How To Stop Smoking For Good
When you try to quit smoking, you have to understand that statistically, most ex-smokers had to try multiple times before they eventually quit. It is completely normal and in no way a failure if you slip-up and start smoking again. The key, though, is to not give up: you simply can’t say yourself “okay, it didn’t work, it’s impossible” etc.
If you do slip-up up – let’s say you were doing fine and then went out with friends and drank heavily and smoked all night – try to quit again immediately. Don’t wake up hung-over after a night of smoking, get up and go to a store to buy cigarettes. Instead, acknowledge the lapse and understand that it is a common part of the process. You are in no way a failure, and you can still get your quitting attempt back on track.
This doesn’t mean, of course, that you should think of lapses as something that is completely okay – you can’t say you’ve quit smoking and then go out and smoke every Friday night. On the contrary, you should very much try and avoid even the most innocent of lapses: don’t get stuck in the line of thinking where “one drag” is okay.
If, however, you do have a lapse, you have to make sure it’s not thought of as a failure. You should still think of yourself as a non-smoker. To give up and decide that you’re going to smoke again after you slip-up is to deny one of the most fundamental realties about quitting smoking: it is a very difficult thing to do, and for most people takes multiple steps.
Change Your Lifestyle
While you by no means have to avoid your friends and start an entirely new life when you quit smoking, you should – at least in the beginning – try to be realistic about your socializing. Don’t spend a lot of time with smokers in places you can smoke if you’ve just quit. The hardest period when trying to quit smoking will always occur at the beginning, and will end up torturing yourself if you spend that period in bars or other places that you associate with smoking.
One of the reasons people sometimes hesitate to quit smoking is they feel that they will no longer be able to socialize with their friends, or that they will be ostracized in some way. This really isn’t the case, but you do have to understand that in the early stages of quitting, some lifestyle changes are going to be in order.
Avoid situations you associated with smoking in the past. You should also make an effort to make your lifestyle more active – once you quit smoking you’ll likely be dealing with a lot more pent up energy and anxiety, especially during the early stages, and the best thing you can do to deal with it is to incorporate more activities into your lifestyle.
When you change your lifestyle, you also benefit from creating new associations that have nothing to do with smoking: you will be starting to partake in new activates that are in a “postquit” phase of your life. By slowly accumulating the amount of things you do that you don’t associate with smoking, you’ll be gradually creating an entire life of which smoking is not a part.