Sunday, 1 November 2015

Lifestyle: Tips on Quitting Smoking

lifestyle tips on quitting smoking
I'm not going to give you a list of the disadvantages to smoking, or the advantages to stopping, or the fact and figures that cigarette and smoking causes, because chances are that you already know them. You've clicked onto this post because you want to stop smoking, and as a former smoker, here are my top tips to quitting:

1. A good way to stop smoking is to envision the future and your life without cigarettes. Imagine yourself not smoking, and having the money that you would usually spend in a week on cigarettes. What would you buy with the money? Make up, food, clothes? Maybe you'll be able to save up the money and start a hobby that you've always wanted to do. Start small, and imagine what you could use the money that you save each day/week, and build yourself up from there. For example, you could allow yourself to get a better lunch in work if you didn't spend your money on cigarettes, or add a bit more petrol to your car at the end of the week. This will give you daily and weekly incentives to stop, and will motivate you that little bit more. Then you can start on monthly and even yearly targets. Imagine how much money you could save in one year if you put the money into a jar instead. What would you spend it on?

2. I found that when I was bored I'd have a cigarette 'just because' rather than when my body craved one. A good way to combat this is to find something to occupy the time. Try reading, writing, blogging, taking photographs, online shopping (or 'window shopping' if you're trying to save), look at holidays that you'd want to take, get up and go for a walk and leave those cigarettes behind. I imagine this would be harder in a work environment as stress would also be an incentive to head out for a cigarette, but occupying your time in any way that you can will help to take your mind off those little sticks.

3. A lot of people, myself included, found that they needed something to do with their hands. If you've been smoking for years then your hands will naturally want to hold something. I found that a pen did the trick (which also helped when I tried point two: writing) however don't start biting the end of the pen like I did... you'll get ink in your mouth. Other alternatives are a cup of your favourite hot beverage, a book (also helps with point two: reading) your phone, or even something as simple as blu tack or a stress ball. Keeping your hands busy will prevent them from reaching for that packet of cigarettes that you've hidden in your desk. I know they're there.

4. Try exercising. Even if its a walk, yoga, or something smaller like taking the stairs instead of the lift. I'm not asking you to do a 10k run, but something small will show you how much you need to stop. If you climb a flight of stairs and feel out of breathe then you need to put those cigarettes down. *please don't push yourself to do more than you can* I remember taking the stairs at my old work (7 flights of stairs... over 100 steps - I counted once) and literally clutching the hand rail when I was close to the top to pull myself up those last few stairs. I remember thinking "damn I need to get into better shape". I realise that exercise isn't for everyone, but even taking the stairs can put into perspective the damages smoking has on your body.

5. When I was a student on frequent nights out, I found that I smoked more when I drank alcohol. Changing what you drink can be a massive help to stopping smoking. I'm not saying you should stay at home while your friends go out, but reducing your alcohol intake by simply swapping every other drink for a soft drink or water, will reduce your cigarette craving. It'll also be better for your health as less alcohol and less cigarettes will be entering your body. Two birds with one stone scenario.

6. And my final piece of advice is to make a list of reasons to quit. Apart from the usual 'better health', 'more money' reasons, other reasons to put down are your family, friends, children etc. Think of the people around you and how much they'd hurt if anything happened. Keep checking this list when you feel a craving and remind yourself of the reasons to quit. You are better than a little stick. You can beat it.

Have you managed to quit before? Do you have any tips on quitting smoking?


1 comment

  1. These are great tips. My sister has tried to quit smoking a few times now but it hasn't stuck.I will definitely pass this along to her!


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