Quitting Cigarettes:The Second Part of my Journey
The journey continues
Since my last hub on the topic a couple of weeks ago I have managed to keep the quit and the benefits far outweigh any benefits I got from smoking. Indeed, having changed my frame of mind and attitude to cigarettes, I cannot understand how I indulged such a bad habit for so long. These benefits include the following :
- More energy
- Better sleep
- Less breathless
- More relaxed
- More exercise
- More money
- Better smell and taste
- Increased self-respect for doing the right thing
- A great sense of achievement.
There are some attitude and lifestyle changes I have introduced that have made this quit easier and more successful than previous attempts to quit which all resulted in failure. I will outline these factors in this hub.
I got a reference to quitnet.com from reading another hub here on hubpages. The site is great and has so much support and resources. There are chat rooms, forums and clubs which I don't use but which some people would find interesting and useful. There is a daily email with statistics of your quit which include:
- number of cigarettes not smoked
- number of days of life saved
- amount of money saved etc
I find this information very reinforcing and it helps to keep me focused and motivated on my quit journey.
Another feature which is useful is the journal in which I can write daily about how I am getting on. I propose that if I am tempted to smoke I will read my journal entries so far which should change my mind about smoking.Using my credit card I also subscribed to the quitnet site for less than $4 per month. The reason for this was twofold:
- It made me make a financial commitment to maintaining my quit.
- It reinforced my decision to continue to becoming a non-smoker.
Becoming a non-smoker is a process or a journey and not an event. The quitnet site is very much geared towards this philosophy.
Don't quit alone
I take two meanings from this heading of not quitting alone. Firstly, it is good to stop smoking with someone else so that one person can support the other. Secondly if this is not possible,use supports and resources from the many agencies that are available to facilitate not smoking. On the quitnet.com site I find it very encouraging to read the testimonials of others who are succeeding in their quitting journey. I find that reading testimonials is very motivating and continues the attitude change that is required to maintain a quit. In fact,it is said that changing one's attitude makes cigarettes lose their power over us. This is a very positive message and I have found it to be very true at this stage of the process.
Another feature of the site which I like is the availability of certificates which can be printed for different milestones in my quit. I have printed my certificate for one month quit and have shown it to my family and work colleagues which has been a very supportive exercise.
Some tips for quitting cigarettes
- Willpower is simply about how much you want something.
- Use online support and get support from friends and family.
- Substitute the bad habit of smoking with exercise.
- Keep your hands,mind and body busy to avoid cravings.
- If you are tempted to smoke,delay and think it through.
- Remember that quitting smoking is a process not an event.
Other Lifestyle Changes when Quitting
It is very true that substituting a bad habit with a good one is a very effective way for quitting smoking. The good habit that I chose to substitute for smoking is going for a daily walk. The benefits of exercise are well-known and well-documented. Exercise is good for avoiding weight gain,helping you sleep better and improving a sense of well-being.I have also substituted the cigarettes with nicotine lozenges which is not something I propose to continue in the long-term but for now it is a better habit than smoking.I find I have too indulge myself with drinking tea or coffee all the time between meals alternated with sucking nicotine lozenges. Cigarette smoking is a very oral habit which is probably why I am doing this. It is better to drink and suck lozenges than to eat and gain weight so I will continue to do so.
A healthy change in routine is advocated by those who advise and counsel re. addiction to smoking and although I used to associate cigarettes with drinking coffee I continue to drink coffee without them although limiting coffee will be another day's work for me.
What you get when you quit
Freedom from addiction
Clean hair and clothes
Stopping smoking give immediate health benefits
The body heals itself
When we stop smoking we give our body a chance to heal itself and our health risks continue to decrease the longer we are away from smoking.The body is very well-tuned to repair itself and this self-repair continues the longer we are on our non-smoking journey and indeed it goes so far as to repair itself completely from the ill-effects of smoking in some cases. The more we read and educate ourselves about smoking, the better our attitude to quitting becomes. Personally, I do not like reading too much about the damage cigarettes do. Instead I focus on the benefits of stopping them.
Summary and Conclusion
It is said that the following contribute to a successful quit
- peer support from other quitters.
- use of nicotine replacement therapy products.
- access to addiction counsellor.
- information about cigarettes and the damage they do.
- information about the benefits of quitting.
A journey of quitting smoking involves the breaking of the physical addiction to nicotine and the psychological addiction to nicotine in the context of an improved attitude to life as a nonsmoker.
Perhaps it is a good idea to look at it like this-I thought it was better to stop the cigarettes while I could before they stopped me which was likely to happen given my family history of smoking-related illness and death.
There is nothing more positive you can do for your long-term health than stopping smoking-except staying stopped which I propose to do because this time it looks like I have the commitment to do so which I am very grateful for.
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