Saturday, November 25, 2017

Breaking the Habit of Smoking

Working to quit smoking is one of the hardest things that many people ever do in their life. The reasons that it is so difficult typically vary. The one reason that is most often cited is the habit of smoking itself is extremely hard to break. The task then becomes trying to break the habit, and instead give yourself a much healthier habit to hang onto. After all, it took you a while to get into the habit of smoking so reason stands that it will take a while to break the habit.

If you are determined to quit smoking, you have made an impressive start. However, if you have decided to quit on your own, you are doing even better. Sounds strange does it? You would be surprised at just how many people “decide” to quit smoking by being informed by their doctor, spouse, parent, sibling or friend that they will be quitting. In order to successfully quit smoking for good you need to decide for yourself to quit. If you have actually made this decision on your own, you are doing an amazing job. If you are letting someone push you into quitting you are just setting yourself up for headaches, hassles and complications that are easily avoided.

As a smoker, you have no doubt developed a pattern to your smoking. For example, if you are a typical one pack a day smoker one of your habits is to smoke a pack a day. You need to take small steps to break these habits. Perhaps you will find best luck in simply changing your habits slowly. For example, if you typically smoke a cigarette after each meal, you might find it helpful to brush your teeth. This can have the effect of providing a fresh mouth that you do not want to dirty with cigarette taste. You might find that after each meal you need to try chewing a piece of gum, sucking on hard candy or even attempting nicotine gum.

If there are any specific circumstances that always trigger a cigarette craving, you should work to avoid the situation. If it is something that you absolutely cannot avoid, such as dinner times, you need to create an alternative habit that you replace smoking with. For example, if you always smoke as soon as you get to your car after work, you might want to consider carpooling with someone who does not smoke, taking a different route home, stopping for groceries, jamming to some music or even taking a bus. Anything you can do to shake up your normal smoking routine is good.

There will of course be times that it is quite difficult to break the habits. If you find yourself in a position where you cannot avoid a typical smoking situation, you need to create a way to deal with it. Some people use nicotine gum whenever they are faced with a smoking situation. Others find that the stop smoking sticks are beneficial. These sticks can allow you to hold a pretend cigarette that just provides your hands with something to do. If you find these quite useful then you know that your problem is your hands are idle, finding something for your hands to do might help a lot.

Trying to quit is a very difficult process. Many people take weeks if not months to stop smoking completely. If you are struggling far too much with the idea of completely quitting at once you may find it is much better for your own situation to slowly cut back on your cigarette consumption. Regardless of the precise method that you choose, it can take a minimum of 2 weeks to start adapting new habits. This means that any new behavior you adopt in your quest to stop smoking must be repeated continuously for at least two weeks before you will start to see a real difference in your lifestyle. Giving yourself plenty of time to work on your new habits is essential and will set you on the road to success.

7 Tips to Controlling Your Urge to Smoke

Trying to quit smoking is a very lengthy process. This can take a very long period of time such as several years, or it could be something much shorter like only a few weeks or months. The exact time frame that it takes to quit can vary greatly but what is important is ensuring that you are coming up with a plan to combat your urges to smoke. At some point in your experience trying to quit you will encounter a situation where the urge to smoke is very strong. How you handle this situation will go a long way towards your ultimate success. Being prepared for the urge to smoke will ensure that you have a plan to keep your willpower strong and continue on your path to quit smoking successfully.

Tip 1. Take the time to decide exactly when you typically smoke. For example, after meals, after a jog around the block, or even after your shower each morning. Knowing when you typically smoke will put you in a good position to create a plan to combat the urge.

Tip 2. Create a plan of attack. This could be something as simple as a stress ball for your hands, or even just a piece of hard candy to keep your mouth busy. If you really enjoy the taste and feeling of a clean mouth you could try brushing your teeth each time you want to smoke, or suck on a mint flavored candy, which will freshen your breath.

Tip 3. Avoid the temptations that lurk. If you go out to eat, make sure you are sitting in the no smoking area. Avoid going into tobacco stores, and also try to limit the amount of time you are around other smokers. If you are continuously around cigarettes, it will be much harder to resist temptation.

Tip 4. Clean your house of all smoking instruments. This means all ashtrays, lighters, matches and get rid of the smell of cigarettes. Products like Febreeze are great for helping to get rid of cigarette smell, which can also trigger an urge to smoke.

Tip 5. If you have a place where you typically smoke when you are at home, think about rearranging the area. If you are able to break the routine of the situation, you will be able to resist temptation much better. This works best if you always are in the habit of smoking in the exact same place, such as a living room looking out a window. If you move the chair to a different area of the room, or refocus the center of the room then you can help to avoid the temptation to smoke whenever you are sitting in the chair looking out the window.

