It has been a little over a year since I stopped smoking. I had been a heavy smoker before (almost a pack a day) and quitting smoking has been a real victory over myself. It has also given me confidence: it showed me that I was able to improve and even helped me see what to do in other areas of my life.
So I wanted to share with you the tips that helped me to stop after several unsuccessful attempts. I want to say that one can find many other tips, especially on the internet, but my goal is to present only those that have worked for me.
1. Commit publicly
Making public your intention to stop smoking will help you because it will prevent you from reneging . Once everyone is aware, there is no turning back.
Personally, I tried to stop smoking without talking about it, but it never worked. I think it was just too easy to take “neither seen nor heard” no one knows anything about my failure.
I think the contrary, engaging with your family and friends, you will feel more obliged not to disappoint and this will give you extra motivation. Some of them will support you and will give you support when you will doubt. Other people will doubt you and think that you will fail: showing these people that they are wrong will be an even greater motivation.
Personally, when I decided to stop, I got positive reactions around me, except for a friend who did not take me seriously and told me he was sure that two days later I would smoke it again. I must say that although I was unpleasantly surprised at first by this reaction is the one that helped me the most. In effect, then I really wanted to make a point of honor to show my friend that he underestimated me.
2. Read the book “The simple method to kick the habit” 10 tips to stop by Allen Carr
This book is famous for having helped many smokers to quit. You’ve probably heard because there are many stories that have been circulating for years on this book. Including those who have stopped smoking after reading this book so that they had no intention before. You can even hear some say that this is a foolproof method. I would not be so categorical, but in any case, I can say that this book gave me a decisive help.
Unlike the traditional method, which is based on the will, Allen Carr emphasized more in this book about all the unconscious and irrational factors that will enable us to succeed.
One major criticism of this book is that it is sometimes considered the brainwashing … and I agree with that. However, I think that brainwashing is useful. It can even make the brainwashing that we had made ourselves over the years to streamline the smoking. Moreover, when I quit, it was very helpful to read this book whenever I felt an urge to smoke. Perhaps this book simply works by placebo effect, because we are convinced that it will finally allow us to stop. But after all, as it helps us to stop smoking, no matter whether it is a brainwashing or a placebo effect.
3. Pace yourself to avoid activity that you think the cigarette
One of the great dangers, when you stop smoking is to become obsessed with cigarette cravings. Everything around us seems to remind us of our desire and whenever you pass a tobacco store, it seems that the cigarettes behind the glass is whispering “just buy a final package.” Ok, I am exaggerating, but you know what I mean. Constantly thinking about this craving is torture and this is constantly testing our will. This is why it is best to try to limit it to the fullest. it is useful to try to household activities that allow us to soothe our soul.
For me, sport was the activity that has helped me the most when I stopped smoking. Firstly because while playing sports, you obviously do not smoke. And when we are done, we want everything except a cigarette. In addition, the physical lack that one experiences during the first few days of stopping smoking is primarily an excess energy (released from the poison that is nicotine, our body has more of energy than what he was used to).
Other activities can also help when stopping. For example, I personally know that I think less of smoking when I play video games.
Finally, if you have situations in which you never smoke (eg. a non-smoking friend who does not want smoking when he is around), it is the perfect time to spend more time with them.
4. Reward yourself with the money saved
This one is a classic but it helped me a lot.
I suggest you do as I do: calculate each day that you have not smoked much you have saved and put that money aside. This is the amount that you can use to reward you for your stop.
You can, for example, during the first days, offer a small reward for every day (or every 2 days) without tobacco. Then you can decide to make your stay if you can not smoke for more than 6 months, for example. No matter what this award, as it allows you to increase your motivation.
If you use this method, you will find that after some time, the amount saved will be so large that you will not need to use them all to give you your rewards. And believe me, it does not take long for you to realize how nice it is to spend money on clothing, restaurants and travel (delete as appropriate depending on your tastes) than cigarettes.
5. Delay time smoking
One of the tips that helped me the most was, not to ignore the desires of tobacco when they showed up, but wait until they pass. If a sudden urge to smoke presented to me, the idea was to create a diversion by concentrating on another activity until the urge passes itself
For example, I remember that after a few days off, I felt an almost irresistible urge to smoke. To avoid smoking I made myself a promise to wait for two hours, i decided to go running, and if on returning I still wanted to smoke, then I’ll be justified . Of course, two hours later after my sport, the desire was gone, and I never came back.
