He conquers who endures
Quitting cigarettes can be one of the hardest tasks to accomplish, but it will likely end up being one of the most rewarding accomplishments you can make.
I smoked cigarettes for around 5 years before I decided to quit smoking cigarettes cold turkey, and at times I was up to 2 packs a day. I enjoyed American toasted cigarettes, mostly Camels and Marlboros. So I’ve been there and been strangled in the biting claw of nicotine’s relentless clutch.
So today I want to try and offer you some tips on how to quit smoking cigarettes quickly, easily and permanently. I say it will be easy to quit smoking because of the preparation done before hand. It is easy in a comparative way. But let me assure you, when you are finally able to rid yourself of your nicotine master you will look back at it and remark how easy it was in hindsight. Though you are sure to go through some difficulties during the withdrawal from cigarette smoking.
A lot of folks try and quit smoking and alcohol at the same time, this is a terrific idea. I usually don’t recommend trying to accomplish the changing of 2 habits at the same time, but in the case of smoking and alcohol this can be very beneficial. Alcohol very often inhibits willpower and it is willpower which will be your strongest ally as you lose your cigarette smoking habit.
I’m going to be honest with you upfront and tell you that my method will show you how to quit smoking immediately and it worked for me and I know it has worked for other folks too. That’s not to say that other methods to quit smoking cigarettes don’t work, it’s just that I think if you quit smoking naturally and permanently it is easier on you in the long run.
So let’s take a look at the steps to stopping your cigarette smoking habit and addiction.
I wrote about honesty the other day and we have to start there. Everything is easier in life if you start with honesty. So be honest with yourself about your smoking addiction. I had to come to the realization that I was addicted to smoking cigarettes.
It was only after I was able to face the truth of the strong hold that cigarettes had on me was I then able to combat my addiction to cigarettes. If you can’t acknowledge the fact that you are addicted to cigarettes then I don’t think you are ready to quit smoking cigarettes. I say that with kindness and love, but if you think that you can handle smoking cigarettes or that you can smoke whenever you want then you aren’t aware of the difficult and steep climb that is before you when stopping smoking.
Make a plan to quit smoking forever. I can’t say how long you should plan before attempting to quit smoking, but anything from a day to a week’s plan should help make the transition to stopping smoking more successful. If you like to write things down then do so, but the most important part of your plan should be preparing your mindset.
I find that finding helpful and uplifting quotes about perseverance and bookmarking different websites to refer to during the smoking withdrawal stage is a good idea. Also printing out a poster about the benefits of smoking is helpful if you can place that prominently so you can see it several times a day.
It is also time to understand just how powerful nicotine addiction is. Some have said that it is as powerful as heroin addiction and in fact it works on the brain’s same dopamine pathways. Nevertheless, this is just about understanding your enemy and not about being frightened to it. Smoking addiction is nothing more than a chemical addiction of the physical body and there is as well a psychological component to that. However, neither of these difficulties are insurmountable to the dedicated and persistent you!
Part of this planning will also include understanding the symptoms after you quit smoking. You’ll likely experience some dizziness which can last a few days, insomnia which can last about a week. Headaches, chest discomfort and constipation can last up to 2 weeks and general irritability and fatigue can last up to a month.
As the body and lungs especially try to clear themselves of the cigarette toxins you can experience ongoing nasal drip and coughing for several weeks.
The first 48 hours are the hardest part physically and in my experience, once you’re over the first week it becomes much easier to manage the physical cigarette withdrawal symptoms and you can focus on the psychological aspect of nicotine withdrawal for the following 3 weeks or so. Once you’re through your first month you really are out of the woods. But having been an addict you need to always remain vigilant and learn to just say no.
Finishing up your planning stage of quitting smoking you need to get your ducks in a row. I recommend that you attempt smoking cessation in the spring summer or fall when the weather is reliably decent. I say this because taking walks outside when you can and filling your lungs with fresh air can be most beneficial.
So you’ve admitted that you have a cigarette addiction and you’ve set down to plan and understand the monster that you will slay which is nicotine and its dark friends. Now you have to choose a date.
