Quitting smoking is not as easy as tossing your cigarettes out and promising yourself, you will never take a puff again. Smoking is an addiction and once you get hooked to nicotine – the main stimulant in cigarettes, it could be hard to turn back.
But that doesn’t mean there is no hope for you, even if you’re a heavy smoker. There have been many stories of people who smoked as many as 100 cigarettes a day and still got over their addiction. If they could do it, then you can too.
How To Stop Smoking Naturally and Permanently
1. Understand the Problem
Maybe you want to quit because you’ve finally accepted that smoking makes you more susceptible to cancer, heart problems and lung disease or you want to quit for the sake of your family. Or maybe you want to quit became your addiction is getting in the way you living the life of your dreams.
Whatever reason you decide to quit, you should remember that smoking is very dangerous and addiction to nicotine isn’t something that would be easy to get over.
When you smoke, you do it because of the effects of nicotine on your brain. That is why you keep going back to take one more puff every time you think of quitting.
2. Decide Why You Want To Quit
As said earlier, there are many reasons to quit smoking but you should have your personal reason. Occasional smokers who smoke during events or after a meal or when they’re stressed might not find a reason to give up smoking for good.
The best reason to quit smoking is for your health.
3. Identify Smoking Trigger
What are the things that set you off on a smoking spree? It could be stress, loss, failure, your social circle or maybe how you feel at any time. To effectively do away with your smoking habit, you should write down these triggers and also, write down how you hope to tackle them.
If you smoke because everyone in your social circle does, then you need to get rid of your social circle, meet new people, and make friends with people who have given up smoking. This will give you the much-needed encouragement to succeed.
If you smoke whenever you feel stressed, you could go for a walk instead, go swimming, take a shower, and do yoga or meditation exercises. These options will help you get rid of stress better than a cigarette ever could.
4. Be Determined
Determination is the key to successfully overcoming any addiction, just as it is the key to building wealth. During the first few days of your recovery, you might feel more inclined to take just one cigarette or even a pack. By reminding yourself of the reason why you decided to quit and by staying away from your smoking triggers, you can easily stay within your path to recovery.
5. Quit Slowly
It’s not possible to quit smoking overnight, if you do, you will experience the following nicotine withdrawal symptoms below
- Cigarette cravings
- Anxiety and frustration
- Difficulty concentrating
- Increased appetite
- Increased coughing
- Upset stomach
- Decreased heart rate
Some of these symptoms will go away, but others could be dangerous to your health. It is advised that you quit one step at a time. This means that if you take more than 1 pack of cigarettes a day, you can limit your intake to one pack only, and then cut it down to half a pack. You can make these changes every week.
Even if you quit slowly, these withdrawal symptoms will still happen, but they’ll only last for a while. If you remain faithful to your recovery, these symptoms will subside and you will feel better.
6. Get Help
Quitting on your own would be really difficult. Sometimes, encouraging words from your family, and friends could help you stay determined. You can also join communities where you can find people who’ve quit smoking permanently.
Try meeting up with these people as often as you can and share your progress with them.
7. Get Therapy
Smoking is really difficult to quit because of nicotine. Nicotine replacement therapy replaces cigarettes with nicotine substitutes, such as nicotine gum, inhaler or nasal spray. This form of therapy is aimed at relieving some of the withdrawal symptoms and reducing craving.
Nicotine replacement therapy is most effective when followed by an extensive stop smoking program.