How can you quit smoking on your own? Despite a common misconception about the complexity of the process, quitting smoking is possible for anyone. And in the opinion of experts, who attribute smoking to a psychological rather than a physiological addiction, it may be enough to simply follow 15 simple recommendations.
The most important question is not how to quit smoking completely, but whether you are ready for it. Are you ready to change your life by quitting smoking? Are you ready to find new habits to replace old ones? Are you ready to change your social circle when necessary? If you sincerely answer yes to these questions, you can get started.
Long-term smokers die young, usually between the ages of 35 and 60. This is due to disruption of the heart and blood vessels, cerebral hemorrhage, cancer and lung diseases caused by intoxication of the body.
First cigarettes are always interesting. But after a few months, the teeth turn yellow, the color of the fingers changes, a persistent unpleasant odor occurs in the mouth and on the clothes. Also, a choking cough often begins. Next comes heart problems that begin to create a painful condition with arrhythmias in the chest. Later, stomach and liver problems will appear.
Often a person who wonders how to quit smoking acts under the pressure of his social environment. More often, mothers and spouses are worried, but they and their children are also at risk. Passive smoking introduces only 1.5 times less harmful compounds into the bodies of others than the smoker does. The risk of developing lung cancer increases by 34 percent and the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases increases by 50 percent in those close to cigarette addicts.
YOU CAN STOP SMOKING
Don’t listen to people who say you can’t or can’t quit smoking. This is not true. Not only does the person want to quit smoking but is afraid to say so. Another common question is can you quit smoking suddenly? This is a vital situation. Nicotine is not included in any process, nicotine is a poison that kills you. Withdrawal syndrome, which can last for a few days at the physiological level, is a natural response to the body’s needs.
Here are 15 steps to quit smoking:
Step 1: Consider the most important advantages of not smoking
Making a decision is your first step towards quitting smoking. Maybe getting healthier, improving your family’s health, maybe saving money or just not wanting to be addicted to cigarettes… Maybe you’ve decided as a parent to set a good example for your child, recognizing that ‘actions are more effective than words, or you’re just embarrassed and becoming a smoker. You don’t want to be a second-class citizen. Take a look at the benefits of not smoking and choose the ones that are most important to you personally.
Physical Benefits: The sense of taste and smell is better, the food tastes better, the teeth are whiter, the breath from the mouth is fresh. The blood circulation will be better and the skin will have a healthier appearance. General health improves, coughing ceases, and frequent inflammations decrease. Heart health improves, blood pressure levels stabilize, and there is a lower risk of bronchitis, heart attack, stomach ulcers and cancer.
Social Benefits: More time for work, family and friends, freeing those around you from second-hand smoke, no smell of cigarettes in the house, clothes and car, the opportunity to enjoy certain non-smoking social environments, avoid financial difficulties due to smoking-related diseases, better concentration and more gaining extra attention, the love of family and friends.
Emotional Benefits: Satisfaction with the ability to control one’s own behavior without smoking, increased self-esteem, increased self-confidence, satisfaction with setting a positive example for children and others, looking to the future with more confidence, feeling better overall.
Financial Benefits: No more direct smoking costs, no more indirect smoking costs.
Don’t fret if you think you’re not strong enough to quit smoking forever. Take another look and consider the pros and cons of smoking. If you have chosen a life without cigarettes, repeat out loud, ‘I want to quit smoking!’ You have taken a very important step, you are ready to start getting rid of addiction and smoking habits.
Step 2: Set the date
Choose a date that is not too close or too far away so that you can prepare well or delay your decision. Choose a quieter time to quit smoking, where you don’t expect awkward, tense situations. It is impossible to eliminate all ailments, life is full of unexpected stresses, this does not mean that it is not possible to quit smoking. Repeat, ‘I want to quit smoking!’ Choose the date you will smoke your last cigarette. Be patient, respect your decision.
Step 3: Prepare physically to quit smoking
Successful smoking cessation requires good physical preparation, which includes rapid cleansing of the body from the harmful components of tobacco smoke, particularly nicotine and carbon monoxide. Follow these guidelines: Drink plenty of water throughout the day (about 6 to 8 glasses), get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, make sure you have a hearty breakfast whenever possible, take a walk in the fresh air whenever you can.
Step 4: Prepare mentally to quit smoking
You must prepare in advance and learn how to position yourself when someone offers you a cigarette. Prepare ahead of time for high-risk situations where you may be prone to re-lighting, such as in high-smoker areas. Prepare for times when you are under stress, when you drink alcohol or coffee, when you are hungry when you are overwhelmed by anger or boredom. Think of yourself in detail as someone who wishes not to smoke. Do your best to make it a reality. Through desire, visualization, and belief in yourself as a non-smoker, you can truly become a non-smoker. Believe what you want and remember that you can really get rid of nicotine. Find a non-smoker friend and ask them to support you.
