How To Stop Smoking
I have a secret. I was a smoker. Yep, I smoked for 10 years of my life, and I smoked 2 packs a day during that time. Pretty gross, right? Well, it was one habit that I swore I would never get into when I was younger, but it hit me one night while indulging in another bad habit that I promised I'd never get into, drinking.
I remember the night I took a drag of a cigarette. I was hanging out at a friend's house and we were having some beer. One friend kept asking me if I wanted a smoke, but I kept giving him a look like "of course not." But then I got a little 'tipsy,' and accepted one. It was like a joke to me, but I lit it up and took a drag. I almost choked on that cigarette, yet I continued to take drags. I probably had 2, maybe 3 that night, but the next day I was jonesing for a cigarette as if I had been smoking forever. It was a crazy feeling, and it was a feeling that I've never felt before. It was a perfec example of a new addiction.
That day I scrounged up $1.50 (hey, they were cheap back then!) to get some "natural" tabacco cigarettes, because I wanted to at least be healthy about it. Trust me, I laughed while typing it, but it's the truth. That was the day I began the worst habit I've ever had to deal with.
Within 5 years I was already feeling the wrath of cigarettes. I had heart palpitations, along with many other issues. But for some reason I couldn't kick the habit, yet I always knew why.
I didn't want to.
That's right, I didn't really want to quit smoking. See, there's a big difference between people who "try" to quit and people who really quit. It's not any different than someone who wants to lose weight and someone who doesn't. It's a mindset. Some people can really train their mind to get to the goals they want to reach, and some people couldn't even get to the point of trying to tell themselves that they need to create a goal.
Some people think that by saying they want to quit, they'll eventually quit. A lot of people die many decades later from this type of procrastination.
So, how can you quit? Let's discuss the mindset.
Look, you either really want to quit or you really need to quit. Wait, no, if you're smoking - you really need to quit. No if's, and's or but's about it. It's a horrible, horrible habit that kills far too many people. But regardless, you have to set out to achieve the mentality that it will take to even start.
The mindset: You can tell yourself that you "need" to quit, but that's actually useless, if not counterproductive. You're not actually visualising yourself doing the things you always wanted to do by not smoking. What would you do if you were smoke-free for 3 months? Would you start going for longer walks, playing catch with your kid, or maybe you just want to breathe better?
You have to visualize these things and make yourself realize that they can and will be accomplished soon, right when you get ready to step forward. You have to tell yourself that you can do it, and you will do it. Erase any doubts that you may have, regardless of how weak minded you believe you are (ironic, but a lot of people are like this).
There's an old quote by Napolean Hill that goes:
"Whatever your mind can conceive and believe it can achieve." - Napoleon Hill
This is not some nonsense jibberish, this is the absolute truth, backed by psychological proof. Those who do not think they can will get exactly what they're thinking. If you think you can't stop smoking because you tried 234 times before, you will fail for the 235th time. ALL because you failed to believe in yourself and picture yourself smoke-free.
Fact: you do not need drugs to help you quit. I have tried smoking cessation patches, pills, etc. none of it worked because you rely on that stuff to help you quit, leaving your mindset weak.
Try it cold turkey. Trust me when I say this: it's NOT hard to stop smoking, cold turkey. It's actually much easier, in my opinion.
You learn to trust in yourself and you're not continuing to put chemicals into your system while attempting to quit putting chemicals into your system. It just makes more sense. In fact, I had an Uncle who passed away from Cancer. He smoked for decades and suddenly quit smoking. The problem was that he chewed nicorette gum the entire time, up until his death. So he was literally putting most of those same chemicals into his system, all while trying to quit smoking.
You have to plan. After you start building your mind up and, hopefully, cutting back on cigarettes each day, you need to create a quit date, followed by a plan of what you will do to help yourself stay away from cigarettes.
When I first quit, I was sucking on Jolly Rancher candies all day long. It helped me quite a bit, actually. The first 3 days are probably the easiest for people who actually quit, but for some reason you always hear the opposite from people who DON'T quit smoking. I always found this to be funny!
So you need to have an idea of what you will be doing during those times where you usually smoke. When do you feel like smoking the most? For me it was just getting outside, taking breaks from work. To help aleviate this I started staying inside more and lifting weights for a few minutes every time I felt like smoking. Now I realize most people aren't lucky enough to work at home, so this is why I said that you need to have a plan. Could it be to call someone during those breaks, while eating candy or some type of health food?
You probably noticed that I didn't mention Health Food first. Well, I believe it's actually harder to quit smoking by trying too much at once. Yes, you may pick up an addiction to Jolly Rancher's, but I can assure you it's not hard to quit doing that :)
I'm going to be blunt. After the first 72 hours it gets harder. But your mindset is growing stronger! You passed those 3 days with ease, but now the physical issues come in, like what you will do to replace what you used to do when you felt like smoking. This is very important. Maybe it will be a game, talking to someone you can rely on for support (try not to talk about cigarettes), go for a walk, etc.
Whatever you do, try your hardest to never think or talk about cigarettes. The psychology behind this is easy: the more you think about an addiction, the more you want to partake in that addiction. Stay away from smokers as much as possible and once you get to that "clean feeling" part of quitting, the feeling where everything about smoking stinks really bad, start reminding yourself how proud you are that you quit. Reminding yourself of how good it feels to not be smoking will strengthen your mindset.
After a few weeks, try eating healthier and taking up a healthier lifestyle. This will help you flush out a lot of toxins that are still left in your system. Workout if you can, and take up new hobbies that will keep your mind busy.
I hope these tips help you, and I promise you that they will work if you just prepare correctly. If you have any questions or advice, please post below!
Also, it's been 6 years since I've smoked now. These tips have helped me a lot.