Smoking was once a glamorized past time. It was so well regarded that almost everyone smoked at some time or another. In today’s society, however, it is widely recognized that smoking is terrible for your health.
Smoking is deemed so bad, in fact, that health insurance companies have actually raised premiums for smokers and have rewarded them with a premium decrease when they are able to quit. Tobacco commercials have been cut from TV stations. The push to get healthy is out there.
However, quitting smoking is not an easy task, especially if you’ve been a life-long smoker. Here are some of the best ways to get through the quitting process.
- Stay Positive – The first and most important thing to do when beginning your smoke-free journey is to stay positive. Recognize that it is not going to be an easy journey, and do your best to fight the negativity that will creep up from time to time.
- Decide What Works for You – There are a number of ways to quit smoking. The best thing you can do is pick the method that is going to best fit in with your lifestyle and personality and go for it. For some people, quitting cold turkey is the best way so it is out of sight, out of mind, and gone for good. This can be an extremely tough thing to do and isn’t the best plan for everyone. For others, quitting in steps is the best thing. If you mainly smoke while you are out, then try quitting when you are home. Gradually add in additional times to quit and eventually you can cut out smoking while you are out too. Whatever way you decide, make a commitment and stick to it!
- Fight the Urge – Quitting smoking is not only a physical game as you learn to crave the nicotine, but it is also a mental game, as your brain tells you that you need that fix. Find alternative ways to fight your smoking urges. Get out in the fresh air and take a walk if you are able, chew gum, or find a hobby that you need to use both hands for. Avoid common triggers that will make you think you need a cigarette, such as drinking alcohol or going to a bar.
- Find a Strong Support System – A good support system is a key component to finally taking that leap to quitting. Relying on your friends and family to get you through the hard times is not always easy, but it can greatly help pull you through. Alternatively, finding a good group or therapist can help in ways friends and family may not be able to. These people have usually either quit smoking themselves or have worked extensively with others who have successfully quit and can set you up with a clear path, ensuring you can also be successful. Whether you choose friends and family, therapy, or a combination of both, without a strong support system there is a greater chance you will not follow through on your plan to quit smoking. With all the dangers posed by second-hand smoking you owe it to your loved ones!
- Never Give Up – Quitting smoking is a long road, filled with many ups and downs. Recognizing that just slipping backward in your process is not an end-all for your journey is especially important. Failing is OK as long as you get back up and try again. If you are persistent and want it bad enough, it will happen!
While it is usually a rough journey to becoming a non-smoker, your overall health will improve so much that you will only wish you didn’t do it sooner. If you follow the above advice, you will be on your way to a healthier, smoke-free life.