Three Quick Tips to help you quit smoking – for good
TIP 1: Keep your eye on the prize
A very useful way to stay focused when stress and cravings are building and you can feel your resolve weakening is to remind yourself of a key benefit of stopping smoking – you get to reward yourself in other ways!
Calculate just how much money you will be saving and plan in advance exactly what you will do with all the extra money – savings can be substantial, even if you’re a light smoker. Do you have a dream holiday destination or perhaps there’s a new car that you desperately desire but can’t really justify the extra money each month to pay for it? Spend a week totting up exactly how many smokes you typically get through over a period of seven days – try to do this on a week which includes a social event or a night out. Next, calculate your monthly spend using the current price of your favoured brand of cigarettes – and if you’re planning to save for a big holiday or some home improvements, times it by 12. Shocked?
TIP 2: Announce your intention to quit
Announcing to everyone, for example via a simple text message, that you are serious about quitting smoking will maximise your chances of gaining valuable support from others. It will also let your fellow smokers know in advance – be it friends, family or colleagues – that you will not be joining them for a smoke next time you see them and you could be sparing yourself the temptation of being offered a smoke by your mates down the pub.
Signing up to a mass stopping smoking event such as Stoptober is an ideal way to begin this process – and you can also easily let people know you’ve signed up by sharing the news across your social media accounts. You never know, some of your friends and workmates may follow your example and join you, a definite win - win.
TIP 3: Formulate an emergency plan
Be prepared for any unexpected stressful situations when you would usually rely on cigarettes by drawing up an emergency action plan to follow when temptation calls. When you’ve got your list of distractions relevant to you, store it on a note in your phone so you can refer back to it quickly before nicotine cravings gets the better of you.
You could try:
- phoning an ex-smoker friend for a brief chat, let them know in advance that you might call them for support – get as many mates as you can muster
- calculating your annual savings (TIP 1) and, if you are planning on splashing your saved cash on a dream holiday or a nice new car, save some nice photos on your phone and flick through them when you’re craving a cigarette – depending on how badly you want the object of your desires, this can work wonders!
- playing an empowering feel-good music track on your phone for a few minutes to help you regain your composure and resolve
- keeping an emergency mini version of your favourite chocolate bar to savour in times of stress, useful if you tend to reward yourself with food and let’s face it, a small treat once or twice a week will pose less of a risk to your health than continuing smoking
- chewing some nicotine replacement gum to fend off any urgent cravings and to help you get through the moment – very useful to keep in your pocket at all times for situations when you are unable to use your phone or eat.
Once the stressful situation has passed and you’ve remained smoke-free, your resolve will be strengthened and you’ll be even more prepared for the next time – but if you do slip up, don’t get too disheartened – just make sure you dust yourself off and try again.
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