Quitting smoking is difficult but it is not impossible. When we smoke our body is addicted to nicotine, and our mind is strongly linked to the habit.
All smokers know that smoking harms their health, but as a general rule, this is not a sufficient reason for them to quit.
Regardless of how long you smoke, whether you are young or old, the important thing is to make the decision to stop smoking, and to hold on to a good reason to feel motivated.
The reasons can be several, such as protecting your family from being passive smokers, or preventing you from getting lung cancer, heart disease, bad breath, or other conditions.
Why is it so hard to stop?
Quitting smoking is not just about moving cigarettes away from where we can see, we need to realize that our body is addicted to nicotine, and that, when quitting, your body will undergo a series of changes.
So, before you quit smoking, make sure you are familiar with the different methodologies to quit smoking, choose the best one for you, and determine what are the main difficulties you will have to deal with during the process.
Your personal plan to quit smoking
Often smoking is associated with daily habits, such as whenever you have breakfast in the morning, during a break from work or at school, or at the end of the day after a long day at work. It may also be associated with alcohol consumption, or with a group of smokers.
Make a diary of routines associated with your habit, and your plan should focus not only on the fact that smoking is an addiction, but that it is also a routine habit.
It must take into account that while some smokers are successful in quitting quickly, most people do better with a personalized plans to stay on the line.
A good plan to quit smoking addresses both the short-term challenge to quit smoking and the long-term challenge of preventing relapse. It must also be adapted to your specific needs and smoking habits.
Symptoms related to nicotine abstinence
After you quit smoking, you will likely experience a number of physical symptoms as your body retracts from nicotine. Nicotine abstinence begins quickly, usually beginning within an hour after the last cigarette and peaking two to three days later. Abstinence symptoms can last from a few days to several weeks and vary from person to person.
The most common symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal are the urge to smoke, irritation and frustration, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, tiredness, loss of appetite, headaches, insomnia, tremors, and depression.
Tips for Relieving abstinence Symptoms
Find a replacement – always have something that you can take with you whenever you feel like smoking, like a carrot, mint candy, lozenges, etc.
Keep your mind busy - read a book or magazine, listen to music, do a crossword puzzle, watch a movie, or entertain yourself with work or home chores.
Keep your hands busy - paper clips, stress balls, or a pencil are good substitutes for tactile needs.
Brush your teeth - the feeling of clean teeth can help eliminate the urge to smoke.
Drink water - helps keep you hydrated and reduces nicotine withdrawal symptoms.
Practice physical exercise - go hiking, exercise at home, do yoga, or go jogging, help you relax.
What to do if you have a relapse?
If you have one or more relapses, it does not mean that you should give up your plan, try to look at what you have already achieved so far, and find out what possibly led to the relapse. Learn from your mistakes.
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