Quitting is immensely difficult for most people and it often takes a combination of many strategies to successfully quit. If you do relapse, do not fret. Instead, refocus yourself on your goal and start again. Quitting is hard and it is likely you will have a few lapses but the goal is to keep these instances to a minimum, to document them and to track them. Use this information as a positive reminder of your efforts and use it to help identify when you are more likely to relapse – then focus specific strategies to dealing with these specific times/areas of weakness. We have listed the most effective and proven strategies to help you put that ‘butt’ out for good and included all you need to know about the modern world of smoking. Use a combination of two or more strategies listed to maximize your odds of success. One step at a time, you can get there.
Prepare yourself to quit and slowly start weaning yourself off cigarettes. This means slowly cutting back on the amount of cigarettes you have per day well before your set ‘quit’ date. Going cold turkey works for some people but the data shows that for most people it does not go very well. For these people it is much more effective to gradually reduce the intake number. Take a few days and record how many cigarettes you have per day. Average out these numbers to give you your baseline number. Once you have this number start weaning yourself slowly. Set practical target goals each day of 1-3 less cigarettes than your base number. Gradually work your way down to smoking only 1-2 cigarettes per day, your target range. Once you are at your target range implement one of the other strategies. Remember if you screw up don’t give up and don’t hark on it. Wake up tomorrow and try again.
Avoid smoking cues.
Take careful note of all the situations where you smoke. Environment your in, people you are with, situation your in, time of day, your mood, etc. You need to take note of these cues because, when you are at the start of your road to recovery, you will need to avoid these cues. It may be impossible to avoid all of them but you certainly will need to make an effort to avoid most of them. Being around these cues, especially other people smoking, can trigger strong urges that may become quite difficult to fend off, often resulting in a quick relapse. Eventually, to become free of cigarette addiction, you will need to confront all of these cues - but this should happen later in the recovery stages.
Get support from your family and friends.
This can be an incredibly difficult time for you, once you have committed yourself to quitting, and you are going to need the support of your friends and family. Get everyone on board with your lifestyle changes and ask them to help you commit. Sometimes it is useful to have extra bodies around preventing you from relapsing when you are feeling weak. They will also be helpful in helping you avoid powerful smoking cues.
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