Quitting smoking does not have to entail misery and hardship. Staying positive during this time is possible with the help of family, friends, and loved ones – with the added measure of distractions and a clear plan.
Everyone knows that quitting cigarettes is the healthiest choice for your body. Unfortunately, it’s also pretty common knowledge that quitting can bring about a host of unwanted side effects. Anxiety, mood swings, and sometimes severe cravings for nicotine are all common. It can be hard to keep a positive outlook on what your body is going through when you’re feeling the brunt of all those changes.
Fortunately, there are ways to keep a positive outlook during this process. While it may take some effort, quitting doesn’t have to be a painful experience.
One of the most important things to remember is that you will be tempted, but there are ways to combat your cravings. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that those who need a little help are somehow weaker or less determined than those who do. Use all the resources at your disposal to reach your goals. If you know that you love lighting up in the car on the way to work, bring a pack of gum, a CD full of your favorite songs, or a nicotine replacement with you in the morning. If dinner means an immediate smoke break once you’ve taken the last bite, then plan something to do right after your evening meal. Taking steps to thwart cravings before they start will help you maintain a good disposition.
Don’t Hold Yourself to Unrealistic Standards
If everyone found it possible to quit cold turkey, then more people would quit successfully. Don’t expect perfection, and don’t put unnecessary restrictions on yourself. Doing so will only lead to discouragement if you don’t live up to your own self-imposed standards. Be open minded about what your quitting journey may look like. Just because it doesn’t pan out exactly how you envisioned in the beginning doesn’t mean you have failed.
Believe you can Succeed
This may be seem counterintuitive given the last step, but being realistic doesn’t mean being pessimistic. People quit all the time, and you can be one of them. Knowing something may be challenging and waiting for failure are not the same thing. Believe that you can reach your goals to make them more tangible, and then go for it.
Get Back on the Wagon
If you slip up, get right back to going for your goals. You’ve only failed if you quit trying altogether.
Get the Support you Need
The more people you have on your side, the better. Enlist the aid of friends, family members, coworkers, and even your doctor. They can offer support and help when it’s needed. Whether they offer distractions during times of temptation, remind you of why you wanted to quit in the first place, or just cheer you on, having a large support network can help you along the way.
Reaffirm Your Reasons for Quitting
Know why you want to quit, and remind yourself of those reasons regularly. Fully recognizing your goals and seeing that you are working toward them, even if in small steps, will help motivate you.
Know that You’re Normal
Recognize that your symptoms are normal. Every mood swing and physical discomfort is a sign that you are healing from your addiction. While you may go through some growing pains to get there, understanding that withdrawal symptoms are signs that your body is doing what it needs to do will remind you that it is pain for a purpose.