The Habit: Part One

This is a four part series to help the smoker who wishes to stop understand the different areas of their habit, the addiction, an escape plan and the healing that comes after.

Cigarette Smoking. For many this is something you have been doing since your formative years. This means its become a habit; so deeply ingrained in your subconscious that you do it without even thinking. It has probably been going on for 20-30 years for many of you. It is a part of who you are.

People start smoking for a myriad of reasons. Some start when there are very young and do so because their peers are doing it or out of curiousity. Others due to stress or depression. And even others to help them jump the bridge between other addictions such as drinking or recreational drugs. They get angry, hungry, stressed, and what do we do? Grab a cigarette. Instead of reacting to the emotion or what their body is telling them they stuff it all away and smoke instead.

Through those years health issues creep in and they begin getting out of breath, coughing, and the doctor isn't real happy with their blood pressure. Some may have already had a heart attack. They don't even really notice the yellowish coloring their teeth has taken on, the nicotine stains on their fingers, the wrinkles around the lips and eyes making them look older than their years, their hair may even be effected and lost its sheen, and there is that awful rancid cigarette smell on their clothes. In many cases their families have noticed, even said something to them. But this can end differently.

What do you really need instead of a cigarette? Are you angry, hungry, lonely or tired? What do you really want your life to be like from this time forward? Your body is very limited in what you can do when you smoke. Smoking makes it harder to breathe, your blood pressureis higher than normal, and work or play can be tough. No dance contests or running marathons for you.

Wouldn't you like for each moment you live to be the best it can possibly be? If many of those moments are spent doing damage to your body by smoking then some of those moments are made much less satisfying. A person loses on average about ten years of their lives if they choose to smoke for so many years. It doesn't have to be that way.

Smoking is a two fold situation. It is a habit and an addiction. Each of these needs to be addressed and understood. Keeping a log for a few days of when you smoke and why will help you to understand your habit better. The more in depth the better. And by understanding it you can rid it from your life and begin a more healthy chapter.

Experts say that to rid yourself of a bad habit you need to not do it for 21 days/three weeks. If you are using smoking to get you through your day then you need to analyze where these issues lie. Think about the times during the day that you smoke. Are you using this addiction to stuff away feelings? Do you find yourself smoking during an emotional or stressful situation? Kids are loud and not behaving, work is stressful, traffic makes you nervous, or relationship problems? Are you suppressing your emotions by smoking? Smoking a cigarette instead of eating and using it to suppress hunger? Ask yourself some of these questions when you go to have a cigarette.

As well as understanding why you are smoking you need to also understand what your options are. If you feel you are on the path to stop you may want to talk to your family and get their support. Your doctor can help you decide which of several products can be of help to youin your journey to stop smoking. There are prescription medications, patches, gum, lozenges, the e-cigarettes, inhalers, or cold turkey. You can also go online and check some sites such as QuitNow.net, Smokefree.gov, and cancer.org to learn more.

Stopping smoking won't be easy. It may take you awhile and even a few stops and starts. Be easy on yourself. Finding the reasons for smoking and working on them will help you become smoke free. It will take motivation and commitment.

Any challenge faced can be successful with an adequate amount of planning. Especially with smoking because the more you understand and prepare to maintain control the more apt you are to stay smoke free.

I hope you will read the next three parts of this series. Your votes and comments are much appreciated.

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