Apparently, experts have learnt that we fail nine times out of ten when we try to make a significant change to our lives, so that is not very good news for all those people who have made New Year resolutions. One of the classic New Year's Resolutions is 'stop smoking'. So if you're looking to give up the fags for good, here are some tips from the experts about the right way to go about doing it.
Everyone who smokes knows that they should stop sooner rather than later, but having the willpower to overcome the addiction to nicotine is very tough. So, if you smoke like a chimney and you've tried and tried to kick the habit before without success then this might help...
1. Tell your friends:
Studies have found that setting a 'quit date' and announcing it to your colleagues and friends is very effective. The support of friends and possible public shame are powerful motivators to stay off the ciggies.
2. Exercise Regime:
Research has shown that a quitting smoking program combined with a new exercise regime is around 85% more successful than without exeercise. This is because when people start exercising regularly, they prioritise health issues (especially the health of their lungs). Proper exercise also releases endorphins making you feel happier which replace the pleasure that smokers used to get from puffing on a cigarette.
3. Avoid triggers:
Smoking is a bad habit and you need to get out of those habits to avoid the temptation of needing a smoke. Eliminate your smoking urge by identifying your danger moments or 'triggers' where you would always normally light up, like a mid-morning coffe break, talking on the phone, having a drink down the pub. Whatever they are, try to avoid them as much as possible for the first 3 weeks (see the next point) and occupy yourself with new activities to replace these habits.
Psychologists say that it's impossible to have two thoughts in your mind at the same time, so you can replace your smoking pleasure trigger with a new enjoyable habit, like eating a strawberry or going for a fast 5 minute walk.
4. Calendar Progress:
Put a calendar in a prominent place where you (and others) can see it. Every day that you don't smoke, mark off that day. At the end of a week of non-smoking, give yourself a small and meaningful reward like a small shopping trip, listening to some of your old, favourite music for an hour, meeting an old friend for a meal.
According to experts, 21 days of a new action/behaviour is needed for a new thought pattern to become automatic. The first few days without smoking are the hardest, but very soon the cravings weaken and the time between cravings gets longer and longer. After you've broken the first 3 weeks, it'll be much easier.
Have you given up smoking? How did you do it?
(Let us know in the comments section below)
- give up the fags
- stop smoking
- to have the willpower
- to have self control
- kick the habit
- to stop the smoking addiction
- to stop
- smoke like a chimney
- someone who smokes a lot
- the addictive chemical in cigarrettes
- stay off the ciggies
- not go back to smoking
- puffing on a cigarette
- a bad habit
- something that you regularly and normally do that you know is not good for you
- avoid the temptation
- stop the desire to do something wrong
- the cravings
- the feelings of wanting a cigarrette
- the feel-good chemicals in the brain
- light up
- to smoke