Tip 6. Write down your goal to quit smoking. This may seem like a minor detail but in reality, it can go a very long way towards ensuring that you keep your priority to stop smoking at the top of your agenda. If you just tell yourself that you want to quit smoking, you are more likely to cheat and ultimately give into the urge to light up again. If you have written your goal down, you are going to be more likely to actually follow it. This goes for quitting smoking, losing weight, changing your exercise routine or anything else. Written down goals can improve accountability significantly.

Tip 7. Do not discount yourself. If you are absolutely certain that you can succeed you will be much more capable of the success that you need. It is important to believe that you can succeed. This will help you to stay strong anytime a serious urge kicks in. If you decide to slip up consciously, you are going to find it is much harder to gain back any slack that you have cut for yourself. However, if you hold fast to your dedication to quit smoking you will find that each time you have an urge it is easier to handle.

5 Benefits of Quitting Smoking

The idea to stop smoking might seem really great, but what are you actually going to get out of the process? For many people there are some benefits that are immediately obvious. Of course, your clothes and house will smell a lot better, and if you have been a car smoker, your car will start to smell better as well. However, if you dive beyond these shallow reasons, what can you really expect to gain by quitting? The issues of money and even your health are far greater than any minor smells that cigarettes can give off.

One of the biggest benefits is the savings of money. Consider that a one pack a day habit can easily rack up a bill of $35 a week, $150 a month and finally $1,825 in a year. This adds up to an enormous amount that is really hard to play down. It is important to be really honest with yourself about how much your cigarettes are costing you, if you are attempting to slash your budget, quitting smoking can go a very long way towards freeing up a lot of money.

While the money is obviously nice to save, there are huge benefits to your health as well. For example, research tells us that as little as 20 minutes after you stop smoking you will be able to see a difference in your health. If you consider that quitting smoking can help you reduce your risk of heart problems, stroke, high blood pressure, lung cancer, and even breathing complications you have just located a plethora of reasons why smoking really is good to avoid. The research that tells us smoking is bad has proven that just a short period of time after quitting is able to reverse many of the harmful effects that cigarettes have caused, no matter how long you have been a smoker.

For example, if you quit smoking for a period of 5 years, you are no more at risk of a stroke than someone who has been a non-smoker for their entire life. This is huge considering that those who smoke are considered at least twice as likely to suffer a stroke. Additionally, if you quit for 15 years, you can enjoy the same risk of coronary heart disease as a non-smoker as well. While it might seem strange to enjoy the risk for coronary heart disease, it is much better than actually having coronary heart disease. Taking these small victories for your health is important since you will be able to significantly improve your quality of life.

Working to decide which benefits are the most motivation for you is not always easy. You need to look at your lifestyle and determine what truly matters for you. Not everyone is concerned about the health benefits, if you find yourself more concerned with the money then focus on what you can save. If you are more determined to improve your health then focus your efforts on the health benefits that stopping smoking for good can really have for you. Ultimately, the reason you choose to quit smoking is up to you, the way you do it will be based around your particular personality and smoking habits. Knowing what your motivating factors are can go a long way towards boosting willpower though, which is always a helpful benefit no matter why you try to quit.

3 of the Top Struggles to Stop Smoking

Most people can readily agree that the idea to quit smoking is rather terrifying. Giving up the comfort that smoking can provide is not easy, nor can it be done instantly. Struggling to quit requires a lot of honest talks, not only with yourself but also with your family. There are three major struggles that you will encounter as you are working to quit smoking. Being fully aware of these struggles will help you to create a plan to quit smoking for good that can help you to overcome these difficulties and emerge in better health as a non-smoker.

Struggle number one is going to find you looking temptation right in the eye. There is simply no other way to put it. Everywhere you look cigarettes and more cigarettes. The number of people who smoke is astonishing, and when you are trying to stop smoking it seems like the number is quadrupling around you. While it is nothing more than your mind playing tricks on you, it can still be rather difficult to overlook all of the temptation and still stick to your plan to quit smoking.

Anytime you find yourself overwhelmed by temptation you need to walk away. If you are at your job and cannot simply walk away, you need to develop a stress relieving strategy to fall back on which can help you to ignore the cigarettes that you see. To really help you avoid temptation you need to work at finding a place where you can eat your lunch away from the smokers and other temptations. Always be on the lookout because they are around, and if you slip up they will be there to lure you back into smoking rather quickly.

