If you are considering making this year the year you quit smoking forever, we look at 10 top tips to help you quit.
- Focus on your reason
To help keep you on track no matter how hard things get, consider your reasons for quitting. It may be to protect your family from second-hand smoke, reduce your chances of developing lung cancer, save money or to improve your appearance and health. Make sure that whatever the reason, it is strong enough to outweigh the urge to light up.
Smoking is an addiction and like any addiction you are going to need support to help you quit. The brain is hooked on nicotine, so without it you will go into withdrawal. Your doctor will be able to advise you on stop smoking groups, medication, counselling, hypnosis and apps. This will ensure that you are ready for the day you chose to quit.
- Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you stop smoking nicotine withdrawal may give you headaches, affect your mood and drain your energy. The craving for just one smoke can be tough, Nicotine Replacement therapy can help to take the edge of your cravings. Studies have shown that nicotine gum, lozenges and patches can help to dramatically increase your chance of succeeding.
- Take advantage of family and friends
- Relax and Unwind
Many people smoke as a way to relax, once you quit you will need to find other ways to unwind. You could start a new exercise class, join the gym, listen to your favourite music, connect with friends or start a new hobby. Stressful situations can make quitting more difficult so try to stop smoking at a time when you feel relaxed and in control.
- Avoid triggers
When you drink alcohol it reduces your willpower and so makes it harder to say no to that cigarette. When first quitting it is a good idea to reduce your alcohol intake. If you often smoke when you have your morning coffee, why not swap to tea for a few weeks to help break the association. If you like to have a cigarette after meals find something else to do, go for a walk, speak to a friend or do the dishes.
- Clean, Clean, Clean
Once you decide to quit get rid of all your cigarettes, lighters and ash trays. Also try to remove anything that smells of smoke. This may mean washing clothes that smell of smoke, cleaning carpets and upholstery and cleaning the car. If you can get rid of the familiar smell of smoke and anything that reminds you of smoking, it can make it much easier to quit.
Get moving! Being active can help to curb nicotine cravings and ease the withdrawal symptoms. It doesn’t need to be anything dramatic, simply going for a walk can help. The calories you burn can also help to ward of the weight gain that many experience when they quit smoking.
You need to tackle one issue at a time, trying to cut the cigarettes and calories is a recipe for failure. If you are worried about your food intake focus on fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein.
- Choose your reward
With all the money you are saving from not buying cigarettes, why not reward yourself by spending some of it on something special.
If you would like more help and advice on how to stop smoking book an appointment online, or call West Wickham Dental Practice today on 0208 776 1188