Quitting something that you’ve done religiously, like smoking, is definitely a hard task. It’s not easy to let go of something that gives you a sense of relief. However, since smoking can take a major toll on your overall health and body, the time to act is now. Here are 11 tips that can help you in your journey to quit smoking.
Understanding the word “commitment”
Like everything else, it all starts with your commitment. There’s a vast difference between wanting to quit and deciding to quit. If you want to really quit smoking, you have to understand that real commitment includes a definite decision to quit, with a practical plan of action.
Taking it one step at a time
One thing that leads any person with addiction down a slippery slope is that they quit without even planning. Unfortunately for smokers, this is hardly possible from both a mental and physical perspective.
The idea that an addict has to live the rest of his or her life without the substance is oftentimes overwhelming and fear-inspiring. The rest of one’s life can seem like a long time, and quitting requires a huge commitment. This psychological hurdle often dooms most quitting attempts before they even gets off the ground. The key to avoiding this pitfall is to take it one day at a time. Make a fresh commitment every morning to be nicotine free. Tomorrow’s challenges and concerns cannot and must not be carried today.
Also, it is physically challenging to quit smoking in a snap. Nicotine is something that chain smokers long for, and because of that, smoking isn’t really something that you can get out of easily. Try to slowly reduce the amount of smoke you puff on a daily basis, and you won’t lose sight of your goals.
Get back on track immediately
Your journey to getting off smoking is not an easy ride. If a slip-up occurs, recommit to the quitting process immediately and get back on track with your action plan. The sooner you get back on the path to recovery, the less of a setback the slip-up would be.
You’d be surprised how exercise – and living a healthier lifestyle in general – can actually help you quit smoking. Even simple, moderate exercise can be one of the simplest and most effective ways to deal with nicotine cravings.
Exercise provides a constructive substitute activity for the addiction. It results in the release of endorphins, the body’s internal feel-good chemicals. When your body pumps endorphins, it offsets the nicotine cravings by elevating your mood, combating depression and reducing stress symptoms. Moderate exercise of 15–30 minutes can reduce nicotine cravings for up to 50 minutes afterwards.
Exercise can also improve the body’s oxygenation and blood circulation, leading to improved healing and overall recovery. Regular moderate exercise can also help combat the weight gain often associated with giving up the use of tobacco products.
Drinking plenty of water
Water flushes out the toxins that are being removed by the liver and kidneys during your nicotine detoxification. It also ensures that the blood remains well-diluted, which is essential for optimum brain and body organ function. The more effectively you flush out your system with clean water, the faster your body can remove the poisonous tobacco toxins.
Most people need at least two liters of water a day to maintain healthy body function. While you are cleansing your body from nicotine, you may need to increase this amount to two-and-a-half or even three liters per day.
There are indeed natural remedies that can help with quitting smoking. Hydrotherapy, for example, is the science of using water to treat disease and invigorate the body. However, it can also alleviate cravings and boost the efficiency of the body’s immune system.
Medicinal charcoal also actively draws impurities and toxins to itself. These harmful substances then become trapped inside the charcoal grains’ porous, cave-like indentations and tunnels. When the body eliminates the charcoal, the impurities that have become trapped inside its grains are also eliminated.
Charcoal tablets are available from pharmacies and supermarkets. Powdered charcoal, which is more effective due to its larger surface area, is usually only available from health stores. Simply mix one or two tablespoons of charcoal powder in a glass of water and drink it. Remember to drink plenty of additional water afterwards, since charcoal can cause constipation when taken with inadequate amounts of water.
Surrendering other substances
Tobacco use is often accompanied by the use of other addictive substances, such as alcohol, caffeine and, in worse cases, illegal drugs. This relationship is more than incidental. While the effect on your body varies from substance to substance, the net effect of increasing dopamine in the brain is common.
Dopamine is the brain chemical responsible for the sense of reward, and this is mainly what drugs bring to the table because they give you that feeling of being “high”. However, this damages the reward pathway, causing cravings that lead to addiction as users seek a heightened experience. When tobacco is used in connection with alcohol, caffeine, or illegal drugs, the high is amplified, leading to increased damage of the reward pathway where the dopamine neurons are situated.
For the best chance of long-term recovery, it is important to quit using any substances that artificially stimulate and cause damage to the reward pathway. To optimize your chances of staying nicotine free, include the discontinuation of taking in alcohol, caffeine, and illegal drugs in your system.
Choosing other options
It is said that smoking addiction consists of at least two components. The chemical dependence on nicotine, and the ritual. The ritual aspect refers to the behavior patterns each smoker follows when lighting up a cigarette, such as reaching into the pocket for the cigarette pack, lighting up and the hand-to-mouth process of smoking.
When quitting, it’s helpful to become aware of these behaviors and develop activities that can replace them. For instance, you could replace the box of cigarettes with a clickable pen. Whenever you feel the urge to smoke, you can retrieve the pen and click it a few times. Some people have found chewing on carrot sticks to be a constructive substitute for the ritual of lighting a cigarette.
Sometimes, concentrate vapes – more commonly known as e-cigarettes – can also serve as an alternative. They replicate the effect of smoking with less of the harmful effects.
Getting rid of paraphernalia that can remind you of smoking.
Sometimes, quitting from smoking could be really be hard if you can see paraphernalia just lying around your house. Get rid of ashtrays, lighters, pipes, cigarette packs, and whatever else you used to support the smoking habit. The elimination of visual representations of smoking can go a long way.
Getting adequate sleep and a proper sleep pattern.
One withdrawal symptom many people experience when coming off tobacco products is irritability. Going to bed after midnight seriously decreases the quality of your rest, which in turn causes irritability because of a reduced amount of growth hormone being produced for your body’s rejuvenation.
By simply shifting your bedtime to include at least two hours before midnight, you not only give yourselfbbetter sleep, but you can find that you’re able to better handle stress and be less irritable.
Find a support group
One of the most helpful keys to beating tobacco addiction is to have an accountability partner or a support group — someone you trust and can contact when you feel weak or need some encouragement to stay on course to freedom. This may be someone who has already beaten tobacco addiction.Read More