Today is No Smoking Day 2018. The aim of the day, is to not only make people more aware of the effects of smoking but also to bring attention to the many aids and support available to help smokers quit for good.
Due to the addictive qualities of nicotine, quitting can be challenging and not as straight forward as many people would assume. This is why it is important to create achievable goals and have a plan in place to ensure that you can obtain to them.
One of the things you will notice when you decide to cut down or quit smoking completely, will be the cravings. Cravings are simply the receptors in your brain looking for the high caused by cigarettes and it is important to be aware that in time, these cravings will subside whether you have a cigarette or not.
Cravings can make you feel down, irritable and unwell and dealing with them is different for everyone. There are several things you can try to combat them. For example, drinking ice cold water, breathing deeply, exercise and keeping busy so there is less time to think about cigarettes.
When deciding to give up, it is also important to recognize why you started smoking and what causes you to smoke now. These are called triggers and identifying them is very important for the quitting process. Some common triggers are due to everyday habits such as, smoking after coffee or with alcoholic drinks, driving or smoking before going to bed/ waking up. Other triggers can be emotional, using smoking to boost a good mood or to escape a bad one. For example, feeling stressed at home or at work, feeling anxious or alone, or to calm down after conflict.
Pinpointing what triggers you to smoke is essential when quitting as once you have identified this, you can be aware of it and focus on avoiding situations or activities that make you more likely smoke.
During the quitting process, it is vital that you keep in mind your reasons for quitting. This again is different for everyone. Often, it is due to family or relationships, health reasons or to save money. Whatever your reason for quitting, the reason must always be more important to you than smoking itself. This can then be something you focus on and come back to throughout giving up.
One of the most essential parts of successfully giving up is the support you have around you. Ensure that you surround yourself with people who are invested in your success, not those that may encourage setbacks. It can also be a great tool to have a particular person that you trust and can turn to for support, this can be a friend, family member or a professional.
Finally, as mentioned above, quitting smoking is no easy feat and it is key to remember this. keep motivated and be honest with yourself. Also, keep in mind to not be too hard on yourself; if during the process you relapse and have a cigarette, accept that it has happened, realise why it has happened and move on from it.
If quitting is something that you are finding difficult on your own or if you would like to quit but are unsure how to start; hypnotherapy could be the help you need. For more information or to find a therapist on our accredited register visit the link below.