Human beings are prone to picking up one or another habit, be it bad or good habits. The reasons for this could be many, like influence from surrounding factors such as peer pressure, inclinations towards a particular habit, current psychological health, etc. Depending on the nature of these habits, they can either break us or make us.
Whilst instilling good habits come with numerous benefits; on other hand; picking up vices may have some harsh repercussions on both your physical and mental health and wellbeing. One such vice is the addiction to nicotine which will be difficult to shake off. Cigarette smoking is the major risk factor for lung cancer and leads to myriad health issues such as throat irritations, lung infections, heart diseases, blood clots, etc. Chronic smoking not only causes physical changes, but it also has an impact on the individual’s and their family members’ psychological and social health.
A fag contains around 6oo components, and when lit, it generates more than 7000 poisonous chemicals that lead to several health issues. Furthermore, smoking has an impact on the health of everyone around you, even non-smokers, due to second-hand smoke.
Statutory warnings and awareness drives have been gaining momentum over the past decade. Tobacco kills roughly six million people every year, according to the World Health Organization. Smoking is a primary cause of preventable deaths across the world. If it goes by this pace, then by the year 2030, the death toll may rise to eight million. Hence, it laid the foundation of Anti-smoking Day or No-Tobacco Day on the 31st of May. This annual campaign raises awareness about the dangers of tobacco use, second-hand smoke exposure, and tobacco usage in general. The theme for this year is – Commit to Quit – this emphasizes the importance of quitting and encourages health systems, private and public health organizations, and countries to assist the global 1.3 million tobacco users to quit and lead to successful recovery.
It is an illusion that one can never quit smoking. One needs some motivation and willpower to ditch this habit and restart enjoying a healthy life. Surprisingly, as soon as one quits smoking, their body starts to repair itself. One can immediately notice and feel the benefits of quitting tobacco. The heart rate drops within 20 to 30 minutes after quitting smoking. Carbon monoxide levels in the blood return to normal within 12 hours of quitting, and lung function and blood circulation improve within two to twelve weeks. Within the initial ten months, shortness of breath and coughing decrease. Within ten years, the chances of death due to lung cancer are almost half that of a smoker.
With so much to motivate you to chuck the fag and start to live a healthy life – follow the below steps:
- Find the reason
- Make an Action Plan
- Be prepared before going cold Turkey
- Cutting Down
- Clean the house
- Avoid Alcohol
- Keep yourself Engaged
- Take a Break
- Improve positive Attitude
- Lean on your family or friends
Find the reason
While contemplating how to quit smoking, one must begin with finding the reason for it. Once you can figure out that powerful reason, it will become your motivation to quit the fag for good. There are various reasons such as; decreasing your chances of getting heart disease, lung cancer, or feeling rejuvenated. Select the motive or a goal that would outweigh your urge to light up a cigarette.
Make an Action Plan
To begin with, it’s essential to chalk out a proper plan to quit smoking. Decide the day; get rid of all the items that will remind you of smoking, such as ashtrays, lighters, cigarette cases. Inform your family and friends that you have decided to quit and request them to support and encourage you in this process. Well-planned ways to quit smoking will help you achieve what you are aiming for.
Be prepared before going cold Turkey
Quitting smoking is much more than just tossing the cigarettes out of your life. Smoking is a severe addiction wherein the brain is habituated to receive a constant nicotine supply. The success ratio of a person quitting cold turkey depends on their daily habits, personality, and the extent of their addiction. Most smokers are psychologically and physically addicted to cigarettes. Consequently, when a person gives up smoking, their bodies experience withdrawal symptoms such as insomnia, irritability, and depression that can last for a few months. So the person has to prepare themselves for it. The best would be to seek professional consultation with your doctor. Discuss and understand different methods enabling to make withdrawal easy like counseling, meditation, hypnosis, etc.
One of the practically faster ways to quit smoking is by gradually decreasing the number of cigarettes the person lights in a day. Plan this method properly, share the same with your family and friends, and be ready for any challenges to stick to this goal. Consider getting medical and psychological assistance to follow the process. One should be prepared to control and manage the withdrawal symptoms to achieve long-term recovery.
