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I have compiled a list of the top things that have helped me get to the point I am at now (over 15 months quit). Please keep in mind the quit process is different for everyone but I believe there are certain techniques listed below that will help most quitters:
1) Read and be open to the concept of Allan Carr's "Easy Way to Quit Smoking" The foundation for Allan also gives live seminars in certain cities. There are also audio versions of the book available.
2) Start thinking like a non-smoker. Make it something you don't want, not something you can't have.
3) Join a telephone or internet support group (such as icanquit)
4) Make quitting smoking a TOP priority. Nothing else takes precedence over quitting. Avoid situations and people that trigger and do not support your quit.
5) Ensure you are getting your recommended daily intake of water. Water is good for the body in so many different ways.
6) Ensure you are eating regular meals and don't allow yourself to go hungry for too long. I found my cravings increased if I was hungry.
7) Ensure you are getting your recommended amount of sleep.
8) Walk, exercise. I have read and been told by Doctors that cigarettes act similar to an anti-depressant by people with mental issues. I have also been told that a half hour / day of exercise that raises your heart rate is equivalent to an anti-depressant.
9) in beginning (first 2 months) give yourself small rewards. These small rewards are extremely important. Having recent exposure and therefor having a recent memory makes it that much more motivational for the beginning of your quit. Big rewards are also important to look forward to, but do not have the same effect as being able to be exposed to them in the beginning of your quit journey. Examples of small rewards that I found helpful were: 1) Going to a restaurant once a week and ordering anything and everything I wanted without considering the price. 2) Massage Therapy, reflexology, acupuncture 3) Taking the time and spending money to utilize a steam room/Sauna.
10) Quit smoking app for your smart phone that tracks money saved, cigarettes not smokes, # of days not smoking and extra life days gained.
11) Introduce new distractions that give you joy and take up the extra time you have (the average smoker spend an hour and a half a day smoking cigarettes!). Some examples would be juicing (vegetables) or starting to use essential oils (such as lavender) in a diffuser.
12) To deal with anxiety you may experience at the beginning of your quit, develop a routine you will go through before giving in to having a cigarette. An example might be: 1) Review reasons you don't want to smoke (2 mins), 2) have a shower (5 mins), read and post on icanquit. I only had to get to the point of showering twice in my quit and after showering my craving was no longer an issue.
I used to believe I would smoke until I died. I thought there was no way in the world I would be able to quit. Just thinking about quitting 2 years ago made me light up another (or 2 or three) cigarette(s)!. Implementing the above tricks has been the key to my quit. Good luck to all the quitters!
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