Sticking With It
Sticking With It
Now that you’ve gotten over the first few days, it’s time to make smoking a thing of the past. Sticking with it can be a challenge, but it can be done.
Plan rewards! You will save money by being smoke-free. Make a list of things you’d like to buy with your new-found fortune! See a movie. Buy a CD you’ve been wanting. Or buy another treat!
Wait out the urges. Remember that the urge to smoke usually lasts only three to five minutes. Try and wait it out. Take deep breaths, light a candle instead of a cigarette, or go into another location to change up the scenery and break up the desire.
Find new things to do. Leave the old habit of smoking behind and try some new habits! Take up swimming, jogging, playing tennis, or even walking your dog. How about crossword puzzles or needlework?
Watch your weight. Are you worried about gaining weight when you quit smoking? Make exercise a part of your quitting plan. Exercising can distract you from smoking and lowers the stress that makes you crave a cigarette.
Forgive yourself. If you slip up and give in to temptation, don’t be discouraged. It’s not a lost cause. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but don’t let yourself fall back into smoking, either. Feel good about all the time you went without smoking, and try to learn how to make your coping skills better.
Remember the healing effects. Your body begins to heal within 20 minutes after your last cigarette. The poison gas and nicotine start to leave your body. You can breathe easier. Your sense of taste and smell improve. Your lungs begin to repair themselves.
After you’ve quit, you’ve added healthy, full days to each year of your life. You’ve greatly lowered your risk of death from lung cancer and other disease including:
- Heart disease,
- Chronic bronchitis,
- and Cancer.
Stay upbeat. As you go through the first days and weeks without smoking, keep a positive outlook. Quitting is a learning process – take it one day at a time.
National Cancer Institute. “Clearing the Air: Quit Smoking Today.” PDF brochure downloaded from www.smokefree.gov, accessed 9/14/07.
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