Few people manage to quit smoking the first time. On average, seven to eight attempts are needed to get rid of the addiction. Do not be discouraged by failure, but prepare for change.
According to data from the Warsaw Oncology Center, half of smokers think about quitting. If you also dream about it, learn 10 ways that will help you:
See what situations from everyday life you associate with a cigarette. It can be drinking morning coffee, stress at work, watching a movie, reading a newspaper, meeting friends, talking on the phone. It is very individual for every smoker.
– Extracting such moments allows you to think about how you can deal with the emptiness caused by the lack of a cigarette – says Magdalena Cedzyńska, head of the Smokers’ Outpatient Clinic at the Oncology Center in Warsaw. – Each smoker should find their own method to replace smoking.
The persistent thought of lighting a cigarette appears in the head for about 2-3 minutes. Then it is worth directing your attention to something else, e.g. an activity that is currently being performed. If a cigarette was a way to kill boredom, then you better find another occupation, such as cleaning, calling long-lost friends, playing with a dog, going out on a bike, reading a book, etc. Over time, the daily rituals that were associated with the cigarette .
Accept that the first days can be difficult.
– The first four days are the most difficult, because then – due to the lack of nicotine in the body – there are so-called withdrawal symptoms.
This is because nicotine is highly addictive. You need to be prepared for the receptors in the brain to demand the next dose of nicotine, and the person quitting smoking will fight the persistent desire to reach for another cigarette.
Do not believe in myths: smoking does not calm you down at all. One of the myths about smoking is the belief that cigarettes help relieve tension.
– Nicotine has a stimulating effect on the body. It causes general revival and an increase in blood pressure – says Cedzyńska. – In addition, dopamine is released in the brain as a result of inflammation, i.e. happiness hormone and the smoker achieves temporary relief, so there is a misconception that smoking calms down. Snus UK
Contrary to what smokers think, the opposite is true: smoking increases stress, because when nicotine levels drop in the body, i.e. several times a day, it provokes irritability, a decrease in concentration and mental tension. When we quit smoking, it is worth finding an alternative method to fight unpleasant emotions, e.g. start playing sports, go for yoga, learn relaxation techniques.
Avoid situations that are associated with smoking. It is worth considering whether we associate smoking with a specific place, e.g. room, kitchen, balcony, bus stop, park.
if someone smoked in the apartment, it is worth rearranging it so that it no longer resembles the previous interior. You can move the furniture, buy a new bedspread on the sofa, change the blinds, repaint the walls, hang a poster or a picture. It is better to avoid places where smoking is allowed.
Think about what to do with your free hands.
It is worth having something that will take care of your hands, e.g. an anti-stress ball, an elastic band, a pen, a key ring. You can carry small treats to replace putting a cigarette in your mouth such as: sunflower or pumpkin seeds, dried cranberries, sugar-free chewing gums. The problem of the reflex of reaching for a cigarette can also be easier to overcome thanks to a straw or toothpick held in the mouth or in the hand.