Your second struggle will be all of the questions that you are asked. Your friends and family of course are happy for you that you are quitting smoking. However, everyone is going to ask you why. This simple question starts to look like a huge issue after the third time you are asked why. Rather than allowing this tiny question to start eating at your resolve you need to ensure you are dedicated to quitting. If you start second guessing your reason to quit each time someone asks you why you are quitting then you really need to sit down and have a long conversation with yourself. Unless you are personally 100% behind your efforts, you will not succeed. You have to believe in the reason you are quitting smoking.

Your family will be there for you no matter what reason you choose. It is yourself that you have to convince, and this means that you need a good argument and reason. Nobody will ever argue with you as much as you will argue with yourself. When you are attempting something like quitting smoking the nagging side of yourself comes out strong as well.

A final consideration is looking at all of the products on the market to help you quit smoking. This might seem strange but this huge selection can be a big problem. You need to determine why you smoke in order to select the best product for your desire to quit. If you are a smoker because of stress, you need to resolve the stress. If you smoke due to nicotine addiction then you should look into slowly pulling off of the nicotine using either a patch, or possibly the gum.

Regardless of the reason you smoke, there is a product that is designed to help you. Finding the best product for your specific needs is not impossible, but it will force you to be brutally honest with yourself. If you are just completely unable to find the exact reason why you smoke try to start finding something else to do with your hands and mouth anytime you have the urge to smoke. For example, a stress ball and a piece of gum could be all you need. If you are smoking because you are bored, giving yourself something to do, even just squeezing a stress ball might be the release that you need to walk away a successful non-smoker.

10 Tips to Stop Smoking for Good

With so many tips and suggestions on how to stop smoking it is really easy to see why so many people really do not quit. The vast majority of people are completely confused by the entire process! What of the conflicting messages passed around? The fact is that with so much information passed around that is confusing to people it is often much easier to just continue smoking and hoping for a simple solution. Actually taking the necessary steps to really quit smoking is not easy. It means coming to terms with the fact that stopping smoking really is best for you, as well as your health.

Most people are readily aware that stopping smoking can improve their health, but learning how to really conquer the urges to smoke is not easy. With so many temptations circulating around, as well as the stresses of daily life it is easy to see why jumping into a pack of cigarettes seems like a good idea.

Stop Smoking Tip #1
You need a good reason to quit. Simply deciding to quit because the sky is blue is not a sufficient reason. The need to quit smoking is obvious, but the desire to quit needs to come from inside in order for the process to be successful.

Stop Smoking Tip#2
Look for small rewards that you can give yourself as you make progress. You are not likely to just quit cold turkey with no complications. Set up small rewards that will help you to want to make progress towards ultimately quitting. This can be a great motivation to keep you on target.

Stop Smoking Tip #3 Plan out your quitting strategy. Decide how you want to try to quit and stick to it. Set a specific amount of time for your plan. If after a time, say six weeks you have not quit, work on a new plan. This will allow ample time to try each method, while still giving yourself flexibility to try something else.

Stop Smoking Tip #4
Work to overcome your struggles. If you are smoking due to stressful things in your life, you need to deal with the stress before you can successfully quit. Regardless of the reason why you are smoking, it needs to be dealt with in able to quit for good.

Stop Smoking Tip #5
Set up a punishment for yourself. For example, if you generally stop at Starbucks each day for a coffee you might consider skipping that on days when you have fallen short of your goals for smoking. Whatever punishment you select, make sure it is something that you care about.

Stop Smoking Tip #6.
Seek out help from your friends and family. You need support as you are trying to quit, and this will help you to ensure that you are not alone in the entire process.

Stop Smoking Tip #7.
Look for someone to quit with you. If you are entirely on your own, you are going to be much more likely to slip back into smoking. If someone is working with you and holding you accountable, you are more likely to struggle to succeed. Working on how to quit smoking is not easy, but hard tasks are much easier to accomplish with a partner.

Stop Smoking Tip #8.
Ensure you are getting plenty of sleep. The job of quitting smoking is quite difficult. If you are not getting the rest you need, you are much more likely to be cranky, upset and angry with the world. This is very counterproductive to your goal of quitting smoking for good.

Stop Smoking Tip #9.
Aim to quit for good. This might seem a bit strange, but if you are just planning to quit for a weekend you are not going to put much effort into the process. If you are planning to quit for good, a lot more time and effort is going to go into the process as well as your plan to quit.

Stop Smoking Tip #10.

Look for ways to take your mind off cigarettes. If you are always thinking about cigarettes, you may find that you are much more tempted to smoke. Reading a book, exercising, talking on the phone, surfing the internet and even cooking are all great ways to occupy your mind and keep from thinking about when your last cigarette was.

