Smoking is the most common addiction on the planet. In large part, this is because, unfortunately, tobacco is legal. This is why there is not as much risk awareness as with other illegal drugs, such as cocaine or heroin.
Almost 8 million people die each year worldwide from diseases directly linked to tobacco. That is why the vast majority of smokers try or have tried to quit.
But overcoming nicotine addiction isn’t always easy. Some people leave it all at once without further ado; others face unpleasant symptoms of abstinence and psychological dependence, leading to anxiety. I the inability to cope with this anxiety is the direct cause of most cases of relapse in tobacco addiction.
How is smoking cessation overcome? In this article, I’m going to walk you through the 5 main steps so that anxiety isn’t a problem when you quit smoking.
5 Steps to Overcome Your Anxiety When Quitting Smoking
Follow these tips to prevent anxiety from becoming a barrier to quitting.
1. Know your consumption habits
The biggest mistake many people make when trying to quit smoking is to skip this step. Willpower is not enough to solve a psychological problem: In most cases, we need to know how our mind works and apply strategies accordingly.
For that, it is common for dependent people to work on self-registration: Write down the number of cigarettes consumed day after day, as well as the times and situations.
If done well, this observational habit will give information to the person and the therapist about the nature of the addiction and the consumption patterns of that person, peaks in use, the most common relapse situations, etc. Without this information, it is very difficult to overcome smoking forever. Remember you need to know your enemy.
2. Write down your excuses for smoking
When psychologists talk about “knowing yourself” we are usually talking about getting used to observing our mental processes in certain situations that we want to change.
Most smokers report how they go on “autopilot” and start smoking without realizing it. This is why it is essential that the person familiarize themselves with the most common excuses they use to continue to smoke. For example:
- “On the one hand, nothing is happening.”
- “I deserve a reward.”
- “I’m having a very stressful day. I need to relax.”
- “I don’t think he’s able to quit smoking. He’s stronger than me. I need him. I’m afraid I will feel anxious if I quit.”
By identifying these excuses and justifications for smoking, the person could resolve them, especially with the help of a specialized therapist.. In most cases, these same thoughts cause anxiety.
Remember, if the toxic and limiting beliefs are not resolved, it is only a matter of time before the person relapses into their psychological problems, in this case tobacco addiction.
3. Familiarize yourself with the symptoms of withdrawal syndrome
Nicotine is addictive and when you stop using it your brain begins to cut it down.. It is an addiction, in which the person feels “bad” when not using. Like it or not, it is very likely that the person will have physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal syndrome.
The good news is that nicotine withdrawal syndrome generally resembles the discomfort of a cold, in most cases, so the person can survive it without further issues. This usually lasts between a few days or a few weeks.
It is essential that the smoker identifies the symptoms of his withdrawal syndrome and learns to live with them until he has overcome his addiction.
4. Create alternative smoking habits
Many smokers find in therapy that smoking has been linked to certain moods, As relaxation or party. So when they are looking to feel those moods, they go for tobacco.
As the person quits smoking, it is important that they find new ways to experience these pleasurable sensations without smoking. Some people achieve this by playing sports, meditating, listening to music, doing certain breathing exercises, etc.
There is nothing that does not work with absolutely everyone. It is therefore preferable to work with a professional and thus generate strategies adapted to the person.
5. Review your reasons for quitting smoking
One thing that people with withdrawal syndrome are very encouraged by is remember why they do it.
Many people, remembering their reasons for quitting, feel much more conviction and joy for their results, as well as outright hatred and anger towards the cigarette and tobacco companies. Generating these kinds of thoughts when it comes to the urge to smoke can be very effective in some cases.
Psychologist specializing in smoking
Among people who try to quit smoking without help, less than 7% manage to quit smoking forever. That is why it is so important to work with a specialist.
I usually work with people who have all kinds of addictions, Especially tobacco. I can help you with psychotherapy or with my online smoking cessation course. Contact me using my profile.