So it’s been your New Year’s resolution for a couple years now to quit smoking, but you’ve never quite had the guts to actually do it, or worse yet, you weren’t sure how. Here are 7 practical ways that you can kick the habit and boost your health. And remember, take it one day at a time, one step at a time. You’ll be surprised after awhile with all the progress you’ve made and how far you’ve come. 🙂 Step 1: Set a date! It’s hard to do something if you don’t make time for it and mark it with importance. Set a specific date on your calendar. If it helps, don’t tell anyone else about your plan of action, just you. Sometimes it’s harder to follow through if you feel that everyone else is breathing down your neck. On the other hand a certain a certain dose of support from well meaning family, friends, and loved ones can make all the difference. Decide if you are the type of person that needs added support or if you can rough it on your own, and take it from their. Setting up a date for a plan of action is the most important factor in quitting smoking.
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Step 2: Bag a distraction. I hate to promote distractions here, as they are the stuff that we were always warned about in the school, but in this case your mind needs a diversion away from smoking, and a distraction will provide you with just that. I would suggest things like reading a new book or taking up a new hobby. But, if you’re not a bookworm or a hobby DIY junkie then try watching a new TV series, going for a hike, visiting an art gallery, meeting a new special someone, or going to new places. As a rule of thumb, avoid hanging out with other friends who smoke or places that you used to hang out together and smoke. After you’ve been able to kick the habit it will be much easier for you to say “No thank you”, but in the initial days, avoid smokers, smoking lounges, and smoking places like a plague. Step 3: Root out the loot…and throw it away. It’s important to get rid of any skeletons in your closet that are in the form of cigarettes, lighters, matches, or anything else that reminds you of smoking. Go through your clothing, dressers, cabinets, and glove compartment and do a thorough search. Step 4: Research different quit-smoking aids if you are finding it extremely difficult to get over the need for nicotine immediately. There are several out on the market like nicotine gums, eshisha sticks, patches, and other prescription meds for your blood sugar. While you might feel a tad childish needing a crutch to be weaned off smoking, these all will help to reduce the nicotine cravings that you may have. Step 5: Relax and take a breather when you come home from work, are feelings stressed, or have had a tense day at work. Studies have shown that most smokers smoke because they feel high anxiety and stress levels. If you immediately quit smoking, these levels may rise very high while you are getting used to no nicotine. Having daily exercise to keep the oxygen and blood circulation in your body is a good way to lower your stress levels. Yoga, dancing, and other meditative breathing exercises may also help. Step 6: Save the money that you would have spent on cigarettes and lighters and gift yourself something special at the end of every week. This will give you a tangible incentive to stick with your plan of action. Step 7: Be strict with yourself. No matter how much you want to reward yourself with a cigarette, don’t. Look for other means of enjoyment that will not tear down your health, but rather build it up. No occasion should be seen as a good time to take just one cigarette, as this will lead to another. Stay clear of it.