Clean the house
As soon as you are done with your last cigarette, toss away things that will remind you about smoking like, lighters, cigarette cases, ashtrays, etc. Clean the drapes, carpets, upholsteries, and your clothes as they would have the smell of smoke on it. Not just clean your house, but if you used to smoke in the car, then clean the car and air it out as well. It will assist you in getting rid of all the items and odors that remind you of smoking.
Tobacco and alcohol go hand-in-hand. Numerous studies show high relapse rates in people having alcohol use disorders. Avoid alcohol while trying your best to prevent smoking, as it becomes tougher to stay on track with your goals. Focus on limit your alcohol intake especially, during the initial weeks. Break all the patterns or habits which were correlated with smoking. For example, if you were used to smoking while having a cup of coffee, then switch to another beverage. If you used to smoke after meals, replace it with something else, such as a dessert, brushing your teeth, talking to a friend, or chewing gum. Avoid alcohol or any other drinks that are associated with lighting up.
Keep yourself Engaged
Keeping yourself engaged in some of the other things or acts is crucial to divert one from smoking. Being active does not have to mean putting in long hours at the gym; it may also mean taking a short walk, walking your dog, reading a book, or doing any other activity that you enjoy.
Take a Break
People generally smoke when they are under stress. Nicotine in the cigarette helps them to relax. Once you have decided to quit, you will have to figure out other ways and means to relax or take a break and not relapse. Connecting with friends, tuning into your favorite piece of music, exercising, gardening, receiving a spa treatment, or simply engaging in your favorite hobby, are the different formulas of relaxation.
During the initial weeks of quitting smoking, avoid any stressful situations. Seek professional psychotherapy that will help you to learn healthy ways to avoid relapses and cope with stress.
Improve positive Attitude
On average, a person generally has around 66,000 thoughts on any given day, and most of them are negative thoughts. There may be times wherein one may feel irritated and frustrated due to withdrawal symptoms. During these trying times, one should remind themselves of the main goal or the reason behind quitting smoking. It will encourage them to adhere to their regimen. If by any chance, one is unable to control their craving and gives into smoke, then it should not be considered as a failure. It is quite common to fall back, but it is more crucial to get back and follow your plan. You should be prepared for such shortcomings and constantly remind yourself to abide by or stick to the plan. Under such circumstances, one should confide and seek support from their loved ones.
Quitting is a process, and being positive will help one endure all the ups and downs as one works towards reaching their goal. Practice daily quit-smoking affirmations, focus on the positive improvements, keep a gratitude diary, and reframe negative thinking are some of the positive techniques to add to your quit smoking toolbox.
Lean on your family or friends
Sharing your goal to quit smoking with your family and friends will help you as they will hold you answerable on your path to sobriety. They will cheer you to keep going and hold you when you are about to relapse. Such kind of support can be helpful when you lose hope. This type of support will also assist you in navigating the emotional distress that comes with quitting, such as frustration, sadness, anger, and so on. Statistics suggest that those who quit smoking with a healthy support system have a far greater success rate with quitting smoking for good than those who use self-help strategies.
The Takeaway Message
Reminiscing the 90’s popular TV advertisement, – With a cigarette in my hand I felt like a man, …….. With a cigarette in my hand, I was a dead man. True, one may feel like a stud at first, but it eventually leads to one’s death bed. Addiction is a severe disease that is difficult to overcome. To quit smoking is not as easy as it seems to be. It requires strong determination, hard work, willpower, and support from people around you to achieve your goals and recover. If all the above self-help strategies do not work, seek professional help from the best psychologist in Hyderabad at TruHap. One may seek various therapies, counseling sessions, and medications to quit smoking. For any professional assistance to aid you in this, contact us to book your appointment on our number +91 9491208645 or mail us at email@example.com
It’s time to commit yourself and your loved ones. It is about time to kick the butt and invest in a healthier future for yourself. Bear in mind, quitting smoking is truly a positive step, take it, and your body will thank you profusely. So, without further ado, begin your journey today because life after cigarettes is much happier and healthier!