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As a long time smoker, I can attest to how difficult it is to quit smoking. Making the decision to quit smoking is just the first step in a long process that takes hard work, dedication, and a whole lot of will power!
But, don’t let the difficulty of the task get in the way of quitting! Studies show that the average person attempts to quit smoking 5-7 times before being 100% successful.
We all know that smoking is bad for our health, but that doesn’t change the fact that nearly 13% of the US population still smokes. That is an INSANE amount of people in my opinion – especially since there are SEVERAL smoking cessation programs across the US and around the world.
Again, I know it isn’t easy! It’s a life-changing process that takes time and dedication.
5 Tips To Help You Quit Smoking – That Actually Work
Find Your Smoking Triggers
Figuring out when you smoke the most, or when your triggers are, is crucial for quitting. Why? This will help you avoid any triggers when you start the process of quitting and after you quit.
Start this process before you quit! Think about when you smoke. Is it in the morning with your coffee, after eating, or out with friends? How about when you’re stressed, angry, or sad? How well are you sleeping? Do you have anxiety, do you smoke more when anxious?
Write down your triggers so you know when they are, and what they are.
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Common triggers are:
- drinking coffee
Before your quit date, start making these changes: If you smoke in your car, stop. If you smoke right after a meal, wait at least an hour before smoking. If you smoke out with friends or co-workers, don’t go out as often, or at all.
Again, figure out your smoking triggers will help you throughout your journey to quit smoking.
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Not only is a smoking cessation program a great resource to quit, but you also need to share your intent to quit with your friends, family, and even co-workers. Their support is 100% needed, especially if they are smokers!
If they are smokers, ask them not to smoke around you at first. Being around smokers during the first few weeks after quitting is one of the hardest situations to be in while trying to quit.
You can also talk to your doctor about any medications or free programs they offer to help you quit. In addition, you can call your medical insurance company, as they often have guides to help you quit; some plans even offer you money or other incentives to quit.
Work Through Your Cravings
Did you know, the average craving only lasts about 2 minutes?
Some people will continue to get cravings months, and even years, after quitting. Try finding what works best for you to work through each craving. Some tips that helped me are:
- Breathing (do the 4/7/8 method. Breath in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, breath out for 8 seconds.)
- Doing Squats
Do not, however, EAT! This is the worst advice I was ever given: suck on candy or eat something. This will eventually, train your mind to crave sweet stuff and not a cigarette, which is something I struggle with to this day.
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Know Your Why
Why do you want to quit? Is it for you, or someone else? You have to WANT to quit in order to be successful.
As I mentioned above, we all know smoking is bad for us, yet it continues to be common. Knowing your WHY will help you continue to be smoke-free and get through the hardest times while quitting.
Your WHY can be anything from your health, to saving money (I save on average, $100 a month so this is a GREAT motivator!) to your hygiene. Because yes, smokers stink!
Write down your WHY’s in your Quit Smoking Guide, but also put up post-it notes all over where you can be reminded of it. Your work desk, bathroom mirror, your car, etc.
Forgive Yourself If You Slip Up
Quitting smoking isn’t easy, and while there are some people that quit and never pick up a cigarette again, it isn’t like that for most people trying to quit.
If you slip up – don’t beat yourself up about it! Think about what was happening when you had your slip up. Add this to your triggers list. Start again, and continue to work towards being 100% smoke-free.
HOWEVER. There is a MAJOR difference between having a slip-up and forgiving yourself for it, then making excuses. Having “just one” while out with friends will eventually become a habit, and you don’t want that!
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Were these tips helpful? Are you a smoker that made the decision to quit? What worked for you? What tips can you share with others that will help them on their journey to quit smoking?
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Tonyalee is an avid reader, gym junkie, coffee addicted workaholic, and blogger. Be sure to follow on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for random shenanigans.