As a former smoker I understand what every person with stress, poverty and the bad habit will go through - I've been there. With many smokers wanting to quit, many attempting to quit and failing, I'm often asked if there is an ideal solution.
How do you quit? Does it come down to a matter of trying everything in the hope that something works, or is there a way that we can train our mind?
Why Is It Hard To Stop Smoking?
In short, it's rarely the psychological habit but more the addiction to nicotine. As an addictive drug; it requires the same attention as something more serious, however played down as a result of its legal nature.
Nicotine is a drug that is contained within tobacco, when you inhale the nicotine it fills the body with enhancing chemicals that confuse the messages between the nerve cells, as a result a euphoric feeling is encountered.
It's as a result of the rush of these feelings that the body creates the "need" to replicate and hence the addiction starts. As you continue to smoke, your body creates a tolerance and thus the need to increase the effect.
The hit of nicotine lasts just a few hours and the need to replenish continues, this is where the dependency and hook takes effect, any attempt after this creates on-going sense of withdrawal.
The experiences of nicotine withdrawal includes:
- Anxiety and stress
- The inability to concentrate
- Increase in appetite and hunger
- Headaches and lack of sleep
- And many more...
If you want to quit smoking then the art of reduction is essential, how you manage the withdrawal massively contributes to your overall success. Just as you would manage your food and fitness levels while losing weight, you should apply the same attention with your nicotine addiction.
If you're serious about removing your negative habit then implement the following three simple steps:
Step 1 - Have A Strong Reason To Stop
When dealing with clients on a one-to-one basis, I will regularly ask them if they want to stop smoking. Unless they are highly motivated, I ask them to come back when they are ready to finally give it the commitment it needs. Simply going through the process without having the motivation will never bring about the results you desire, and will result in disappointment and relapse.
Step 2 - There Isn't A Rush
There can be temptation at time to rush change; setting yourself a goal date that is unachievable will bring about added pressure at an already stressful time. Reduce the pressure by having an objective and move forward with the knowledge that life is going to be better in the long term. If you've been smoking for 20 years then accept that giving up isn't going to take just a couple of days.
Step 3 - Manage Your Progress With Replacement
Many people fail to change, as they believe that going cold turkey is the solution. Although it can work for those strong willed, for the masses it just doesn't work. If you plan to remove this habit for good then make the choice to introduce something that will replace it. Avoid patches or nicotine substitutes but perhaps juicing, change in diet or fitness.
In summary: Removing this habit isn't an easy venture, but one thing is for certain the more action and thought that goes into it the more likely you will be successful.
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