How to Mentally Prepare Yourself to Quit Smoking
I have been a "smoker" for over 18 years that's minus the two years I quit when I had my children. After each pregnancy I swore I would never smoke again and each time I lit back up.
It started innocently enough I considered myself a "social smoker" I would only smoke a cigarette if I was out having a drink with friends. Then I became the "Stress smoker" when I found myself a little anxious or on the edge I would smoke.
Keep in mind this was well before smoking became such a shameful addiction you could smoke in parks,bars and most restaurants. You weren't cornered off and frowned so much upon.
Eventually, I became an everyday smoker. I justified it though, I made jokes that it keeps me sane and off of medications for anxiety. I would call it my inhaler because I always seemed to need one after I did any vigorous activity.
I became addicted I needed them . I needed a cigarette in the morning and after every meal. I needed a cigarette when I was driving or having a drink with friends. It was basically a part of me. I enjoyed smoking.
I turned forty and found it much harder to climb stairs or hike without becoming winded. I started to notice more fine lines and yellower teeth. My common cold or cough started hanging with me a little longer . This is when I decided it was time.
I know there are numerous medications I could take, patches I could wear , gums I could chew and fake (possibly more harmful) vape things I could use. However if I am not doing it for the right reasons or WANT to do it for myself they will not work. I have to be mentally prepared to stop I have to want to stop!
Set a Quit Date
Do not just throw your cigarettes in the garbage and say today is the day. I can almost guarantee you that day is not the day. Why? because I have tried it more than once and what do I do, I go buy a new pack. I wasn't ready!
You don't get up one morning and say I'm going to run a marathon, you gradually train and build yourself up for the marathon.
Same applies here. Set a date any date you want just make it a week or so out.
During this week slowly cut down on your cigarettes maybe skip the one on the car ride home or maybe after dinner.
Find your reason
Make a list of all the reasons why you want to quit smoking. You can also make a list of the pros and cons if you would like.
Making number one the most important and so on. Your list does not have to be long or it can be full of odd little reasons (nobody's looking at your list).
My List is Below :
- Health Benefits(Be around longer for my kids, be able to breath again while hiking)
- Save Money
- Appearance (teeth, fine lines)
- No more Smell on clothes , Hair
- Not letting Cigarettes control me
Find Something Else to Do
I smoked a lot when I was driving between offices or on errands. I started just putting a straw in my mouth at first(recommended by others) but I kept trying to flick it out the window or drawing air through it and felt myself feeling silly so this did not work for me.
I then went to the " call a friend" option so now I was making my phone calls during this time which seemed to help.
After meals I would go for a quick walk or start another task immediately. I started eating a little less because the fuller I felt the more I needed a cigarette (I used to say it helps me digest what a lie).
In the morning I actually woke up 15 minutes later so I had to rush and didn't have time to go out for a cigarette before getting ready or stop at a convenience store where they are placed right in your line of sight as if to taunt you .
These little things seem to help me a lot just altering my routine.
It is hard, do not believe anyone who tells you different. I cannot comment on the medications, gums and patches because I did not use them. It was stressful and if I ever had to do it again I may have considered some medication or nicotine supplement.There were times when I was so tempted to go buy a pack and hide them who would ever know right? I would know and that would be enough.
If you find it getting hard understand that it will pass. The first few days are definitely the hardest as with any withdrawal. My anxiety increased, I was hungry (but actually decreased my meal size so I didn't want a cigarette after) I was irritable and could not sleep .
Push through, about ten days in I was sleeping again and my mood was not horrible.
Do I miss smoking ? I am not going to lie sometimes I do . When my stress level gets a little high I think one wont hurt right. Then I wring my hands together, take a deep breath and carry on.
Good luck and remember you CAN do this ! You just have to want it enough.
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How Many Times Have You Tried To Quit Smoking?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.