Your Quit Smoking Plan
So you are ready to quit? Get a plan together. Studies show that people who have a plan for quitting smoking ahead of time have far greater chances to succeed. Stopping smoking can be a little scary, if you are prepared it can make your first steps far more comfortable and you’ll be prepared for what comes ahead.
Step 1: Preparing to quit
Quitting smoking without preparation can be difficult and often leads to “mistakes” or full relapse. The cravings people deal with when they don’t have cigarettes can be strong and without preparation it can be very easy to either go buy cigarettes or grab one that’s been stashed away. After that first “mistake”, getting back into the addiction happens so quickly people often wonder what happened to their quit plan. Being prepared can help prevent this.
Here are some tips to help you get ready to quit:
- Set a quit date and stick with it. Put it on your calendar, tell your friends, tell your family, make yourself accountable and responsible for what happens on that day. This can help psychologically prepare you for what is to come and sometimes knowing that other people are on your side can help you to stick with it. Sometimes you don’t want to disappoint those you care about either.
- Identify your personal reasons for smoking. Dig deep on this one. Figure out why you started smoking to begin with, what it does for you, when you smoke, what the triggers are, and what you are coping with.
- Figure out what your barriers to quitting are. What stops you from quitting? Is it stress, friends around you who smoke, something you aren’t happy with in your life that you use nicotine to cope with? Even though we can’t always change the environment around us, knowing what makes us smoke and keeps us from quitting can help pin it down. Understanding these things can help you talk yourself out of a craving when you have one after quitting.
- Write down your reasons for quitting smoking. These can be as big or small as you like but write them down on a piece of paper and keep it with you. Whenever you have a craving, get the list out and read it to yourself. Nicotine cravings can cause all kinds of strange thoughts and people can rationalize why the need a cigarette. When this happens, it’s the Nicotine talking not you. Having a list of reasons you quit with you can help bring some sense into the cravings.
- Prepare a few things ahead of time to do when you have a craving. This can be anything from a piece of candy you keep in your pocket to taking your dogs for a walk. When you have a strong craving, there are so many things you can do besides smoke a cigarette.
Alternatives to smoking a cigarette:
- Empty the dishwasher
- Drink a cold glass of water
- Eat a snack
- Enjoy a piece of candy
- Chew gum
- Take several big breaths of fresh air
- Lie down for a few minutes
- Call someone
Step 2: Use aids to help you quit smoking if you need them
No matter what you hear or read, people who quit smoking have done it using a method that works for them. Whether you are planning on using a Nicotine Patch, Nicotine Gum, Prescription Medications such as Zyban or Chantix, Natural Quit Smoking Aids, Hypnosis, or cold turkey, be sure to complement your action plan with them. Don’t attempt to use these aids without an action plan. Studies show that having the plan in conjunction with a smoking cessation treatment is far more successful. Be sure to follow the instructions or doctors advice on all methods however and incorporate those into your action plan.
Step 3: Staying smoke free
Once you have set your date and stopped smoking, the real trick is to keep it that way. Remember to keep your list of reasons with you at all times and keep your tools with you. Be prepared for unexpected cravings that can come out of nowhere. Get used to how you deal with cravings and whenever you have one, run through the steps you need. If you feel depressed, remember that quitting Nicotine can have this effect and it will go away with time. Your body and mind are healing, lots of things happen during that time. Trust us, everything will be better than it was before you quit in the end.