Defying Temptation – Never Easy, But Worthwhile

When you are trying to break your addition to nicotine, you will find that there is always temptation waiting for you somewhere or other. It may be that you start to really crave a cigarette because you saw someone on TV smoking and they looked like they were really enjoying it. It may be that you have been hanging out with friends and some of them haven’t given up yet. It can even be something as simple as sense memory – you’re listening to an old CD and it takes you back to a time when you were smoking a lot and enjoying yourself.

Temptation is an unforgiving mistress. As Oscar Wilde once said: “I can resist everything but temptation”. The really unfair thing about it is that it’s not a case of overcoming it and forgetting it – temptation will return time and again, and you will have to keep winning the battle with it. It would be easier if there were some kind of reward system – you don’t smoke for a week, you get a wide screen TV, or something. But this isn’t how it works. If it did, we’d all give up for a week, get our TV and start smoking again.

If you’re a competitive person, then you might consider temptation to be your opponent. You’re not going to let the cravings beat you, are you? Hit them out of the park and congratulate yourself on a job well done. Or if you are not, think about it in another way – overcoming cravings will give you a stronger will and make it easier to overcome other challenges in the future.

The Myths About Giving Up

Stopping smoking is not easy, and it can be made harder if you make the mistake of buying into any one of a range of theories which when it comes to the crunch just don’t hold any water. Take, for example, the issue of preparing to give up. People will tell you that it is easier to quit if you wean yourself onto menthol cigarettes. Is this actually true? No, it’s not. There’s still plenty of nicotine in there, and you’re more likely to go back to full-tar, smoke flavored cigarettes.

Then there is the idea that it will be easier to give up smoking if you only smoke at certain times – like after meals, just after getting up or after sex. The fact of the matter is that if you associate cigarettes with a certain time, you will always want to smoke then, and sooner or later you’ll be adding extra caveats – only with a cup of coffee, only when you’re nervous, right up until the point where you’re smoking cigarettes “only because I really wanted one”. Breaking the dependence is tough, and not made any easier by allowing exemptions.

Weaning yourself off cigarettes is not the best way of giving up. If you are going to break the chain, it is really best to break it cleanly and absolutely. If you fall off the wagon and “just have one”, make sure it is just one. Don’t rush out and buy a packet because you feel as though you might as well. Although it is best to not smoke at all, having one every once in a while is certainly better than getting back to being a smoke machine.

Giving Up For The Right Reasons

Controversial as it may sound, giving up smoking because it is costing you too much rarely works. If money is the only issue, then cigarettes are going to have a hold on you for a while. A pack of twenty might set you back a fair amount – but what about rolling your own, or using a small machine to make the cigarettes? There are plenty of cheaper options, and a mere financial consideration is unlikely to make the difference if you aren’t committed for other reasons.

Does this mean that finance is a pointless consideration in stopping smoking? Not at all, but you need to have other reasons. Giving up for the sake of your health is one consideration – but again, don’t expect it to be the silver bullet. You have probably been told by other people “You shouldn’t smoke – cigarettes are bad for you!”, and you have probably responded “No, really? I thought they were good for me!”, laughed and carried on smoking – so you need to confront the hard facts about how bad they are for you.

If you give up smoking, your breathing will get better and your sense of smell will improve. Your clothes will smell better and your skin and hair will improve. You will wake up in the morning feeling like you can face the day without having to reach for the cigarettes and lighter. Most importantly you won’t have to worry about the health problems and the hole in your finances that can be caused by smoking, and this liberation of your mind is worth the effort.

Dealing With Cravings

Stopping smoking is always going to be difficult. There is the combination of a physical craving and a psychological one to deal with, and it is unsurprising that many people who attempt to give up smoking don’t last long on their first attempt. One of the hardest issues is the craving that affects a lot of smokers. Trying to break those cravings is something that prevents a lot of people from giving up.

The best way to start to get rid of cravings is distraction. When you give up smoking you are always going to have a problem if you keep thinking about how you’re giving up. This keeps cigarettes in the forefront of your mind and makes it very difficult to keep it up. However, if you fill your time with other things, you can keep your mind off the cravings for at least a while – hopefully long enough to get you over the tricky first week.

Once you have broken the firmest psychological and physical cravings, you stand a much better chance of giving smoking up entirely. That’s not to say that the cravings go away entirely and immediately. It is likely that you will still miss cigarettes and at certain points will think “This would be a lot easier/more pleasant if I had a cigarette right now”. But if you aren’t feeling a strong physical pressure to smoke, it will be a lot easier to deal with the psychological cravings – and at some point, you are going to have to face the struggle of making a clean break anyway.