Take a moment to inquire within during a quiet moment and choose the date that you will become a non-smoker. It could be tomorrow or it could be next month, but generally it is best to strike while the iron is hot. I wouldn’t wait longer than a week to stop smoking.
If you’ve had a moment to think about how you’re going to quit smoking and you’re ready to quit tomorrow it’s okay if you throw out your cigarettes. In fact I’d recommend that you soak your cigarettes in water and throw them out not into your kitchen garbage but into your outside garbage.
Also clear away any signs of your former life as a smoker. Clean and put away the ashtrays, cigarette lighters and matches.
Pray for strength which you have even if that is only as self talk to remind you that you are more powerful than your addiction and you will slay your cigarette and nicotine monster and become once and for all a non-smoker. You will easily and unflinchingly quit smoking cigarettes.
Start of strong as a non-smoker. This can include giving yourself quit smoking rewards. I have found that rewarding myself on the following schedule of having quit smoking can keep you motivated. Give yourself a reward after 24 hours of quitting smoking. Something small like an ice cream cone.
Then allow yourself another reward after 2 days of not smoking and then 3 days of not smoking and then 5 days of not smoking and then 7 days of not smoking. Stopping smoking for a week is a big milestone and deserves a special little celebration. Perhaps a small shopping spree to buy yourself something nice.
Remember, if you were a pack a day smoker, in that one week you’ve just saved yourself around $70 to $100 depending on the cost of cigarettes where you live.
Rewards can and should continue for the 2nd week of non smoking, the 3rd and 4th week of not smoking as well. At that point perhaps you have permanently kicked your cigarette habit and so maybe only a 2nd month and 3rd month anniversary reward as a non-smoker is necessary.
I found that after one month of not smoking I felt confident and in control of my new found ability as a healthy and happy ex-smoker. And even now, having quit smoking for over 20 years I don’t celebrate any yearly quit smoking anniversaries, but that is something you might like to remember. If so, mark down the first day as a non-smoker and remember to celebrate each year on your achievement.
An additional part of starting off strong is to understand what will happen when you quit smoking the first day. It will be challenging, several hours into your day you will likely experience headaches and irritability. Understand that this is caused by nicotine withdrawal.
The first day of quitting smoking can be the hardest so don’t make it any harder on yourself. Follow your usual routine for breakfast and whatever else you do during the day. If the headaches become unbearable it is okay to take something to alleviate them. I have also heard that chewing cinnamon gum can help with the cravings. If the cravings to smoke cigarettes become particularly difficult brush your teeth. Go to a movie where you can’t smoke for a couple of hours and your mind will be distracted.
I’ve also found that journalling is helpful to me when I’ve struggled with smoking cigarette cravings. Right down why you want to smoke, jut let your mind flow to your pen. Then remember why you want to stop smoking and write those down. Think of your spouse, brother, sister, lover, children, grandchildren, friends and above all your own value and specialness. Health is our first wealth. You are stopping smoking to become whole and healthy again.
Lean on others if you need. The most effective way to quit smoking is to go cold turkey, but that doesn’t mean you can’t lean on others. If you are really struggling then pick up the phone and dial 1-800-QUIT-NOW where you can speak to stop smoking coaches and access other quitting smoking resources.
If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone personally then seek out forums or those bookmarks that you accessed and use these stop smoking resources to bolster you in your position. Here is another great site I found that will likely take you days to read through by which time you will be a confident and new ex-smoker.
I hope that these tips will help you to quit smoking once and for all. There are a lot of aids to help you quit smoking, but all you need is you. Your willpower, your determination and your perseverance will get you through the early difficulties and you will come through to the other side triumphant.
You can quit smoking, you will quit smoking, and as much as I am loathe to add this, but if you fall down and take a puff, just start quitting smoking again. You will succeed. The Japanese have a proverb: Fall down 7 times, get up 8.
I believe in you. I know you can stop smoking today. Believe it, own it and I’ll see you on the other side as my new non-smoking friend.