Stop Smoking - Recovering From The AddictionWe often hear that smoking is injurious to health, but then we conveniently forget this fact the moment we stick a cigarette in our mouth. Breaking the habit of smoking is challenging, and more so, recovering from the addiction. One way to stop smoking is to gradually reduce the number of cigarettes/cigars smoked daily, and eventually stop altogether. This requires strong resolve, and many a time, smoking cessation needs medical intervention and counseling.
The habit of smoking can prove to be injurious to one's health. Using smoking cessation products and medication is the most appropriate way to quit smoking.Smoking is a physical, as well as psychological addiction. There are many people all over the world who smoke daily. This habit can prove to be very dangerous, since it can cause some serious medical conditions. Heavy smokers often find it hard to stop overnight. You can certainly get rid of this habit, but it usually takes a while.
1. Nicotine Patch: These are self-adhesive, small patches which are to be placed on any part of the body, generally where there is no hair. They supply nicotine to the body at a constant rate, which helps you suppress the cravings for smoking.
2. Nicotine Lozenge: These are small tablets meant to be placed in between the gums and cheeks. They have some amount of nicotine that mixes in the bloodstream, which in turn reduces your craving for smoking.
3. Nicotine Nasal Spray: This is a product which is supposed to be sprayed into the nostrils. It also consists of some amount of nicotine which is absorbed by the nose lining, resulting in the person not feeling the need for smoking.
4. Nicotine Inhaler: This is a device which provides little doses of nicotine to keep a control on the cravings. When you use this inhaler, a small amount of therapeutic nicotine gets dissolved in the bloodstream, hence contributing to smoking cessation.
5. Nicotine Gum: These are chewing gums with suitable amounts of therapeutic nicotine levels. The nicotine is absorbed in the bloodstream through the lining of the mouth, which again discourages your smoke cravings.
A few of the aforementioned products not only help you get rid of your smoking habit, but also aid in dealing with the withdrawal symptoms. It is strongly recommended that you use these products after consulting with a qualified doctor. In some cases of extreme smokers, a combination of herbal products as well as medicinal therapies is essential. You will also need to use a few of these products throughout the day in order to decrease your cravings. Also, note that the aforementioned aids to quit smoking are sold under different brand names.
Benefits of Quitting Smoking
There are so many disastrous effects of smoking on one's health. For instance, the risk of developing cancer is much higher in smokers than in non smokers. Lung cancer is most commonly found in smokers. Other forms of cancer that they can get includes blood cancer, brain cancer, breast cancer, pancreas cancer and so on. If you do not smoke for the next ten years, then the risk of death from cancer reduces to half.
Prolonged period of smoking leads to hardened blood vessels. This makes smokers prone to high blood pressure, stroke, and heart disease. When you stop smoking, the body's self-correcting mechanism, given time, significantly reduces this risk.
There are several adverse effects of smoking on your sexual health. Men often suffer from impotency after heavy smoking, because normal blood flow to the penis and gonads gets badly affected by smoking. Many smokers get a low sperm count, as the sperm produced by the body fails to survive for long. Even the childbearing age of women who smoke gets shortened due to nicotine.
Smoking gives rise to so many gastrointestinal problems. This happens because it tends to increase the acid production inside the stomach. This excess of acids often flows back into the esophagus and causes gastrointestinal reflux. As a result, you feel a constant burning sensation in your chest, and many other physical discomforts that you just accept as an inevitable part of your life. Once you stop the habit, these niggles will be negated.
As soon as you stop smoking, the body's healing mechanism starts working, and repairs the damage caused by smoking. Body temperature, blood pressure, and pulse rate, that tend to rise under the influence of nicotine, gets normalized when you stop smoking for few days. The chronic cough that used to keep you (and your family, and pets, and neighbors) awake during the night will stop bothering you within a month or two. You will get a more refreshing feel every time you breath. Your stamina and lung capacity, which is the health aspect most affected by nicotine, increases within six months.
Tips to Stop Smoking Naturally
Getting rid of the habit of smoking can be very tough. However, the more you prepare yourself for quitting, the easier the task will be.
1. Prepare a Plan: Most smokers, at some point in their life, do try to quit smoking but without any success. A mistake that most of them commit is that they quit suddenly. While sudden, abrupt quitting does work for a few, it may not for most. If you are the type of smoker who cannot wake up one fine day and announce "I quit!", then you need to chalk out a proper quitting plan.
