If you are a person who would like to stop feeling like a slave to cigarettes, this article is for you!
There are many different programs or methods for sale now which aid people in their effort to rid themselves of the nicotine habit. I can only attest to the method I used over 20 years ago that worked for giving up my three-pack-a-day habit!
I bought a “program” called Cigarrest which contained four pills that I was directed to take one per day, to stop the physical withdrawal symptoms which occur during the first 96 hours. Science says that it is a fact that the adverse physical symptoms from quitting smoking only ever last for four days. Those first 96 hours are especially difficult because our body is experiencing physical discomfort from withdrawal AND our mind is supposed to be fighting all of the talks inside that would much rather give in than fight!
Just because I got through that first four days without lighting a cigarette didn’t mean the hardest part was over because that talk inside my head and all of the daily motions that made up my smoking habit were my new battle.
1. Know that the longest, strongest urge you will ever have for a cigarette only lasts for two minutes. That is a scientific fact. Those urges may/will come often at first, but they can NOT last for more than two minutes. If you can distract yourself with something else for that short two minutes you have made it through one more urge. Make sure to remind yourself that it will only be two minutes and surely you can find something else to do for those two minutes!
2. Every time your brain tells you that you want a cigarette, you can NOT say “I want a cigarette” or even let yourself THINK “I want a cigarette”. The more times you let yourself even think that a groove is worn deeper and deeper in your brain that reinforces the belief that you want/need/have to have a cigarette! Replace that thought with either the opposite statement or even better: a statement like “I’m going to become a runner”. Also, and this is huge; the reason that you “get nervous”, or “need” a cigarette every time some so-called trauma happens in your life is because in the PAST, when your BODY was addicted to nicotine you DID feel a need or nervous because your body was feeling withdrawal symptoms, i.e. needNICOTINE! That symptom doesn’t REALLY happen after four days, you are just still expecting that old reaction.
3. Smoking is not just one habit. It is a thousand habits, depending on how often you light up or how long you are awake. It is the habit of a smoke with the morning cup of coffee, it is the smoke when you start your car, it is the smoke when you sit down to type a letter, etc., etc., etc. What about the smoke with the beer or the smoke after a meal? Lots of habits strung together to look like one, and even worse, it is legal! The first habit I had to break was the one with coffee in the morning. I first told myself that I was going to have to give up that coffee, but what I did instead bought myself a pair of running shoes and went for a run before I had that coffee. Can you imagine how easy that was for a 3 pack a day smoker? I don’t know how far I ran and it didn’t matter because when I got back, that coffee tasted good even without the cigarette! Endorphins and different mindset worked that morning. How could a runner be a smoker?! With all of the other occasions, I had to replace what was actually a hand/mouth habit. When I started my car I put a piece of hard candy in my mouth. When I sat down to type a letter, I had a glass of iced tea. Instead of watching TV I put an exercise video in and worked out. Get the point? One more tip about the habit of a smoke after a meal: go brush your teeth instead! It works.
4. One of the first things I did during those first four days that I was on those pills took a piece of paper, draw a line down the center, and on one side wrote all of the good reasons to quit smoking. Expense, health, etc. I figured out that the amount of money I spent on cigarettes would equal a whole year of private school tuition for my daughter! That kind of list–be specific with the gains and losses, very specific. On the other side of the paper list all the bad reasons for quitting, i.e. I’d be nervous, I’d be bored, whatever! Anyone in their right mind would have a longer list of the good reasons to quit side.
5. 20 years ago I found out I was pregnant=good reason to quit right there. Also, 20 years ago, smoking in public first started to be looked down upon; even illegal. I grew up in a family where smoking was pretty much a right of passage. You got to be about 12 and you started sneaking smokes just like my mom and my grandmother did. All f a sudden, in 1985 smoking was not allowed on a flight with less than a two-hour duration. Oh no! Smoking was starting to be looked down upon! So, the changing attitudes and times helped me out back when I decided to quit. And that solidifies my final point.
6. YOU/HE/SHE has to really want to quit. You have to decide that for yourself, not because someone or something is forcing you to. Without that internal motivation, all the tips in the world will not help. WITH that internal motivation and resolve, these tips are guaranteed to work!