We all started the New Year very excited to take on some challenges and many of them that we drag year after year to the “pending” list, like “quit smoking”.
This is a great goal to which we normally venture without preparation and we are often surprised by the difficulties which cause us to back down in the attempt once again. This year, do something different, plan and prepare well, know what you have to do.
How to meet the challenge of quitting smoking
There isn’t one quit smoking tip that’s right for everyone, but if there are planning steps and aids you can adapt on your own, you just need to know them. Let’s go over 3 steps to planning, creating and implementing your own method of quitting smoking..
Step 1: Motivation
Motivation is the engine of startup and it is generated by those reasons that everyone finds to do something, our reasons.
Quitting smoking is a big endeavor that starts with a very personal decision, even if everyone is encouraging you or even putting pressure on you, you you need to be very clear about why you are quitting smoking. Make a list, and of course, you can count on plenty of reasons to popularly treat yourself, get to know her better, debunk myths, and take advantage of what may be your motivations. The most frequently taken into account, and their particularities are:
The incidence of tobacco in cancer in general and more specifically in the lungs is more than known and studied, but it is common to hear people say that “everything causes cancer”. This is a false consolation, a mistake, because the truth is that if you didn’t smoke lung cancer it would become very rare, rare, like cancer of the nose, but the reality is that tobacco is currently responsible for smoking . cancers.
But in addition to this serious problem, there are many other complications to take into account such as COPD, bronchitis … and damage to other organs, as tobacco affects everyone, heart, liver, skin, etc.
With the list of health complications we could go so far as to write several articles and sometimes more than just motivating this generates anxiety, often confused with the urge to smoke, what a paradox! So if health for you is a great motivational search and learning more, and if it is not, then do not completely ignore the importance of health because when you leave it you are sure to feel relieved.
Maybe a health-focused formula that can be more positive is think about what you gain by maintaining your abstinence. The positive health effects can start to be measured in just 24 hours, blood monoxide levels drop to almost normal levels, and if you stay, the benefits increase: 3 days after the nicotine is eliminated from the body, at 12 weeks the lungs regain their functionality, at 9 months the respiratory complications and the cough disappear, at one year the cardiac risk is reduced by half, at 5 years many cancers they significantly reduce their risk (mouth, larynx, etc.) and at 10 years lung cancer is equivalent to the risk of a non-smoker.
Spending money is huge, we cannot ignore it and it can be a motivation. If, for example, we have an average consumption of one pack per day for an average price of 4 euros, we have a total of 1460 € per year, have you really thought about how many things can be bought?
Throughout this smoke free time giving yourself any of those little whims that only spare you can be a good booster, it will always be a much better investment than burning it down.
The lack of freedom when you have an addiction is very obvious. You feel it when you can’t quit smoking at home, when you go down so much at night because you run out, when you walk into a place or situation that limits smoking and your head is automatically doing math calculations. time, chances of going out, to leave everything, no matter what the weather is outside and out.
On the contrary, the feeling of freedom to overcome addiction is great, as are the feelings of pride, and enjoying this freedom will often keep you going.
Step 2: time and date
Let’s pick a time and set a date. The truth is that there is no right time to quit smoking, Although there may be fewer ideals. If you are at a particularly unusual stage in your life in terms of stress or problems, it is best to postpone this decision until you get back to the routine, but do not look for work stress or problems as a time. ideal. because it is not a realistic vision.
The sooner you see yourself overcome negative situations in which tobacco no longer exists, the faster you will gain confidence and recognize yourself as someone else., A free from the fake tobacco help.
Another smoking myth is that tobacco helps you relax when you have problems; this is not at all true. Nicotine is not a relaxing substance, it is a stimulant like caffeine, but the feeling of relaxation comes as the withdrawal syndrome goes away, which reminds every smoker that the next dose is needed.
So true getting rid of your addiction is what will be most effective in keeping you generally calmer in the face of problematic situations in everyday lifeThere will be no extra nerves (abstinence) when problems arise, but it takes time and patience for your body to stop feeling this abstinence.
It is important that you choose a day, that you set a somewhat special date (for example the last day of the year) which will determine one of the most important moments that you must remember for the rest of your life and as you celebrate it. Plus, setting a day helps you mentally prepare, decide, plan for those valued needs, and wrap up with a goodbye.
Step 3: let yourself be helped
The most important thing in your goal is to achieve it, and for that you need to value the need for additional help. It can be in pharmacological form with nicotine substitutes which help you lessen the physical effects, or with professional help which also gives you psychological and strategic support.
In pharmacies there are many substitutes that your pharmacist can evaluate with you, the most common are in the form of patches, chewing gum, inhalers … which reduce the intensity of abstinence.
There is no need to idealize this compensating effect as they simply help regulate sensations. Before relying on drugs unrealistically one must agree to overcome an addiction which inevitably leads to certain negative effects, the important thing is to know and to have confidence that no negative effects are impossible to manage.
Besides drugs, other good aids to consider are the alternatives that you can give to the act of smoking in the form of: sport or light physical activity if you are not used to it, drinking water, consumption of fruit, supports family, leisure activities. that you concentrate a lot like painting and cooking etc. they are good fighting companions.
Professional help can come from specialist nurses or psychologistsThey can broaden your action plan and your resources by seeing with you what your needs are, your difficulties and help you generate alternative solutions. That being said, the important thing is not how to do it but how to get it, well done with this smoke-free 2021.
Author: Laura Merino Gómez, general health psychologist and member of the TAP Center.