Whether you’ve made the decision to stop smoking for the sake of your health, family or your wallet: congratulations. You’ve made the right choice.
That said, making the choice to quit smoking can feel like a massive uphill battle. Trying to break any habit is difficult, but nicotine addiction is especially troubling. This is especially true for serial smokers who’ve enjoyed a pack a day for years on end. Furthermore, withdrawal symptoms can be quite serious and tempt smokers back to their old ways.
Don’t give in. Quitting cigarettes for good isn’t going to be easy for most of the population, but it’s certainly possible. If you’re struggling to stay away from cigarettes or keep relapsing when it comes time to quit, keep the following three tips in the back of your mind to help yourself maintain focus.
Retrain Your Brain
Beyond the chemical addiction of cigarettes, smokers become accustomed to certain behaviors associated with smoking. These behaviors include having something in your hand, taking breaks either at work or social situations and the literal act of inhaling and exhaling smoke. If you’ve trained your brain to be familiar with comfortable with these behaviors, it’s only natural to experience a roadblock when they stop suddenly, right?
That’s why you need to find ways to retrain your brain.
For example, consider keeping a stress ball, coin or pen in your pocket to hold in your hand when you’re itching for a cigarette. Instead of taking smoke breaks at work, go on a quick stroll and chew some gum. If it’s the literal act of smoking that you miss, consider vaping as a cost-effective, safer alternative to traditional cigarette that’s much more enjoyable. You can choose the best vape juice for your situation whether you’re looking for something with flavor or no nicotine content whatsoever.
Pay Attention to Your Body
Simply put, it pays to practice a sense of mindfulness when you’re trying to quit smoking. You’re prone to go through a few physical changes in addition to mental ones when you’re trying to break an addiction, after all. For example, you should pay attention to the texture of your skin and also mind your waistline so that you avoid stress eating as a withdrawal symptom.
The more attention you pay to your body, the more you can understand how much your reliance on cigarettes was impacting your well-being. Perhaps you notice that you feel more energized or have less of a head fog after a few weeks. On the flip side, you might find yourself feeling more sluggish. Either way, accepting these changes and being aware of them is a crucial part of your journey.
Keep a Journal
On a similar note, you should keep a diary of your day-to-day thoughts to document your experience. Writing can be a cathartic experience and you can likewise remind yourself why you’re intent on quitting in the first place. You can write with old-school pen and paper or keep a diary digitally: as long as you’re keeping track of your thoughts and feelings, you’re good to go.
Kicking the habit of smoking isn’t easy for anyone but it can be done. By understanding the more subtle aspects of staying focused and fighting temptation, you can set yourself up for success and quit once and for all.