Smoking is one of the most difficult habits to break, as nicotine is a highly addictive substance—both in the physical sense and in the psychological sense. Because smoking can lead to serious diseases, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, cancer (typically of the mouth, lung, or pancreas), stroke, and infertility, it is a particularly unhealthy habit to participate in. For those who smoke regularly, many health professionals suggest quitting as soon as possible in order to lower the risk of developing any of the above diseases.
Though it is difficult to quit smoking, there are proven ways to successfully shake the addiction. Here are the top five ways:
- Replace the Habit
Many people develop the habit of smoking, because smoking has helped them remain calm in stressful situations. Many health professionals suggest replacing the habit of smoking with another, healthier alternative, which could be anything from exercise to journaling to even using a volcano ecig as a replacement to traditional cigarettes. In situations where you would typically grab a cigarette, having a new habit to transfer the energy and focus onto can help your withdrawals.
For most, the desire to smoke comes in the form of a trigger. As mentioned earlier, though many attribute their habit to stress, some find that their desire to smoke comes in the form of other triggers, such as alcohol, or being around other smokers. To successfully quit smoking, it is advisable to remain from being in situations that trigger the craving; however, there are some instances when it is impossible to avoid the situation. In those cases, being aware of what triggers the cravings can help you stay strong against them. For instance, many who avoid smoking while drinking do so by snacking on cocktail snacks or on a toothpick.
Keep a record of your smoking cravings, how you avoided them, and at what time during the day they happened. Having a record can keep you accountable to your cause. During the moments where you are struggling the most, reading through your past records can help you find the strength to avoid the craving, getting through another day smoke-free.
- Support System
One of the most successful ways to break free from a habit is to have a strong support system around you. A support system can help keep you accountable, as they can sympathize with you, offer advice, and encourage you to continue on with your journey. Pick your support system wisely. Find people who truly care about you and your health, and will actually hold you accountable for your actions. Friends, family, or a recovery group are often the best support you can have surrounding you during this time.
For some who have a particularly difficult time quitting, there are some therapy options, such as hypnosis, acupuncture, behavioral therapy, and motivational therapy. These types of therapy can help your mind and body free itself from the nicotine addiction.
Using these tips can help you break free from smoking once and for all.