Smoking is a dangerous and destructive habit that brings about severe health complications. You can end up alienating friends, family, and colleagues, limiting your dating options, and even excluding yourself from certain healthcare plans.
The journey toward a smoke-free life might be a long one, but if you follow this detailed guide, you’ll go into your journey with the knowledge necessary to make the ride just a bit easier. There are dozens of reasons to quit smoking, and the first step in your journey is just that: find your reason.
Set A Goal
So, you’ve found your reason for quitting. Whether you’re quitting for the sake of your health, or because a close friend or family member asked you to, it’s all the same; you’re still in for a tough journey that will test your willpower and your motivation. Once you know your why, it’s time to figure out your how.
Setting goals is an important part of the journey toward a smoke-free life. Goals help you set timelines and look back on milestones once you reach them. When you find your motivation is lacking, looking back on your goals and the milestones you’ve already achieved can rekindle the fire and keep you on course.
Goals should start out with small steps. If you try to take on too much at once, you’re increasing your chances of failure due to overwhelm. If you want to quit, start by reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke per day. Small steps toward a larger goal result in greater success.
Don’t beat yourself up, either. You’re likely going to have setbacks, you may relapse, and your motivation can run dry at times. That’s all fine. You’re only human, and no one is perfect! Change your relationship with mistakes. They’re nothing more than learning opportunities, and making a mistake is a necessary part of the learning process.
Don’t forget that you’re suffering from an addiction as well, and withdrawal from cigarettes can cause all kinds of emotions. You’ll feel sad, angry, irritable, and more during the quitting process. Understand that this is all part of the journey, and don’t let it derail your progress.
Non tobacco chew, vape pens, and other alternatives offer an easy transition away from tobacco use. When you’re quitting, sometimes it’s a good thing to have a backup plan or something to take the place of your ritual. A new ritual can help you feel like you’re getting the tobacco you need and allow you to participate in activities with tobacco users without using it yourself.
If you’re struggling with your journey, there are hundreds of support groups and online resources available for people who are quitting. You can join a local recovery group, which would give you in-person support and encouragement, or an online group if you’re less inclined to visit in-person events.
Don’t leave your friends and family out of the mix, either. They can offer an excellent support system during your journey, and you need to fall back on their support when you start to falter. It’s ok to make mistakes, and you might relapse during your journey.
Relapse is much easier to navigate when you have a support system to help. Don’t beat yourself up! Quitting smoking is no easy task. The brain is literally addicted to the nicotine in your cigarettes, and addiction isn’t something you can just conquer in a few simple steps. Gather your support, pick yourself up, and keep pushing forward. You’ll make it!
Understand What You’re Doing
Quitting smoking is much more than just ditching a bad habit. Smoking can take years off of your life, can cause harmful cancers and diseases that can rack up medical bills and cause pain and suffering, and over time, you’ll spend thousands of dollars on cigarettes alone.
When you make the decision to quit, you’re taking back control of your health and your life. After just a few months, the body begins to heal and return to normal. You’ll get your endurance, lung capacity, and lung and heart health back.
Those around you will be grateful that you’re taking steps toward better health, and you’ll be glad you made this decision given enough time.
A smoke-free life is just around the corner! Stay focused, remember why you started, and be sure to utilize your support group(s) and resources to your full advantage. The road ahead might be bumpy, but with enough determination and the right tools, you’ll be able to quit smoking forever. Remember that your support group is there to help, so don’t be afraid to fall back on them when you need to. We’re rooting for you!