If you’ve been putting some thought into quitting smoking, you’re already on the right track. Quitting smoking poses some seriously beneficial life changes, not just for you, but for those around you as well. Though the journey may pose significant challenges along the way, there is hope. Recent reports show that about 1.3 million people quit smoking each year, with about 20-40% of those individuals quitting for at least a year. This is surely enough time for you to stay off for good, all it takes is the drive and willpower to achieve a healthier lifestyle.
For those of you who aim to quit smoking for good, here is a list of proven strategies that help to make this a successful life change.
Set a Date
Once you’ve decided that you’re going to quit smoking, the next step is to set yourself a date as to when you’ll quit. Use whatever mental queues you need to take advantage of. For example, if you feel as though Monday is a fresh new day to start your week (and in turn to your new lifestyle), quit on a Monday. Once you’ve decided on a date, take note of it and mark it on your phone and calendar.
Hold Yourself Accountable
It’s not just about quitting. It would be easy for us to fall back into our bad habits if we don’t hold ourselves accountable. Accountability is what will carry us through thick and thin when it comes to being smoke-free, so think about using some of these strategies to hold yourself more accountable:
Tell your social circle the exact date as to when you’ll quit
Determine what kind of Nicotine Replace Therapies you’ll use
Identify a support system
Get rid of all cigarettes and ashtrays
Provide an adequate amount of oral substitutes (i.e. chewing gum, toothpicks, straws, etc.)
Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT)
NRTs make the transition from smoking to non-smoking much more gradual, and in turn, doable. That’s because NRTs are designed to reduce withdrawal symptoms of being smoke-free while also tackling any residual cravings. Though you’ll be providing a small amount of nicotine for your body, the gradual weaning effect of NRTs give you a greater chance of staying smoke-free after “quitting” day.
Find a Support System
Having an understanding of how smoking affects your mindset allows you to properly address your weaknesses when it comes to smoking. Note that as a smoker, you have developed a dependency on nicotine. As such, your goal is to overcome your dependency any way you can. By establishing a support system for your positive life choice, you can fortify your behavior and emotions that are a result of quitting. Some of the most effective support systems include individual counseling and group therapy.