Many smokers experience difficulty quitting because of their addiction to nicotine. Nicotine dependence causes nicotine withdrawal when you first try to quit. These withdrawal symptoms often come in the form of intense cravings, irritability, poor concentration and sleeplessness. Fortunately, as your body becomes accustomed to not having the nicotine, symptoms of withdrawal gradually subside. Here are some tips to keep you going on your smoking cessation journey.
1. Set a Quit Date
The first step to a successful quit is preparation. So, prepare to quit by setting a quit date and coming up with some quitting strategies. Take your time when picking your quit date and ensure it gives adequate time to get in the right mindset. You don’t want to settle on a date then start making excuses as to why it’s not the perfect time. If you do set a date, make sure it’s final.
Circle it in your calendar or write it out somewhere where you will see it every day. It helps to keep reminding yourself of your decision to become smoke-free. Some people may even decide to use this time to cut back on their nicotine consumption.
2. Keep a Craving Journal
Since you’ll likely encounter cravings during your quitting quest, it’s worthwhile knowing how to manage them. It helps to have a craving journal where you keep a log of your trigger situations. Additionally, have a plan in place to avoid the triggers entirely or get through them without smoking.
A craving journal also helps you reinforce your resolve to stop smoking. Consider making a few entries, giving a list of the reasons why you chose to quit smoking. This can come in handy, especially when you’re struggling. It can also help lend perspective on how far you’ve come whenever you read through it.
3. Get Physical
Getting physical is a constructive way of coping with a craving until it passes. Physical activity can help distract you from nicotine cravings and reduce their intensity. It also improves your physical health and state-of-mind.
Stay active by having around 30 minutes of exercise each day to subdue the sagging feeling of fatigue and depression. Besides exercise, think of other ways to stay active and productive. Do some yard work or some house chores, or get started on that new sport or hobby. All these distractions help to take the focus off yourself and how you are feeling.
4. Reward Yourself Daily
Learn to celebrate your milestones by having rewards as part of your quit program. Every day you complete being smoke-free is a huge accomplishment. The reward doesn’t need to be huge or pricey. It can be anything from taking a hot bath to getting a massage, reading a book or having a special dinner. Make arrangements for something that helps you feel like you’ve pampered yourself a bit.
Daily rewards, especially in the early days of smoking cessation, can be quite helpful. For most smokers, the early days involve a tremendous amount of effort. Thoughts of smoking are incessant and uncomfortable, and most people even wonder if they will ever make it through. By celebrating your daily achievement, you get more motivated to make the change a permanent one. It’s a little easier to achieve your goal with a few well-deserved rewards sprinkled along the way.
Have you already made the decision to quit? These tips can help you go a long way in your smoking cessation journey. With the right help and attitude, you can overcome your nicotine addiction. If you’ve tried to quit before, remember the things that worked for you and the things that didn’t. You can use your experience to make your plan even stronger.
If you are looking to quit smoking and would like some help, talk to Diamond Physicians today. We can provide advice on cessation aids and methods to improve the likelihood of quitting your nicotine addiction.