Studies have shown that nicotine is nearly as addictive as many of the hardest narcotics, including heroin. Although the addiction is considered to be just as strong, the quitting process is far from detrimental to your body. Quitting heroin cold turkey can actually lead to death. The benefits of quitting smoking can be noticed after as little as twelve hours after your last cigarette.
Within just a couple weeks of quitting, you will be able to perform physically like you could not have when you were smoking. This is due to your lung capacity coming back. Quitting smoking is very important but very difficult. This is why it is important to follow a few steps for quitting.
Step 1: Make Your Plan to Quit
Adhering to a plan will make getting through your day without cigarettes slightly easier. It will help you stay focused and motivated. If you have trouble determining your own plan for quitting, there are several online that can be very helpful. The most important thing is finding a plan that works for you.
There are also several hotlines and helplines you can call that will help you get through the struggle. There is no one right way to quit smoking. Do what works for you and do what you need to put down the lighter.
Step 2: Keep Active
Becoming bored is possibly the fastest way to begin craving another cigarette. As the old saying goes, “Idle hands are the devils playground.” You need to find hobbies and other activities to keep yourself busy and make it through the day. A good start is by getting out of the house and walking.
You can also take up gum chewing or video games. One of the most difficult parts of quitting is constantly feeling like your hands or lips are empty. This is because you have become so accustom to holding a cigarette in them. Chewing a toothpick is a great way to help with this issue. Video games are another way to keep your hands busy.
As long as you are doing something, you will be less likely to want to smoke. You can also try to associate yourself with people who are not smokers. Hanging around the group of people you typically smoke with will just make you want to smoke yourself.
Step 3: Avoid Things That Make You Want to Smoke
The things to avoid are the people you used to smoke with, places you smoked at, and situations where you get the urge to smoke. On your first day of quitting, it is very important to avoid all of these trigger scenarios in their entirety.
If you have not yet done so, you should throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, and ashtrays. It is important to clear your house of anything that may make you want to smoke on your first day quitting. It is also a good idea to drink a large amount of water. This will help to rid your body of the toxins that are left from the cigarettes.
Step 4: Keep a Positive Mind
There is no doubt that quitting smoking will be one of the most difficult things you have ever done. Just remember to take everything a day, hour, or minute at a time. Do not concern yourself early on with long term. Do not think of this as a lifelong journey. Just get through day one. Then get through day two and so on.
Keep an open and positive outlook. Set up benchmarks for yourself and have a reward for whenever you meet them. Just keep trying and remember that nobody is perfect. The most important thing right now is that you do not smoke at all.
Step 5: Talk About It
Quitting is an immensely difficult journey, but it does not have to be taken alone. Although you are the one quitting now, there have been people that quit before you and people quitting alongside you. Talk to your family and friends and open up.
This can be a very stressful time for you and you should not try to rely solely on will power. Talk to people that are going through or have gone through these same difficult times.