Step 5: Plan rewards that motivate you
Quitting smoking is not an ordinary, everyday activity. If you quit smoking, you deserve a reward, so reward yourself regularly. Buy something you love with the money you would spend on cigarettes. Rewards are encouraging and remind you to do something that is meaningful to you, valuable and needs to continue. Choose the rewards you will give yourself if you reach certain goals: no smoking for a week, no smoking for a month, no smoking for 3 months…
Step 6: Observe non-smokers
Observe how nonsmokers behave in certain situations. Focus on details. Watch how they spend their break, how they use their hands, what they do when they need time to respond, how they behave when surrounded by smokers, how they behave in a stressful situation. Pay special attention to your behavior if you have smoked regularly in the past. Try to imagine yourself as a non-smoker, paying attention to every detail of your behavior. Repeat over and over how you will act, act, and look in difficult times of stress. As a non-smoker, you must believe in yourself. Repeat this to yourself over and over and consider the benefits of not smoking.
Step 7: Eliminate everything smoking related
Destroy all cigarettes, lighters, smoking accessories, ashtrays. Tell your friends and family that you have cut off all contact with your worst enemy, smoking.
Step 8: Eat and drink, you’ve won
Eat only healthy foods. Eat as many fruits and vegetables as possible. Avoid high-calorie foods. Remember that physical and mental state depends on the food you take into your body. Drink plenty of fluids, choose water or soft drinks with low sugar content. Avoid white sugar, use natural sugar from fresh fruit and whole grains. Eat light lean meats and fish. Avoid black coffee, teas, caffeinated drinks, sodas, and foods that you know encourage you to smoke.
Step 9: Find time to rest
Regular exercise helps effectively in the smoking cessation process. Add 10 to 20 minutes of relaxation exercises to your daily routine: Take a deep breath in through your nose, exhale slowly through your mouth, and repeat this four times. Look for a quiet place, sit in a comfortable chair, wear light clothes. Tighten muscle groups for a count of five, then relax for a count of ten. Enjoy a night’s sleep lasting 7 to 9 hours. Don’t miss the weekly vacation. Make sure you rest at least one day a week and take a break from work. When you feel the tension building up, immediately (wherever you are) start with simple relaxation exercises. Think of something beautiful. Do activities that you enjoy, enjoy, and do not smoke.
Step 10: Awaken the imagination
Use your imagination and focus on the benefits of not smoking, especially the ones you enjoy and are most important to you.
Step 11: Release suddenly
Remove cigarettes from your life immediately. So you can quit smoking in 2 days, and on the second day, the physical craving for nicotine is almost not felt. Only the psychological factor remains, for which it is necessary to fight. Studies show that quitting smoking abruptly is much more effective than quitting gradually.
Step 12: Suppress smoking cravings
- Drink a glass of water or juice.
- Take five deep breaths (slowly).
- Go for a walk.
- Practice relaxation exercises.
- Count backward from 100.
- Start an interesting hobby.
- Brush your teeth.
- Take a shower alternately with hot and cold water.
- Try eating healthy foods like carrots that will keep your mouth busy for a long time.
- Eat sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
- Use gum (sugar-free).
- Call a friend to help you.
- For a glass of milk.
- Repeat your decision: ‘I want to quit smoking!’
- Look at your watch and delay smoking for at least one minute, then another minute, then another minute… And so on for at least five more minutes.
Step 13: If you light a cigarette, go back to the start
A lit cigarette during quitting should not interfere with successful quitting. There are always ups and downs, but you must keep trying to win. If a cigarette battle has been won, don’t be discouraged, you can still win the battle. Understand that you are not losing, you are just taking a detour. Loud ‘My choice is not to smoke!’ say. Repeat the previous twelve steps.
Step 14: Be in non-smoking environments
Share with others what helps you and what you need as a lifeline when you are in a crisis due to a strong craving for cigarettes. Ask smokers not to smoke near you. Be the founder of a non-smoking environment everywhere.
Step 15: Review your habits
Cigarettes need to be replaced with something, so it will be good to replace them with healthy things. Yes, many people gain weight when they quit smoking, but that may not apply to you. Choose healthier and lower-calorie products. For example, if you have been drinking coffee and smoking until the morning, you should not sit at that hour because you cannot go without a cigarette. Create a new routine; have breakfast, but have a healthy breakfast. These are changes that take effort, but over time they will become a habit.
FEEL POSITIVE CHANGES IMMEDIATELY AFTER LEAVE
Anti-smoking campaigns and advertisements circulating around you sometimes complicate your work rather than helping you. Therefore, we will not tell you how harmful cigarettes are in the form of warning labels on cigarette boxes. This is already widely known to everyone. Let’s start at the end for a change: If you quit smoking right on time, medicine says the results will be:
- Within 20 minutes, your blood pressure and heart rate will drop.
- Within 8 hours, nicotine and carbon monoxide levels drop. The oxygen in your body returns to normal.
- Your lungs start to work better in 1-2 days. Carbon monoxide leaves your body.
- Within 3 days, your sense of smell and taste will improve, and your breathing will become easier.
- Within 2 weeks, withdrawal symptoms are significantly reduced and energy levels are increased.
- Within 1 month, circulation improves greatly and it becomes much easier to move around.
- Within 6 months, the risk of heart attack, cancer and other smoking-related diseases begins to decrease significantly.
- After 6 months, the pulse rate decreases, exercise performance increases, you start to run faster, swim, and feel the desire for physical activity.
- After 1 year, the risk of developing coronary heart disease is reduced by half compared to smokers.
- After 5 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer drops sharply compared to those who smoke a pack of cigarettes a day.
If you want to quit smoking and are looking for a way to do it, start with these questions: Do you love yourself enough to quit? Do you love yourself enough to be happy? Do you play a large or small role in your own life?