I had to write this article as a follow up to my previous article on how smoking damages your sex life.
What is the point in telling you how bad tobacco smoking is without balancing it by telling you how you can stop this bad and unhealthy habit that puts your life at risk?
Before you decide that you want to stop this bad habit, you need to know why you want to quit this habit.
It means giving yourself all sorts of reasons why becoming a non-smoker is a lot better than being a smoker. Don’t overlook this aspect, because it is going to be very hard to quit.
So you need to start with a huge motivation base – very powerful personal reasons why you need to quit. You might start by reading my previous article on how smoking damages your sex life.
However this is a personal decision that you MUST make. You can start with telling yourself you would feel and look younger when you quit and you would get stronger and harder erections. Just make sure that you rack up a lot of reasons that would kill your desire to light up a cigarette.
Why It Is Usually Hard To Stop Smoking
First of all you must understand that smoking is a mental and a physical habit.
When you smoke, the nicotine in the cigarette tends to give you an addictive and quick high.
When you decide to quit smoking, your body would start to ask for its regular does of nicotine that comes from the cigarette – in other words you start experiencing cravings and physical withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine gives you some amount of relief and good feelings, so you might have gotten used to smoking cigarette as a way to deal with anxiety, stress, boredom and even depression. Then there is also the act of smoking that has become a regular routine in your life.
You might have an automatic response to smoke when you are doing some things, maybe drinking tea, taking a break at work or school, or when you are on your way back home in the evenings.
There is also the issue of the people that surround you – it could be that your friends, co-workers or family members also smoke and smoking is something that you do with them.
So if you want to quit smoking successfully, then you would have to follow a plan that deals with the addictions, habits and the routines that usually follow it.
Preparing Your Plan To Stop Smoking
Smoking is a very difficult habit to stop, so you need to follow a plan that would help you achieve your goal.
Following a plan would help you see things in an objective manner; you would be able to look at the short-term problems of stopping your cigarette habit and also the long-term problems of remaining a non-smoker for life.
In all cases a good plan can be summed up in these three words:
Don’t worry, in a few minutes I would show you a detailed plan that you can follow (and adjust) to help remove cigarettes completely from your life!
Identifying Your Smoking Triggers
There are some activities and scenarios that usually increase your urge to smoke, everyone is different. This is why you need to identify the things that give you that feeling to smoke.
Alcohol is a common trigger with smokers who drink. For some people it might by drinking coffee, or it could be when you are surrounded by people smoking or it could even be whenever you finish your meal that’s when you light up a cigarette.
Once you can identify your smoking triggers, you should find something to do instead of picking up a cigarette. For instance, if alcohol is one of your triggers, stop drinking completely.
If you feel the urge when you are around smokers, then it is time to start associating with non-smokers and stay away from your friends that smoke. If you have the habit of smoking after you just finished a meal, start eating cake or biscuit (or something else) after your meals.
Figure Out Why You Smoke
This one is related to identifying your smoking triggers. A lot of Nigerian men usually smoke to help them deal with issues like stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression and fear.
In a situation where you had a terrible day, it might look like smoking cigarettes is the only thing that can console you.
Although cigarettes might give you relief, you need to constantly remind yourself that there are better and healthier ways that you can use to deal with any emotional problems that you are going through at that present moment.
Try doing some of these instead: meditating, exercising, or breathing deeply. If you are going to stop this bad habit, you have to look for other ways to deal with bad emotions without having to resort to smoking.
When you become a non-smoker, you are still going to experience stress, loneliness, anxiety, depression and fear.
So, this is why you need to start thinking of different ways that you are going to use to deal with bad situations that normally pushes you to pick up a cigarette.
Tips To Help You Quit Smoking
Some people quit cold turkey because they have a strong reason to stop smoking (like they were just diagnosed of lung disease or something of sort).
However, to prevent yourself from relapsing, my advice is that you train yourself first to anticipate the time when you would no longer smoke any cigarette.
So here are my steps to help you kick this habit:
1.) Spend a week reading about the dangers of smoking and giving yourself all sorts of reasons why smoking is bad for you and you need to stop this bad habit.
2.) After a week of building your reasons to stop, if you smoke less than 10 cigarettes a day – start smoking only 1 cigarette a day. While if you smoke more than 10 cigarettes a day – start smoking only 2 cigarettes a day.
