The Next Step In Stopping
Smoking - The Quitting Process
Now when we come to the actual quitting process that will help you stop
smoking forever, I would like to remind you once again that it is not going to be easy.
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Please do not consider yourself to be superhuman so be ready to get external help if you need it.
As I told you earlier, there might be physical, mental and emotional changes when you stop smoking.
But you do not have to worry. There is plenty of help available nowadays.
Do not feel bad about getting support. On the contrary, your chances of succeeding will increase many fold if you get professional help. Remember, nicotine is a very powerful substance and getting over it is no easy task. The more help you get, the better.
If you can get professional medical help, then it’s even better. Getting professional medical help does not mean that you have to under go prolonged medical treatment. Your doctor or even your dentist will be able to guide you and provide you with all the solutions to your queries. They will able to suggest methods of handling the withdrawal symptoms and even prescribe medicines that can help you.
One of the most common problems that quitters face is frequent mood changes in the initial stages. You might even end up feeling sort of depressed and it is here that a medical practitioner can help you with anti depressants or mood boosters. It is well and good if you can quit by yourself and over come the powerful urges to relapse, but if you feel that you might need help there’s nothing to feel bad about.
If you need the help of medicines do not consider your self to be weak or look upon your self as a patient. All you have to do is understand how badly the nicotine had affected you and you can start counting your lucky stars that you decided to quit before something really bad happened.
Most of us feel queasy about taking medicines, and I don’t blame you if you feel the same. But try and look at it like this. Right now you do not have any serious affliction apart from the fact that you are smoking.
In order to quit smoking you might have to take medicines for may be a month or two.
This is a lot like getting a vaccination as a preventive measure to ward off a disease. But on the other hand if you continue smoking, you might end up with major illnesses which will require that you not only continue taking medicines for life but also that your time on earth will be considerably reduced.
It’s a matter of being proactive than reactive.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved five medications to help you quit smoking:
1. Bupropion SR — Available by prescription
2. Nicotine gum — Available over-the-counter
3. Nicotine inhaler — Available by prescription
4. Nicotine nasal spray — Available by prescription
5. Nicotine patch — Available by prescription and over-the-counter
Taking these medicines will not just double your chances of succeeding but will actually increase your chances by a whooping 80%. But of course it is highly recommended that you start using these medicines after consulting a medical practitioner.
For a more natural alternative, consider using natural
stop smoking medicines instead of or even supplement these prescription
Counseling is one way in, which you can strengthen your effort to quit. It is not really required that you consult a professional counselor. If you have a doctor or a dentist who you trust, that person is more than enough. In the initial stages, ask the person to detail you on all the harmful effects of smoking. Then the person can monitor your efforts and your progress and can give you helpful hints as well.
You might also consider possibilities like group counseling or telephone counseling. Group counseling has a wonderful effect, because there is nothing that feels as good as having others who face the same problems that you are encountering.
When you hear the fears of others, and how difficult t is for them to pull no, you will feel surprisingly encouraged. Group counseling will provide you a wonderful arena to compare notes with other fellow quitters and you can watch and monitor your progress.
Try reassuring others, it has a wonderful effect on you. When you talk convincingly to others without knowing it you are really convincing yourself as well. This will go a long way towards building up your own confidence that you will succeed.
Telephone counseling is also a possibility that many people tend to ignore.
The best thing about telephone counseling is that it can be done at any time without too much of a strain. Just consider the possibility, it is not always easy to dash off to your counselor when you feel the urge to smoke, know you are not supposed to and end up feeling depressed about it.
On the other hand if, at such a moment you can just pick up your telephone and dial your counselor’s number, you can get what you want and with the minimum loss of time and effort.
A Financial Reward
Sure cigarettes are expensive, but because people buy them in small quantities, the expense doesn’t seem much. So what you can do is start saving the money that you do not spend buying packets and packets of cigarettes. Save the money for something special and if you can, try to make it special for your family as well.
Promise the kids something like a trip to Disneyland or a vacation at the sea side. The advantage of making such public declarations is that you have all the more reason to refrain from buying cigarettes. Your kids too will be very enthusiastic about reminding you not to splurge on cigarettes and there is something to look forward to for all the family.
What if you do not have a family to save for?
Well, go ahead and save for yourself. There’s always something that you would want but ay have refrained from buying because it might have been slightly over you budget. So now you can add the money that you are not spending on cigarettes to get yours elf that little something.