2. Set a Deadline: Naturally, this should be the next logical step that follows. Set yourself a quitting deadline. It could be anything between two weeks to two months. However, be sincere and serious about it. If you end up giving yourself a period of six months to quit smoking those cigars, it simply means that you're not serious about it.
3. Make up your mind: There are various drugs and medications available to assist people who wish to quit this habit; however, they are of no use if not backed with a strong will and commitment. So, one of the first things you have to do is take a firm and final decision to get rid of this habit. As strong will-power will make all the difference in your life, without which the following tips will be of no use.
4. Begin Slowly: One of the main reasons why many quitters fail is that, they stop smoking suddenly, which results in quick and sudden relapse. To avoid this, start with reducing the number of cigarettes you smoke daily. Take a week or two for yourself, to come to one cigarette a day. By now, your dependence on smoking would have decreased and you will be more confident about leaving that one cigarette too. Then decide a date when you will give up this habit completely, and do so successfully.
5. Flush Out the Nicotine: Once you have quit this habit completely, get rid of all the nicotine content from your body. To flush the nicotine, drink plenty of water, or fruit and vegetable juices, for a couple of days. A whole day of a liquid diet can help you immensely. After that, start following a healthy diet which includes fiber, protein, and carbohydrates. Avoid eating junk food and foods high on sugars.
6. Get High Without Smoking: Nicotine in cigarette makes the smoker feel relaxed by increasing the dopamine activity in the brain. This results in increased pleasure of the smoker.
7. Start Cutting Down: If you want to meet your deadline date, you should immediately start cutting down on your daily dose of cigarettes. How many cigarettes you cut down per day will depend on how heavy a smoker you are. During this phase, you could also consider substituting your regular cigarettes with special smokeless cigarettes.
8. Find a Friend: By this I do not mean go around town making new friends. What it implies is that you should catch hold of a fellow aspiring quitter. Having the company of somebody who is going through the same journey as you are, can sometimes help in strengthening your resolve and can make the task a little bit easier. Just make sure that the other person too is equally serious about quitting smoking.
9. Find Out Your Weaknesses: This is something that you should do while you are in the quitting process itself, and not after you have quit. Think about what situations make you want to light up. Are there any specific daily activities that trigger you to have a puff? Identify them and note them down. In future, you will need to distract yourself during these very situations.
10. Visualize: This is a very powerful weapon. Close your eyes and see yourself as having quit smoking successfully. Visualize yourself as having achieved your goal. Doing so not only strengthens you mentally, but the positive vibrations and frequencies that you give out to the universe do come back in the form of desired success.
11. Family Support: This is also something that is very important in making sure that you stay away from cigarettes after having taken the trouble to quit. Each time that you feel like lighting up, ask your family members or friends to distract you, keep you busy, and in the process, keep you away from cigarettes. Slowly, your psychological and physical dependence on tobacco and nicotine will start reducing and it will ultimately be eliminated.
12. Think Positive: It is one of the most important things in the process of quitting smoking. Always think positively about your new resolution. Even if you fail once it does not mean that you're a failure. So, do not be hard on yourself, just be confident and committed. You must stand by your decision, and you will succeed. If possible, also try to involve someone in your quitting plan so that he or she can motivate and inspire you to keep up with your commitment.
There are various activities that can help you relax, and distract from the urge to smoke:
• Exercise regularly
• Go for a short walk or jog
• Go for a long drive or bike ride
• Listen to music
• Talk to friends, family members, and loved ones when you feel depressed
• Meditate to keep stress at bay
• Engage in your hobbies
• Treat and reward yourself with a movie, dinner, or a new book every time you succeed suppressing the urge to smoke
Try to Stay Away From Smoking: You must anticipate the situations and feelings that generally make you feel the urge to smoke, and try to avoid them. For example:
• Avoid joining your friends who smoke, and who are most likely to force you to do so.
• Substitute your smoke break with 'water breaks' or 'juice breaks'.
• Keep yourself busy in work or some or the other task, such as talking to friends, and walking, etc.
• Give some exercise to your brain, by playing crosswords, puzzles, and riddles, etc.
• Try to keep your hands busy, doing household chores, such as washing the car and gardening, or writing and painting, etc.
• Keep hard candy or chewing gum handy, and chew on them when you feel the urge to smoke.
• When it comes to going out, make sure to choose places where smoking is not allowed.
• Try to socialize more with people who don't smoke.
• You may also join a support group where you can share your feeling and problems.
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