Be it an occasional or a pack a day smoker, quitting is the most difficult yet bold move you’ll ever have to make!
Although tobacco has its serious concerns with regards to physical and psychological health, our bodies are automated to smoke a cigarette with our morning coffee, at work, home and sometimes with friends too.
To stop smoking, you will need to address your addiction and habits pertaining to it. With the right amount of support from your family and peers, you can wave goodbye to your ciggy packs and adapt to a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some evidence-based tricks to get up your sleeve. Let’s go through them one at a time, shall we?
1) Stay motivated. Prepare for the worst!
We’ve all heard stories on how people quit and relapse back to smoking. Don’t beat yourself up if this happens to you.
The idea is to find reasons to quit and sketch a proper plan on how you wish to proceed. When you’re prepared ahead in time for any withdrawal consequences, you’re most likely to outweigh the urge to light one up.
Pro tip – Keep a quitting journal if necessary and don’t forget to decide on a quit date.
2) Take support from your loved ones
No one can push you better than your family and friends. Which is why, it’s crucial to share your journey with the people you love and trust the most, to keep you encouraged throughout your detox period. Another option would be, to revert to support groups that will help you strategize and stay focussed.
3) Turn to other stress busters
One of the main reasons people smoke is to feel light and breezy. But we are all very much aware, there are other ways to do so! When you decide to quit, make sure you have alternates to live by, for example – a good massage, some music, engage in sports or other hobbies or even treat yourself to your comfort food. The primary goal is to keep yourself far away from anything that boosts your stress hormones. We certainly don’t need that.
4) Avoid triggers
When you indulge in alcohol or other triggers that go with your daily ciggs, like your morning cup of coffee or even that work friend you take smoking breaks with – it’s harder to keep up with your “say no to smoking” plan. In such cases, it’s time to switch to a healthier lifestyle and stay away from anyone and anything that prompts you to pick up that cigarette.
5) Clean and detox
To stay clear of anything that smells like your pack of cigarettes, wash your clothes, clean your room, your car and use air fresheners that will help you get rid of any scent that takes you back to your addiction. You need not be reminded of that!
Studies have shown that mild exercises, like walking, jogging and even washing your dishes can help you burn those extra pounds and keep your nicotine cravings in check. Wanna ease those withdrawal symptoms? Time to put on your shoes and get moving.
7) Include more fruits and veggies in your diet
Instead of trying to follow a new diet plan (which can be of additional risk due to too much deprivation) and to keep things less complicated, eat more fruits, veggies, and lean protein. This will help you with proper body cleanse and also keep your nutrition in check.
8) Use your money wisely instead
One of the perks from saying goodbye to your daily dose of nicotine is the money you land up saving! Why don’t you buy something nice? Pamper yourself for the effort you put it all these days.
9) Consider therapy
Some people find it tough to stick to self-remedies and might require professional help to curb those cravings. In addition to this, recurring withdrawal side effects like headache, mood swings or lack of energy can take a toll on your physical and mental health.
With CareMe’s brilliant team of licensed psychologists, access to Nicotine Replacement Therapy & Behavioral Therapy are readily available at your screens. Through the course of therapy, clients are trained in building healthy coping strategies, improve coping and interpersonal skills, encouraged to talk about their condition, feelings, thoughts, mood and behavior.
Book your first session now.
10) Keep trying!
We understand it’s not easy to stay committed to the above mentioned strategies. But as we mentioned earlier, don’t beat yourself up! We’re humans and tend to make several mistakes (sometimes the same mistake frequently) until we learn to get back up. Nurture and give yourself a chance, think about what caused you to relapse and most importantly, don’t feel discouraged. Baby steps! You’ll give up for good!
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We hope reading this blog has helped you understand better about smoking, nicotine addiction & withdrawal, and ways to deal with it
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This blog was written under the expert guidance of Dr. Vasanth Kattalai Kailasam, an Interventional Pain Physician at Northern Light Health, Maine. He is a diplomat of American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and also holds a specialization in addiction psychology
Edited and Coordinated By Arathi Nair