Cigarettes aren’t easy to quit. Tobacco is a powerful addiction both physically and psychologically. It can take a great deal of time and during this time, you’re beset by withdrawal symptoms and cravings. It’s easy to fall off the wagon and relapse.
But it’s much harder to fall off the wagon is you know how to keep yourself motivated in the face of adversity. Let’s look at a few ways to do this.
Your Reasons for Quitting
The minute you decide to quit smoking, make a list. Write down all of your own personal reasons for quitting. Think hard and be honest with yourself. Write the most important reason at the top. Whenever things get rough, review this list. You might want to post it somewhere you’ll see it every day or carry it around in your pocket.
You don’t have to quit smoking all by yourself. Your friends and family want to see you succeed, so enlist their help. How can they help you? By simply being there watching, making you accountable for your actions. It’s much harder to start smoking again when you know you’ll be letting everyone down.
Your Smoke-Free Future Life
Imagine what it will be like when you’re no longer a smoker. Create a detailed visual image or write a story about a typical day without cigarettes. Emphasize all the ways your life is better without this addiction. Whenever you feel your willpower slipping, invoke this image.
Studies have shown that light exercise as part of your quit smoking routine is extremely effective. When you exercise even just a little bit, you feel good both physically and mentally. This healthy feeling disappears as soon as you light up a cigarette. You’ll also find it tough to exercise when you’re gasping for air, so there’s another motivator for you to quit.
The same goes for what you eat. Studies show that people who eat lots of fruit and vegetables have a much easier time quitting. This is probably because these fresh fruits and vegetables have a great deal of fiber, which makes you feel full. We often mistake hunger for nicotine cravings.
Focus on the Positive
Focus on your successes rather than your failures. If you’re struggling to drop from 8 a day to 7, don’t beat yourself up about it because you take so long. Instead, look back at how far you’ve come. Realize that you’ve reduced your daily intake all the way to 8. You may want to write down each success along the way; for example, ‘I didn’t smoke after lunch today.’ Refer back to this when things get tough.
Rewards and Penalties
Rewards and penalties work well. Whenever you reach a milestone, give yourself a treat. If you slip up, give yourself a slap on the wrist. Some smokers force themselves to pay money each time they smoke a cigarette more than they’re allowed.
Think of Your Family
Your family wants you to quit smoking. You’re doing it not just for yourself but for them as well. They’re proud of you and they want you to stay smoke free. Every time temptation raises its ugly head, remind yourself that you’re doing it for their future as well as yours.