Other techniques are fairly well known example of a drink of water or eat an apple whenever a desire is felt. I insisted to eat an apple and not something sweet for weight gain easily becomes our enemy in an attempt to stop: note that we have gained a few pounds might induce us to abandonment.
Personally, I focus on my breathing, the freshness of my breath and the air I breathe also helped me in those moments.
Finally, when the urge is over, do not forget to congratulate yourself: whenever you overcome your desire, you become a little stronger. There are about 50 such cravings to overcome during the first three weeks after smoking cessation. Every desire will be a little less intense than the last, until you finish by not even thinking about it.
6. Beware of patches and other nicotine substitutes
What I liked in Allen Carr’s book is that it advises not to use patches.
Me too, for having tried without success, I think the patches are not always a good idea as it seems.
First, patches are used because they can push the physical symptoms of lack during the first month. Time to wean the gesture of smoking. But this lack actually lasts a few days. Lack then becomes more mental and emotional (which is why it is sometimes said that the gesture we lack). So therefore face this physical shortage immediately to be rid of it once and for all.
Also, do not use palliative immediately allows us to learn to deal with our desires. If patches are used, then avoid these difficult situations. When they stop, they will suddenly find themselves confronted with urgent needs that we have not learned to respond. The risk of relapse will be very important.
7. Remember: one puff, it does not exist
It is this thought that plunges millions of former smokers back into the habit, they say “just a puff” or “I just smoke in the evening.”
Our mind is sneaky: it will always try to rationalize our cravings and find reasons to satisfy it. This is something that is difficult to resist especially when the urgent desire to smoke is before us.
This is why we need to have prepared for it in advance and have decided that we no longer smokes not even a single puff. Because the truth is that this is going to bring a second puff, then a third … and we have started smoking before we even realize it.
What I did, personally, it is telling me that not only one puff did not exist but it would cost me thousands of dollars (or more years of smoking over a pack a day). At this price, you will think twice before returning to smoke even when the urge is urgent.
8. Avoid some common pitfalls
Personally, I have heard many say that he had to avoid all circumstances that might give rise to cravings. This means not drinking coffee because it was used to accompany a cigarette … not go out because they smoke in the evening …. and even no longer seeing his friends for some time if they are smokers. I’m not at all in agreement with these tips and I think it is even a crude trap. In fact, doing so is to forgo much of the pleasures of life: it will aggravate the cravings associated with smoking and will give us the impression that life was happier when ‘we smoked. We’ll get the impression that one can not be happy without cigarettes and this will push us to plunge sooner or later.
In addition, they inevitably comes a point where you have to confront these situations that we seek to avoid: we can not remain forever cloistered at home without friends. And then, the risk of relapse will be much greater.
I think it is important, however, to force to separate the idea of pleasure of smoking. We must seize the bull by the horns and not hesitate to go out, even if you just quit. Of course, the temptation will be there, but if you manage to ignore, you know already now that your quit attempt will be successful. After all, if you were able to go to this party and avoid smoking, it means that you will always be able to face your demons and resist temptation.
Another common pitfall, I think, is to want to register on a dedicated forum on the internet. Of course, it seems logical to think that we will find a moral support to help us pass the difficult period. But ultimately, the people with whom you discuss will only emphasize how difficult it is to quit smoking and so scare you (even if with a good feeling). Additionally, constantly consulting forums on smoking cessation will only remind you of your cravings and therefore make your decision even more difficult. Believe me, I made an attempt to stop that way and I held less than two days (and I only thought of one thing, SMOKING, during these two days!).
9. Think positive
This advice seems trivial but it is the most important. If you are not convinced yourself that you will succeed, it is indeed unlikely to happen. Conversely, if you are firmly convinced of your success, it is unlikely that you will fail.
This requires that you adopt a positive attitude and tell yourself that you are able to stop and that’s what you’ll do. Trust me, it will work! That was the case for me, so there’s no reason it won’t be for you.
10. if you do not consider this as a failure but as a step in your learning
Do not worry, it happens to everyone. Myself I failed many times before i finally quit. The most important thing is to stay motivated to try and especially the ability to learn this failure: try to understand what made you fail. You can then understand what obstacles you have not been able to take and what conditions were not conducive to your success. You’ll be able to better prepare for your next attempt and make every effort not to get defeated by the same obstacle.