are planning to use the tapering approach to giving up smoking by setting goals by when you are going to cut down on smoking in a measurable quantity (e.g. cut down to X cigarettes per week). These measurable and tangible goals can help you to celebrate small milestones on your journey.
4. Find alternative sources of nicotine:
The nicotine withdrawal symptoms and urges can be very strong considering our brain gets addicted to it and craves it. However, nowadays in the market, there are many stop smoking treatments that only contain nicotine, stripping away the harmful elements of cigarettes like the fume, toxins and carcinogens. Considering nicotine isn’t necessarily harmful on its own, there are many vehicles of nicotine administering like gums, patches, sprays and other ways of safe nicotine sources. However, be conscious when tying e-cigarette alternatives because there is little research on the long-run effects currently available.
5.Try to avoid Alcohol:
Try to minimise your alcohol intake due to the effect it has on your ability to maintain your willpower. As a result, consuming alcohol can lower your resistance to being able to say no to a cigarette at that specific moment. The more alcohol you consume, the higher the risk of replacing, deteriorating your chances of success in your journey.
6. Get support:
Like with many other important and difficult journeys in your life like weight loss, you might need help and support from your friends and family. Having them around might encourage you to achieve your goal and reduce the risk of relapsing in the long run. However, ensure to keep away from the smokers near you as they can negatively affect your progress. Restricting the communications or setting up boundaries with these people can help you achieve your goals and reduce the risk of relapse.
7. Distract yourself
Whenever you get nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms, try to distract yourself with something you love doing like your current or a new hobby. Physical activity and exercise can also help to suppress the symptoms. Using these tips can set a great foundation for your quitting journey to a smoke-free future for you and your close ones.