Quitting smoking can be extremely difficult. This is in large part because of the addictive nature of nicotine. But it is also because smoking is a major psychological addiction. This means that part of the solution needs to be psychological as well. To ensure that you give yourself the best chance of success, here are our tips to use your mind to help you stop smoking.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Take some time to thoroughly research the effects of smoking on your health. Talk to your doctor, read articles, or watch some videos. This may not be pleasant to do, but it’s important to be informed about the effects your smoking has on your body. Being fully aware of these effects may make you more resolved to quit.
Next, spend some time researching the positive effects of quitting. Quitting smoking can almost immediately lower your risk for many health issues. Remember that there’s a lot of hope for improving your long-term health, and use this as motivation.
Step 2: Reflect
You should also spend some time focusing your attention inwards. Why do you want to quit smoking? Maybe you’ve noticed some negative changes in your health and want to change that. Maybe you have fitness goals that will only be possible without smoking. Maybe you want to do it for your children or other loved ones.
Think about these important reasons, and write them down. You can also write down how you expect your life to improve after quitting; what do you expect to get out of a life without cigarettes? If you feel yourself caving after you quit, reread these reasons to give you some encouragement.
Step 3: Remove Triggers
Once you’ve decided to quit, spend a bit of time thinking about what causes you to smoke. Is it stress during work or after school? Or perhaps you smoke after meals. Do you find yourself smoking around particular friends or in specific social situations? If you can, once you’ve quit, remove yourself from these triggers as much as possible.
Supportive friends will understand if you need to change up your routine a little bit. This is also a good time to remove all smoking-related memorabilia from your home. Clean out packs of cigarettes, ash trays, lighters, and matches from your house, workplace, and car. You’re transforming your home and life from that of a smoker to that of a non-smoker.
Step 4: Substitute Positive Activities
Think of quitting as an opportunity to add something good for you in place of smoking. This is a great time to pick up a new hobby or skill. Exercising on your own, swimming, or taking classes at a gym is a fantastic way to stay healthy and reduce stress levels.
You could also take on cooking classes or a creative hobby such as painting or crafting. All of these new activities will help you to move your life forward and give you something to do when you need to distract yourself from the craving for a cigarette.