Almost everyone knows by now that smoking is bad for their health. What fewer people realize is that the difficulty of quitting smoking can be greatly lessened.
Knowing the details of just how cigarette smoking becomes addictive, and how to break that addiction can result in renewed trust in your own self-esteem, but also fewer incidences of depression, and lowered risk rates for some of the most common deadly diseases.
To start, you should be sure that you are ready to quit. Smoking may provide you positive benefits that you aren’t ready to give up. For example, you may use smoking to connect peers in your social circles or at work.
Maybe you even enjoy the extra “breaks” you get to take to grab a smoke with co-workers. Perhaps smoking helps for you to play a certain role that you like playing. Smoking may also help you deal with stress.
To be sure that you are ready to tackle the challenge of quitting your smoking addiction, make a list of positive and negatives. If the negative outweigh the positives, then you are much more likely to succeed.
Here are just a few motivational reasons to stop smoking:
- A pack a day smoker will spend about $2,000 dollars on their smoking habit. This money could be spent in many other ways. Maybe you could finance a vacation to Hawaii, or, if you really want to see the power of that $2,000 work towards your financial health instead of against it – you could invest that money. A single year’s savings invested at %5 compounded interest would be worth $8,643 in 30 years. That’s if you never added another penny to the initial investment. Just imagine if you added another $2,000 into that pot by quitting for good.
Quit smoking technique: Write down all the reasons you want to quit smoking on an index card. Pull it out and look at it every time you have an urge to smoke.
- If you’re going to save all that money from quitting smoking, you may as well live long enough to spend it. The average smoker loses ten years from his life. That means by quitting, you could live 10 years longer. Imagine what you could do with those years. Will you watch your children have children and become a grandparent, build a dynasty, or just enjoy the simple things in life?
Quit smoking technique: Take some deep breaths every time you want to smoke. Not only is this the same action you would take when inhaling deeply on a cigarette, but it triggers a relaxation response in your body that alters your emotional and physiological states. Plus, the deep oxygenation from diaphragmatic breathing can also give you an energy boost.
- You’ll be more attractive to the opposite sex if you quit smoking. Smokers tend to age faster, but they also look much older than their actual age due to the free radicals that ravage their skin. The chemicals in cigarettes also discolor your teeth, and make you smell like nicotine – an aroma that most people of the opposite sex don’t love. If you want to attract a lover, you don’t want them to compare kissing you to licking an ashtray.
Quit smoking technique: Try acupuncture. Although acupuncture can’t reverse smoking, it can significantly boost your will power by reducing cravings.
- Smokers have duller senses. If you want to experience life more fully, with all its vivid tastes, colors, and smells, you’ll want to quit smoking. Foods will taste better. You’ll notice your girlfriend’s heady perfume, and even the smells of nature, like the deliriously delicious smell of the forest after a rainfall will come rushing into your nose.
Quit smoking technique: Try meditation. Not only does meditation reduce your cravings for cigarettes, but it also reduces stress so that as you quit, you have a fallback plan for handling all the chaos that life eventually serves up to you on a silver platter.
- After quitting smoking for just one year, you will cut your risk of heart disease in half. That’s right – you’ll enjoy a 50% greater chance of living longer and not having a heart attack just before your daughter gets married or your best friend wins the lottery.
Quit smoking technique: Try sucking on a stick of Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra). Some compare it to sucking on an old cheroot cigarette. It may help to quench your oral fixation, and sucking on licorice also happens to be very calming to the nervous system.
- Twenty minutes after quitting smoking your heart rate and blood pressure starts to drop. This means that you aren’t setting up your adrenals for fatigue, and your parasympathetic nervous system finally gets a break.
Quit smoking technique: Try eating fava beans (Vicia faba). As one of the best dietary sources of I-dopa, converted to dopamine in the brain, fava beans might help alleviate your nicotine cravings.
- You’ll breathe better. Smokers lungs can repair themselves. If you’re worried you’ve already done too much damage to your lungs, think again. Even lifetime smokers see improvements the first few weeks that they stop smoking.
Quit smoking technique: Try eating turmeric to help detox your lungs. You can also drink turmeric tea, or take a supplement to help reverse mutagenic properties of your DNA, and clean up toxic leftovers in your lung tissue.
- You’ll have better sex. Due to the increased blood flow and energy you have when you quit smoking you’ll be a better lover. Men even have harder erections, as evidenced in a study who measured sexual performance of smokers and non-smokers.
Quit smoking technique: Instead of lighting up a cigarette post coitus, relax, and enjoy the company of your partner. With your added stamina, you might even be able to go for a second round.
- Your gut health will improve. When you stop smoking, the bacterial balance of the gut, also called the gut flora, changes for the better.
Quit smoking technique: You can help improve your gut health even more after quitting smoking by adding probiotics to your diet. Also, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetable which act as food for healthy bacteria.
- You’ll cut your risk of getting rheumatoid arthritis by half. As shocking as it may sound, smoking is linked to more than a third of cases of rheumatoid arthritis, as published in the journal Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases.
Quit smoking technique: Try house cleaning. Study show that when you quit smoking you can often feel fidgety and anxious. He might have extra energy you don’t know what to do with. Instead of reaching for your cigarettes clean your house with all that extra mojo. Studies also suggest that doing repetitive tasks like cleaning can be very relaxing and stress-reducing. Cleaning even releases endorphins in the brain that boost your mood.
- You’ll find new friends. Often when we kick a bad habit, we lose friends who aren’t willing to let go of the same bad habit. The plus side is that you will make new friends, often with healthier lifestyles.
Quit smoking technique: While you could try nicotine replacement therapy, prescription drugs, or over-the-counter nicotine patches to help reduce your cravings, a better trick is to give up alcohol and barhopping. Studies show that smokers have a hard time saying no to cigarettes in this environment.
Before you too bummed out that you’re giving up “fun,” consider that you’ve been giving up a whole world of fun but isn’t available to cigarette smokers.
You could hike to the top of a mountain and see a vista like you’ve never seen. You could join the guys for a game of basketball at a local park, or you could run a marathon can get a whole new body to go with it to impress all your friends that used to drink and smoke.
- 5 to 15 years after quitting smoking you will have reduced your risk of getting mouth, throat, or esophageal cancers by 50 percent. Though is can seem impossible to look past a single day without smoking, people do quit, and quit for good. The long-term benefits are even better than some of the short-term benefits. In this case, you can avoid expensive and painful chemotherapy treatments, losing all your hair and possibly not recovering from a cancer diagnosis. Take one day at a time, but this benefit should surely motivate you to quit smoking today.
Quit smoking technique: Ask for help. You can talk to friends, or a counselor. You can even join a support group. To overcome almost any addiction, you’ll need a support system that knows what you are going through. A friend or group that can offer emotional support and guidance while you quit smoking is invaluable. Look for people who have already quit smoking, or who live healthy lifestyles already and use them as your mentors. Then, fake it until you make it, and you are one of those healthy people, too.