I previously gave up smoking when I was in my twenties. After many years being a non-smoker, I fell from the wagon when I got divorced. Here I am again, facing the frustrations whenever I attempt to stop.Taking up smoking again was very sad thing because I knew that this habit was the top substitute for the destructive behavior I wanted to get familiar with.
The good news is the fact that weaning off cigarettes is something that I know worked for me before and I am absolutely convicted it will work for you too. I am somebody that deeply struggles with change.
Five Steps of Weaning Off Cigarettes
Quitting this way worked before, but it needs time to work; peaceful time. When I gave up smoking previously, I tried to recognize what I was truly hooked on – using cigarettes to release a nervous tension at particular times of the day.
Years ago, when circumstances of my life have been filled with anxiety, I started to break down and recognize the most tempting moments, making that a strategy. My life is again filled with anxiety, but I am ready to stop. Here are five steps that may work for you, like they are working for me personally.
Identify the number of cigarettes you smoke daily Identifying this number helps you mentally gain control over your behavior and state of mind during the day. Be aware of every smoke you have during the day. You will identify that you do not need a whole cigarette each time. This step will immediately decrease the amount you smoke per day.
Identify your key temptations. Once you know this, you possibly can make a plan to smoke exclusively during these moments. For example, you could be most tempted when having a coffee or after mealtimes. Again, only smoke half of a cigarette if that is all you need. Continue this practice if you need to and soon you will feel ready for the next step.
For me, it can help to position my average number of daily cigarettes in a case so I can see just how much I have left every time I smoke. This helps me pace myself through the whole day. It may help “ban” yourself from certain temptation times, like when you happen to be driving or make a rule on your own for example, “No smoking until I finish such and such task.”
Smoke lighter cigarettes. While “Mediums” and “Lights” are NOT LESS HARMFULL, they are going to distance you from desire for smoke roughness. If you smoke menthols, it is possible to switch to non-mentholated and chew on sugar-free mints. You can keep the mint habit for those who have stop smoking.
I started smoking from a young age with non-filtered cigarettes and eventually quit while I was smoking “Ultra Lights”. By the time I quit, it felt like I was just breathing air, but I had weaned myself so slowly that smoking anything stronger would have made me feel sick. This was really a helpful step for me, nevertheless, you might want to go straight away to the next thing.
Reduce the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. In my twenties, I personally needed time for it to adjust, so you may have an agenda like I did to give up one cigarette per week. For example, in case you smoke one pack per day, you’ll be able to plan to quit in 20 weeks. By enough time I reached this stage when I was younger, I was into ten cigarettes every day, so I quit ten weeks later.
If you adjust quickly, decrease one cigarette each day or every two days. When I started quitting, I went from two packs every day right down to one pack within one week, after which I had to slow my pace. Weaning is based on your comfort level. If you get stuck at five cigarettes every day, stay there until you feel able to move ahead. You’ve come a long way, baby! You will get there.
Tell yourself you might be a non-smoker. Breathe deeper for some minutes every single day and have the air fill up your lungs. Imagine your daily life being a non-smoker. Imagine not needing to be controlled by your desire anymore. Yes, when you quit for long enough, the cravings will vanish entirely. The odor of second-hand smoke may create a probing for some time, but that may also go away.
Imagine your clothes smelling clean. Your feeling of taste and smell returning. How proud would you be of yourself! You can do it. If you take the time and energy to wean off cigarettes completely, but there’ll actually come the day you won’t remember what it felt like to smoke.
I did make myself sick when I got divorced and took up smoking again. The funny thing is the fact that I knew I would be able to quit in a few years because I remember and get being a non-smoker more than I remember as being a smoker. In fact, during these past few years of smoking, I still can’t stand the odor of second-hand smoke.
Side Note: Anytime within the process of weaning off cigarettes you should create a healthy habit to replace the nervous behavior in smoking. For example, many people do choose to chew gum. I was afraid of gaining weight, so I began working out which I did inside my most tempting time of the day – when I was done with work. I’ve taken on walking again. You might enjoy pausing for push-ups, magazine reading, or five minute computer game breaks.
Over the years, I also developed a habit of drinking water or diet soda. This lets me have something in my hands and convey it to my mouth, just like the actions of smoking but I am actually helping my body by re-hydrating myself. Pick something that will work for you and stick to it. Good luck, George
Submitted by Mike Thorp, VA, USA