The point that I am trying to drive home is that you should be rewarded for your efforts. You attempt to start smoking should not become a sort of punishment towards yourself but must promise better things for you later.
Bringing Down the Number
This again is another pitfall. There is often a misconception about quitting. Many people believe that instead of stopping at just one go; they should try to bring down the number of cigarettes that they smoke. Wrong! That is not the way that it should be done. If you try and bring down the number of cigarettes that you smoke, you will still be smoking and that just doesn’t help.
It is a very tricky thing indeed to fix on the number that is safe for you. If you are still carrying cigarettes with you then you are in fact tempting yourself. You might have brought down the number but since you still have a packet with you, you are in fact waiting for the slightest provocation and that number will shoot up again.
What is it that makes you smoke? Tension, excitement, anxiety, problems, the need to unwind, stress? Can we ever free ourselves form any of these? So the next time you hit one of these then that becomes your green signal for you will just whip out that packet, light one of them and start puffing away to glory.
The excuse that will be reverberating in your mind is that “it’s just this once, just to get over this small problem.”
And then before you know it, you will be back to smoking the same number of cigarettes.
So let me emphasize that point again, you have to quit once and for all if you are really serious about quitting. It just does not work if you try to bring down the number.
The number just never becomes zero. I have met many people who say, “I used to smoke 6 packets a day but now I’m down to just 2 packets a day.” I look at them out of the corner of my eye and I do not say anything to them though the message on my face is, “but you are still puffing away like a steam engine aren’t you?”
Water Flows Down
It’s strange isn’t it how every thing in this world always keeps coming down. Sir Isaac Newton explained this phenomenon using the laws of gravity. But I must admit that I am still amazed how everything in this world tries to reach the lowest possible point.
If you have ever watched water flow you will understand what I am talking about. A water fall, never thunders upwards, a stream always flows down wards (remember the nursery rhyme, “Row, row, row your boat gently down the stream”) even a tiny pool of water spilt on the table tries to find the easiest way downwards.
So what about it? You must be wondering what the connection is between quitting smoking and flowing water. There is a very deep connection as you will see for yourself. There is an unwritten rule in this world that everything must try and find the easiest route downwards.
When you take something to a higher state, it becomes unstable and tries to find the easiest route downwards.
Over here we are trying to precisely the same thing. We are trying to take you from a lower state (the state of being a smoker) to a higher state, (the state of being a non-smoker). So you must bear in mind that it is the easiest thing in the world for you to relapse and again pick up that packet of cigarettes.
It is going to take a lot of effort and will power on your part to refrain from smoking. That’s why I keep saying that you will need all the support and encouragement while you are still working at it.
But then you might wonder if you have to keep up that will power and constantly have to keep battling against the urge to smoke for the rest of your life.
The answer is no.
Once you have given up the habit once and for all, once you have over come all these withdrawal symptoms, then you have arrived.
You will automatically pick up a new life style and there will be no room for cigarettes in that new life.
You will start to realize how much better your life has become with out cigarettes. You will feel the power in your hands, you will be in absolute control of your life and at that stage there is absolutely n coming back. Once you have tasted the sweetness of success, there is no coming back. Than you are safe and there is no fear of relapsing after that.
The whole thing is like a threshold. When you are controlling yourself for the first time, you are at the very middle of the threshold.
You can fall upwards or downwards and it is much easier to fall downwards. This is where you need the support, help and encouragement of others. But gradually as you over come the urge, you advance further and further upward and once you are beyond a certain point, then you have reached the point of no return and then there is no coming back.
Low Tar and Low Nicotine Cigarettes
Many people switch to low tar and low nicotine cigarettes thinking that there will be lesser harm done. This is again a myth. The point that such people are missing out is that they continue to smoke because the body or the brain has started demanding its daily doze of nicotine. Nicotine is what the body wants and nicotine is what harms the body most.
So no matter what you smoke you will try to give you body the nicotine that it has become used to. You cannot reason with the body. You accustomed it to a particular dosage of nicotine and when it doesn’t get that, its starts to complain.
At such a tie even if you switch to a low nicotine cigarette it is not going to be of much use.
The end result will be that you will start taking stronger pulls on these cigarettes, may increase the number of cigarettes that you smoke, or you might take more puffs per cigarette. Nicotine is a venomously addictive substance and once you get used to it, there is no bringing it down, there is only stopping it once and for all.
The message here is loud and clear. Smoking any kind of cigarette is bad so don’t even consider other possibilities.
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part 5 of our quit smoking course, click here.
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