Quitting smoking is not nearly as easy as just deciding to quit. A lot of planning, motivation and willpower is involved. However, the entire process of quitting your nicotine habit could be made easier if you put a plan in place beforehand. Once you believe that you are ready to quit nicotine once and for all, this article will tell you a few things that you will need to know in order to make the quitting permanent.
How to Prepare to Quit Cigarettes For Good
The first thing you should do before you quit cigarettes is know exactly why you want to stop smoking. Do you want to start saving the money you would have spent on cigarettes? Do you want to live to see your grandchildren graduate college? Do you want to be able to walk up a flight of stairs without coughing and wheezing? Making clear your reasons for quitting can make parts of your withdrawal symptoms a bit easier to handle.
Right after you stop smoking, you will begin to feel uncomfortable and irritable. It is at this time that you may want to smoke a cigarette. This is due to withdrawal, one of the most common symptoms associated with quitting smoking. When your body is in withdrawal mode, your body is starting to get accustomed to operating without nicotine.
Most people find that the worst of their withdrawal mode will last anywhere between a few days and a few weeks. It is at this time that you may experience some of the following symptoms:
- Sleep issues
- Brain fog
- Anxiety, nervousness, or restlessness
At this time, you may want to start smoking again to relieve these often severe withdrawal symptoms. Despite the fact that these symptoms are hard to handle, know that they are temporary and will go away with time.
Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is one of the best treatments to help you on your journey to quit cigarettes. NRT can go a long way towards alleviating withdrawal symptoms. This particular therapy can also double your chances of quitting nicotine for good. NRT comes in some of the following forms:
- Nasal sprays
- Nicotine patches
Most of these forms of NRT are available to the public without a prescription.
Involve Your Family and Friends
Quitting cigarettes for good can get easier when your loved ones are on your side. Tell your family and friends that you want to quit and let them know what they can do to help. Here are some tips that can help you do just that:
- Tell your loved ones why you want to quit
- Ask them to check in on you and your progress once in a while
- If you have a friend or family member who smokes, ask them to quit with you or to smoke away from you
- Get your loved ones to come up with a list of things for you to do together that do not include cigarettes
- Let everyone know that while you are withdrawing from nicotine, you will be irritable and cranky. Ask for their patience.
- Tell your friends and family that they should never, ever give you a cigarette, even if you ask
The chances are good that your cravings for nicotine may be even tougher than your nicotine withdrawal period. You may find that cravings for cigarette suddenly come up on you without any warning. Cravings can be set off by many things, like strangers smoking outside. These visual reminders are what are known as triggers.
Almost anything can trigger a craving for nicotine. This is why it is so important to have a plan in place to deal with these sudden cravings. However, you should note that cravings only last, on average, between 15-20 minutes.
One of the best ways to deal with cravings is to plan for them beforehand. Almost any distraction can be helpful under these circumstances. Many people find that getting active also helps with nicotine cravings. For example, taking a 15-20 minute walk can be just the thing to quell a craving.
Creating a Plan to Combat a Nicotine Addiction
Here are some of the ways that you can deal with triggers and cravings in the first days after you decide to quit smoking:
- Take good care of yourself. Drink lots of water, eat a healthy diet, and get 7-9 hours of sleep a night. Doing all of this will give you more energy to get through your days. This is extra energy that you will need to get through stressful cravings
- For the first few days after you stop smoking, try to spend as much time as you can in public places where smoking is prohibited. When your surroundings make it impossible for you to smoke, it can be easier to deal with any cravings that may come up
- Stay away from friends and family who are smokers. Also avoid places and objects that remind you of your old smoking life
- When a craving or trigger occurs, take a few deep, cleansing breaths
- When you feel the urge to smoke, call a friend or family member. If you have no one to call, visit a website that is dedicated to helping people stop smoking. Many of these websites have forums and chat sites that allow you to interact with people who are in the same boat as you
- Reward yourself once in a while. Giving yourself rewards give you a boost that encourages you to keep up these great new lifestyle changes.
Failing to plan for cravings, triggers and withdrawal mode is one of the risk factors for starting up your nicotine habit again. Quitting cigarettes involves a lot more than throwing away that pack. The more work and willpower you put in now, the healthier and happier you will be without cigarettes.