Virtually all smokers understand that tobacco leads to numerous health problems, including heart disease, cancer and sexual dysfunction. Still, countless people struggle to ditch the habit, thanks to powerful psychological and physical additions. To enhance your odds of achieving a healthy, smoke-free life, experts recommend the following effective strategies.
. Set a hard date. Instead of stopping cold turkey, establish a “quit date contract” and develop a plan for success.
. Write down your reasons for quitting. Make a clear, honest list, detailing your reasons for quitting, whether it’s for your partner, your child or yourself.
. Do not buy cartons. As your final quit day nears, begin buying single packs instead of cartons. You should also decrease your smoking frequency to help prepare your body and mind.
. Record your patterns. Make a list detailing when and why you tend to smoke. This will help you plan distractions and activities around dangerous times.
. Get active. Whenever you feel overwhelmed with cravings, do something productive. Whether it’s washing your car, brushing your teeth, having sex or reading a book, activities will distract the mind and help you power through weak moments.
. Quit at the right time. Research indicates that people have much more success if they stop smoking when they are feeling upbeat and in a good mood.
. Eliminate reminders. When your quit day comes, trash or give away everything that might remind you of smoking.
. Create positive reinforcement. Save every dime you would normally spend on tobacco in a clear glass jar.
. Think about past victories. Generate stronger self-confidence by reminding yourself of challenging situations you’ve overcome throughout your life.
. Eat regularly. Studies indicate that people tend to have more success blunting intense cravings when they eat several small meals throughout the day.
. Play some games. Play solitaire or computer games when cravings hit hard. This can be an especially effective strategy during work breaks.
. Establish a smoke-free setting. Do not allow other people to smoke in your car or home. Ask friends and family to avoid smoking near you.
. Try alternative strategies. Research suggests habitual tobacco smokers have an easier time quitting with the help of alternative therapies, such as Avena sativa (oat) extract and acupuncture.
Getting Honest About Tobacco
It may sound disturbing or morbid, but fear is a powerful motivator for escaping tobacco addiction. Quite often, smokers sweep negative thoughts from their minds, so they can continue self-destructive habits. Look at pictures highlighting the negative effects of smoking. Read about people who lost their lives to cigarettes. By forcing yourself to get real about smoking, you can address the problem with a direct and serious attitude, increasing your chances for enduring success.