It is pretty difficult to quit a long-time habit without experiencing a relapse. There may be some who are able to drop a bad habit like a hot potato, but they certainly aren’t the majority. Smoking is one of those challenges many people struggle with. Smoking is a very dangerous habit to keep, but many become slaves to the habit. A smoking habit holds the ability to drain finances and compromise health. Even if a person struggles to break it, it still is worth the fight. There are plenty of ways to kick a smoking habit to the curb forever. Consider these tactics.
1. Take Gradual Steps. For the person who smokes an average of 15 cigarettes per day, it may not be the best idea to quit cold turkey. Quitting cold turkey may feel like a victory, but there is a higher chance of relapse. Quitting cigarettes is a stressful situation already. Don’t compound the stress with additional jitters due to quitting cold turkey. One option is to stretch out the amount of cigarettes per day and wean the body off of them. Instead of 15 cigarettes per day, go down to 14. After 14, go down to 12. Once 12 feel okay, go down to 10. Gradually, get the body to the point where a cigarette a day is just a bonus. Pretty soon, cigarettes will feel unnecessary and the desire will end. Another great option to gradually wean the body off of cigarettes involves the use of e-cigarettes (e-cigs). E-cigarettes are helpful because the nicotine rush is still achieved without the harmful tobacco. Proceed with caution when dealing with e-cigarettes because the nicotine is still addictive and the whole point is to break an addiction.
2. Create A Safety Net. When a person decides to quit smoking, it may be easy to think life will be smooth sailing moving forward. However, this is naïve thinking. It is also a perfect set-up for failure. When cravings hit (and they will), a person needs to know what to do until the craving passes. This is why it is good to possess a safety net of activities to do. When a craving hits at work, a person needs to keep a list of activities to occupy themselves (other than work). Options like brewing a cup of tea, cleaning the cubicle, or a quick walk around the office may help occupy the brain long enough for the craving to pass.
3. Save The Money. Smoking is an expensive habit. For a person who smokes a pack of cigarettes per day at $5 a pack, they save $35 a week once they quit. Save the money and allow it go to something greater. For example, instead of spending that $35 on cigarettes, place it in a mason jar. Seeing the cash quickly pile up is an encouragement to keep going. By the end of the month, a cool $140 is sitting in the jar. Take half of the money and put it into savings. Take the other half of the money and do something fun with it. Take a trip to the local spa and get a nice massage. Visit the mall and purchase a nice blouse. Invest the money and start a little side hustle. Find a way to use the money for something positive because this act reaffirms the work of breaking the habit.
4. Get Accountability. Once a smoker decides to stop, it is important for family and friends to surround and support the decision. If family and friends are not available, join a support group. There are plenty of ways to connect and meet-up with people with similar goals. The reason why accountability is so crucial is because there is strength in numbers. If more people are aware of the struggle, they are able to check in and help encourage along the way. When a person is fighting a battle alone, they are more likely to experience defeat. If they know there is support, love and well wishes in their corner, they feel like they have something to fight for and a whole community of people whom they don’t want to disappoint.
There are many other ways to help a person quit smoking such as acupuncture, eating certain fruits and vegetables and getting more rest. While these strategies are all very helpful, it is very important to hold the right mindset. The mindset of a person who quits smoking is one of resilience. No matter how many times they may mess up, a person who is determined to quit will keep trying and keep pursuing the goal. Once a mind is determined, anyone can quit.