TIPS FOR MAKING A SMOKING CESSATION PLAN

Your Goal is to Quit Smoking

You should plan to quit smoking completely. Those who cheat and sneak a cigarette here and there in the first few weeks of quitting usually are the ones who begin smoking again. Cutting back may reduce the amounts of smoke and nicotine your body takes in, but it does not affect your risks of developing cancer and other smoking related health conditions. In addition, reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke or even changing to low tar cigarettes will not allow your body to purge itself of the toxins that build up during habitual smoking.

Make a List of Reasons

The act of writing things down is an important part of attaining any goal. It makes it real to you. In a way, it becomes like a contract with yourself. So, you should write down 10 reasons why you should quit smoking. Besides all the health reasons, you should include all the things that you will gain. Saving money might be one of those things. You should carry the list with you and read it often for motivation.

You can even take it one step further and write a real contract including your target date and have your partner and friends sign it. This is another way of holding yourself accountable for following through.

While you are writing things down, you should make a list of small easily attainable goals. You can break the years stretching ahead without smoking into smaller periods of time that your brain can accept more easily. The fun part of this is to pick out little rewards to treat yourself for attaining each goal.

Pick a Date to Quit

This a time to use your common sense. Think seriously about your schedule and your life responsibilities, you need to pick a date where stress is minimal for at least the first 3 days. If you are female and have PMS, you obviously want to avoid attempting to quit smoking at that time. While you are deciding on the date, you should make some plans to occupy your time and keep yourself busy those first few days. Night time activities are really important because that is the time when most of the activities you have associated with your smoking habit normally take place. So, the craving and the urge to have a cigarette will be higher then. The night before your target date, throw away all your smoking accessories.

Healing During Withdrawal

You will experience cravings and your mind will urge you to give in for the first week and a half at the very least. Here are a few strategies to help both your body and mind get through this withdrawal time. There are things you can do to help body get rid of nicotine that has built up inside you. Water is your friend: drink lots of it throughout the day to flush the residual nicotine from your system. Fiber rich foods like whole grains and raw fruits and vegetables also assist your body to rid itself of nicotine. You may want to have plenty of celery, apples, and carrots in the house. They give you some of the same oral stimulation that smoking does, and if you’re inclined to eat during withdrawal, they won’t pile on the pounds.

When your urge to smoke becomes overwhelming, you may want to retreat from the outside world. Some ways to accomplish this are meditate, read a novel to go to another place in your mind, take a warm bath or shower, or take a nap.

Meditation and relaxation techniques as well as deep breathing exercises are another way to get through the craving period. Deep rhythmic breaths or holding your breath as long as possible can get you through that moment of intense craving and urge to smoke.

Get Your Family and Friends to Support You

Before the actual date, you can inform everyone you have already quit smoking. This is just another way to hold yourself accountable when the time comes. You know what will happen if you get caught smoking after such an announcement. Your desire to avoid the inevitable embarrassing scene may be just enough to keep you from cheating.

Another way to avoid cheating is to make a pact with a friend or family member who spends a lot of time with you. If they catch you cheating, you will promise to pay them a certain amount of money. Pick an amount that hurts a bit, but not one that is ridiculously high.If your friend’s smoke, you might ask them to consider quitting with you, or at least to avoid smoking in your presence.

Exercise

Exercise can help you literally power through those first weeks of cravings. Physical activity releases the same sort of pleasure chemicals your body releases while smoking. Exercise can greatly increase your chance of successfully quitting for good. Exercise also minimizes the probability that you will gain weight. Yoga is an excellent exercise program for quitting. Of course, you should consult your doctor before starting any exercise program.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

As mentioned before you should drink plenty of water and eat plenty of fresh, crunchy fruits and vegetables. This satisfies oral cravings without adding many calories. Moderate intake of coffee or tea may be helpful in promoting your level of food conversion into energy which helps you avoid gaining weight. Small amounts of coffee may also have antidepressant properties. Since nicotine withdrawal often results in sleep disturbances, you are wise to avoid caffeine in the evening.

Change Your Daily Routine

You probably have habits that have become associated with smoking over the years. If you change your routine and these habits even just a little bit, you can break the smoking connection between them. Here are a few tips to try.

Food and smoking a cigarette afterward is probably one of your habits. So, you should change up your eating times and the number of meals you eat. You can also change the room you eat in or at least sit in a different chair or part of the room. You can also institute a new way of ending your meal besides having a cigarette. You might play some music or take a walk. If you previously smoked while drinking a specific beverage, you may change the cup you use or drink a different beverage.

During withdrawal, you should try to avoid places where smoking is prevalent. The smell of smoke in the air is only going to make you want a cigarette even more. You can make plans to spend time in public places and restaurants where smoking is prohibited.

You should have prepared easy baby step kinds of quitting goals. When you reach a goal, you should reward yourself for a job well done. One way to do this is to put the money you would have spent on buying a pack of smokes each day into a jar. When your kitty reaches a certain amount, you can go out and splurge on a nonfattening treat that you normally would not have spent money on.

Another habit of smoking means you are going to need to find something to do with your hands besides eating. Most of these types of activities also help focus your mind somewhere other than wanting a cigarette. Knitting, sewing, video or computer games, playing cards, even crossword puzzles are not stressful or fattening.

weight loss clinic austinaustin regional clinic doctorsaustin endocrinologists