Ever felt guilty after smoking a cigarette? If so, then it’s probably time to start listening to your brain.
Guilt is a cognitive response to behavior that goes against your own standards of conduct and moral. In other words: After each cigarette you burn, your brain reacts unpleasantly, causing shameful thought patterns to build up.
Over time, smoking will increase anxiety, stress, and destabilize your mood. So it’s best to quit smoking at the earliest convenience and not for a later age. One positive factor, however, about kicking the habit is that you can accomplish it at almost any age.
Each year, cigarettes kill nearly half a million adults in the US alone. And more than 40,000 people die from exposure to secondhand smoke, according to the CDC.
If you plan on overcoming a smoking addiction, below I compiled a list of five ways to quit. Hope these tips help.
1. Admitting There’s A Problem
When resolving any problem in life, the first step is to acknowledge that one exists. Denial causes people to quit when it’s already too late and therefore they catch unwanted diseases.
Want to conquer denial? Write down a list of all the negative things that smoking has caused in your life. Also, put together an estimation of how much money you’ve spent buying cigarettes, lighters, and even gas driving to the corner store. Take your time with this exercise.
Admitting to your addiction will eliminate self-deception and bring you one step closer to a successful recovery.
2. Begin Tapering Slowly
Like with any drug consumed for a long time, abrupt discontinuation can cause bad side effects, so tapering is a MUST. Avoid cold turkey at all costs.
Reduce your smoking habit by throwing or giving away one cigarette from each pack; keep increasing the number of cigarettes you eliminate over time.
Another useful strategy that will only work if you have close friends who smoke is to share your cigarette with someone every time you spark. This will psychologically prepare you for when the time comes to yank the plug completely on smoking.
3. Seek Effective Treatment
If you haven’t already, meet Bupropion — it has saved the lives of millions around the world.
Bupropion or Wellbutrin is an atypical antidepressant which works by reducing nicotine cravings and withdrawal symptoms. If you take Bupropion, you are two times more likely to quit smoking, researchers say.
Of course, bupropion is not the only effective nicotine antagonist available. There are other medications such as varenicline, in addition to nicotine patches and gum, that may help you succeed with tapering.
While nicotine antagonists are effective, you should always see a physician before taking any of these.
4. Value Your Support System
One of the most overlooked ways to help quit smoking is a good support system.
It’s important to tell your family and friends about breaking your addiction as they will be able to bring you encouragement and support.
If you don’t have a support system, join an online community board, Facebook group or upload a video on social media. Not only will it help you quit your habit, but it could also decrease the chances of falling down the same rabbit hole again.
Sometimes facing your problems alone isn’t always the best option.
5. Educate Yourself
You’ve probably heard people say cigarettes help with anxiety. But the truth is that it’s only a myth.
While a cigarette may help ease tension for a few minutes, once you stop consuming, your anxiety levels worsen. Why? Well, all you’re really doing is training your body to react with anxiety so you could smoke a cigarette, feel a brief moment of satisfaction, then back-pedaling to anxiety again.
Cigarettes don’t just affect your lungs or teeth. They weaken almost every organ in your body. If you wait too long, the damage can be permanent. It is best to read a wealth of articles on how smoking affects the body, to not only help yourself, but friends or family overcome smoking.
Bottom line: Smoking is a money-eating, filthy habit that kills you one cigarette at a time. As one brilliant person once put it, “Smoking is a habit that drains your money and kills you slowly, one puff after another. Quit smoking, start living.”