Do this for 3 weeks and keep reading articles about how much damage smoking does to your life. Also keep giving yourself reasons why you must stop this habit. This is to build a strong mental mindset that you need to withstand the cravings that you are going to have when you finally stop smoking cigarette completely.
3.) After 3 weeks, stop smoking completely. Throw away any leftover cigarette packs that you may have left.
4.) Wash all your clothes to get rid of the smell of tobacco. Clean your house completely and get rid of your ashtrays and lighters. Use air fresheners to remove cigarette smell from your home. Do everything possible to remove any thing that can remind you of smoking.
5.) Start exercising regularly. Once you decide to stop this habit, exercising regularly can help improve your moods and take your mind off cravings. And you also get the added benefit of controlling your weight. You can always start by doing body weight exercises, jogging or lifting weights.
6.) Start using a cigarette substitute like Tom-tom mint sweets to help you get used to not smoking. Smokers are usually addicted to the “hand to mouth” motion that their minds link with enjoyment, comfort, pleasure or stress-relief.
You can try using harmless substitutes like tooth picks, biros, and pencils to help you ease the mental transition to not smoking cigarette – since you are so used holding something in between your fingers.
Deal With Your Cravings
At the stage, you should have identified your smoking triggers. Knowing your triggers would help you in reducing the cravings to smoke. The truth is that you can’t prevent the cravings from coming; however you should know that they don’t last very long – so wait the feeling would pass.
You should also be proactive by preparing a plan that would help you deal with cigarette cravings and prevent you from smoking another stick of cigarette.
1.) Use Distractions – find things to do that keep your mind from your cravings. Play video games, watch football, take a bath, just do anything to take your mind of the idea of smoking a cigarette.
2.) Keep Reminding Yourself Why You Decided To Quit – The reason why I advice that you use 1 week to give yourself reasons why you want to stop smoking so that when the cravings come you can keep reminding yourself why you want to quit this bad habit!
3.) Get Away From The Temptation – If you are at a location and you are feeling the need to smoke, just leave the area quickly – in a lot of cases this would remove the urge to smoke instantly.
4.) Pat Yourself On The Back – Anytime you resist the urge to smoke, congratulate yourself because you have just won a small victory – you need this to keep your motivation very high!
Tips To Prevent Yourself From Relapsing
From the moment that you smoke your last cigarette, you are going to begin experiencing some physical symptoms because of your body’s need for nicotine. This nicotine withdrawal usually starts a few hours after you had your last cigarette and it peaks at about 2 – 3 days after.
These withdrawal symptoms can span for some days to a few weeks and it depends on how much cigarette that you used to smoke daily and your body system. Some of these nicotine withdrawal symptoms and how you can deal with them are below:
|Symptom||How Long It Lasts||What To Do||Craving for cigarette||Most intense during first week but can linger for months||Wait out the urge; distract yourself; take a brisk walk.||Irritability, impatience||Two to four weeks||Exercise; take hot baths; use relaxation techniques; avoid caffeine.||Sleeplessness||Two to four weeks||Avoid caffeine after 6 p.m.; use relaxation techniques; exercise; plan activities (such as reading) when sleep is difficult.||Fatigue||Two to four weeks||Take naps; do not push yourself.||Lack of concentration||A few weeks||Reduce workload; avoid stress.||Hunger||Several weeks or longer||Drink water or low-calorie drinks; eat low-calorie snacks.||Coughing, dry throat, nasal drip||Several weeks||Drink plenty of fluids; use cough syrup.||Constipation, gas||One to two weeks||Drink plenty of fluids; add fiber to diet; exercise.|
These withdrawal symptoms might be very unpleasant; however they don’t last very long. After a few weeks, the toxins that cigarettes put in your body would get flushed out of your system.
You can help your progress by informing your family and friends that you have recently quit smoking and you would not be your normal self because of the symptoms that you are going to be experiencing. Your success depends on how much effort you are willing to put.
It does not matter if you make a mistake and smoke a cigarette when you are supposed to have stopped – so many people try multiple times before they finally succeed in kicking their smoking habit for good.
PS: I don’t believe in using nicotine based products to help in stopping your smoking habit because in so many cases, it becomes easy to get addicted to these products if you don’t have very strong reasons why you want to quit smoking.
Cheers… and have a great sex life!