How to Stop Smoking Naturally
Beneficial Reasons to Become a Nonsmoker
Individuals smoke for all or one of the following reasons: Stimulation, the enjoyment of handling a cigarette, relaxation, pleasure, diversion, and addiction. Whatever your reason for smoking, the benefits of not smoking outweighs them all.
Nonsmokers enjoy an improved sense of physical wellness, which includes a reduced risk of a life threatening disease. They also experience an increased surge of energy. In addition they are rewarded with fewer wrinkles and whiter teeth. Another benefit of joining the nonsmoking crowd is more freedom to socialize without offending others. You will not feel shunned because of smoker’s breath. Your family and friends will also be protected from the risks of breathing in secondhand smoke. Nonsmokers also benefit financially. Just think of all the money you can save for your next vacation by cutting out those packs of cigarettes. Make a list of all the benefits and place it in a prominent place as a daily reminder.
The Role of Willpower
For years you have smoked a cigarette in various circumstances that have become habitual. Perhaps it was just after a meal, relaxing in your favorite chair, or driving to work. Whenever a habit is formed, the nerve pathways of the brain that formed the thought become repeatedly stimulated, causing what would be likened to a groove or well-traveled path in the brain. What is needed is the development of new pathways in the brain. These new pathways will replace the old ones. This is where the role of willpower becomes very important. Be serious about your goal to stop smoking. Realize that everybody has a will and we can harness a determined will to help us overcome any unwelcome habit. Recognize that you are worthy of reaching the goal of becoming a nonsmoker and desire it wholeheartedly.
A Support Group
Before you attempt to stop smoking, it is important to establish a support system. This is a network of individuals that you can depend on to encourage and inspire you to press on in your quest to become a nonsmoker. It’s just like a tired runner being energized by the cheers of his fans to cross the finish line. Your support group can include nonsmokers, ex smokers, a pastor or minister from your church, co-workers, relatives, friends, etc. Have at least two people in your support group that you can count on when strong urges arise and you experience withdrawal symptoms.
Strategy for Success
The most effective way to stop smoking is to go “cold turkey.” A slow withdrawal is risky procrastination and gives rise to failure rather than success. If at all possible choose a time when you know you will be having less stress in your life. For example, slow workdays, vacation, etc. On the first day that you attempt to stop smoking destroy all the cigarettes in your house. Then begin to implement strategies to combat the urge to smoke. Here are some suggestions:
Ã?Â· Drink lots of water and fruit juice.
Ã?Â· Take slow deep breaths (preferably outdoors).
Ã?Â· Take a walk.
Ã?Â· Do light relaxation exercises.
Ã?Â· Use a mint-flavored mouthwash.
Ã?Â· Call a member of your support system for help.
Ã?Â· Seek a diversion. This could be a hobby, playing with your kids, etc.
Ã?Â· Do mind stretching exercises, i.e., crossword puzzles.
Ã?Â· Procrastinate. Postpone giving in to the urge minute by minute.
Ã?Â· Pray or meditate on positive uplifting themes.
Ã?Â· Recite the benefits of being a nonsmoker.
Ã?Â· Read a pleasant story or watch an inspiring movie.
Ã?Â· Work outdoors.
Flush the nicotine from your system on the first day that you quit smoking. You can do this by drinking 6-8 glasses of water. You can also drink herb teas and vegetable or fruit juices. After the liquid diet of the first day you can add fruits, soups, crackers, vegetables, and nuts on the second day. On the third day add whole grain breads, cereals, sandwiches, and low fat dairy products to your menu.
During the following seven days ensure that your diet is wholesome, nutritious, balanced, low in saturated fat, sugar, sodium, and greasy foods. Following these dietary guidelines is very important because foods that are stimulants boost the urge to smoke.
Coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages, hot peppers, spicy condiments, spiced and red meats should not be consumed. You should also eliminate high fat foods, junk food, and fried foods. Continuing these dietary changes for at least one month would be optimal. These dietary recommendations are however subject to your doctor’s judgment especially in the event that you are already on a medically prescribed diet or under a doctor’s care for illness. It is also important to eat only the quantity of food that you really need for your body weight. Eat nutritious, healthy meals but keep the third meal light in the evening. You should also attempt to develop a regular meal schedule.
Practice deep breathing exercises. Inhale slowly through your nose (stomach in, chest out) and exhale through your mouth. Repeat several times. (Do this cautiously if you have a tendency to hyperventilate). Go for brisk walks daily, preferably in the early morning or late evening. If you are not accustomed to walking briskly, start off slowly increasing the pace and distance on a weekly basis. If you are already athletically inclined adopt an activity that is not too rigorous but provides regular exercise. For example, swimming, tennis, etc. Consult your physician before beginning any exercise programs.
If at all possible, keep your stress level low. Stress is a catalyst for smokers to light up. If you are in a busy workplace situation take five minutes each day to relax mentally and physically. You can do this by simply diverting your thoughts to a pleasant topic, looking out a window, or walking around the building. Other stress reduction techniques include humor, hobbies, managing time wisely, and volunteering.
As you pursue your goal to stop smoking there are some other factors you should consider. Keep a record or become mentally aware of when or where you usually want to smoke. When those times occur make an extra effort to weaken the desire by utilizing some or all of the fourteen urge combating suggestions given in this article.
Consider using a commercial product to remove the smell of smoke form your furniture and clothing. Do not keep any cigarettes or any items that remind you of smoking in the house. Avoid places where smokers and smoking will be prevalent. If this is unavoidable prepare yourself by practicing how you will respond to cigarette offers and remind yourself that you enjoy being free from smoking. Do not drink alcohol, as this will weaken your good judgment abilities.
Practice positive thinking. Keep your thoughts on the goal before you and the sense of being free from an addictive and potentially dangerous habit.
Give yourself a reward for each day that you remain smoke free. The reward can be as simple as treating yourself to a hot tub bath or buying a special book. Keep the reward system within your budget. Practice this for one year. Follow the plan outlined and success will be yours permanently.