The Final Step In Your Stop Smoking Journey -
Change Your Lifestyle...
Nothing is permanent in this world except change. So when you plan to stop smoking,
it will bring about other changes in your lifestyle as well. Take a look at all those things that have become a kind of routine and
start to break that routine. Try to do things differently and it will make a lot of difference.
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What we are trying to do as part of this exercise is that we are trying to create a new environment for you. It is not possible for you to shift to a new apartment so bring about a few changes in the way things are as part of your exercise to quit smoking.
Let everything have a new feel about it. If there was a favorite chair in which you used to sit when you smoked, change the upholstery of the chair or maybe you could stash away the chair into a corner.
Try to set a new routine. Try working out or going to the gym. If that is not possible, try waking up a little earlier and go for a short morning walk. If you can make that a run or a jog, it is going to be very stimulating and is going to be the best way to start your day.
Exercise does not necessarily mean pumping metal. If you do have the time to go to a gymnasium everyday, then that is well and good. But I suppose most of us do not have the time for a regular work out in a gym.
So what is the other alternative? Do it at home of course.
But whether it is at home or at a multi-gym, there is something that I want to tell you. Regularity is the rule of the day. It is not getting started that is the difficult part, it is sticking to a regular exercise routine that is difficult and this is what proves to be the stumbling block for most people.
Most people have a wonderful start. In fact it is truly spectacular. They buy track suits and gym-wear, running shoes and a whole lot of other gear. Their first day at the gym is almost a celebration. Then as the days go on, they find it increasingly difficult to meet the domestic and professional demands and so their routine slows down and finally comes to a complete workout burn out.
One mistake that many people make is that they choose the evenings or a work out. If that can suit your lifestyle, then that’s fine. But for most of us, by the time the evening lifts up its curtains we are completely pooped. We find ourselves physically and mentally drained. And at that time our bodies will be just too tired for a work out. So it is best to set aside some time for exercise in the morning itself.
There are two advantages of setting apart time in the morning. The first advantage is that in the morning our bodies are fresh and full of energy. Now over here I want to make one point clear.
Many people believe that exercise depletes the body of energy but the case is just the opposite. Exercise pumps up more blood through the different parts of the body and warms up the body, so in fact, after exercise we feel more charged and ready to face the challenges of the day.
The second advantage is that in the morning we can plan for the whole day without letting the exercise routine affect the rest of our activities.
What about those of us who have never worked out before? In such cases you might need to start off under the personal supervision of an instructor and that may require that you go to a gym. But what I would suggest is that there are two simple things that any one can do for which you do not need the help of any instructor.
You know what these are? They are walking and swimming. Any body can walk and those of you who know how to swim can swim. For these two activities you do not need much gear and experts say that these two exercises have no side effects and are excellent stress busters.
So in the morning wake up just half an hour earlier, put on your walking shoes and hit the roads. Most roads will be less crowded at this hour and less polluted too. It is a wonderful way to start a day.
Take a break form coffee and try tea instead. If you are moving around the house, try playing music. Redecorate your room by adding a few pictures here and there preferably of scenery. And while you are redecorating, do what I mentioned earlier that is get rid of every thing that even remotely reminds you of smoking.
Plan your day in such a way that you have something enjoyable to do at the end of the day. It does not have t be something that involves money. We do not want you end up bankrupt. It can be something as simple as spending some time with the family playing a board game or something. Or it can be going out for a walk together.
But I would like to add that watching television just does not fit into this list. The reason is because T.V is not something that demands too much of our attention. We can easily do something else while we are watching TV and what can be easier than taking a smoke while our eyes are glued to the T.V.
While you are working on breaking the habit of smoking, you need to move about with people. You need the company of people who can take your mind off that craving and TV doesn’t help you do that.
Make a list of those things that build up your stress. Try to steer clear of them. If that is not possible try to find out some stress busters and use them. Do not use stress as an excuse to start smoking. There are a hundred other methods of beating stress.
As mentioned earlier, you could try breathing exercises, mediation or even music. There is another excellent way of beating stress and that is using the distressing ball. If you do not have one of those, try wriggling your fingers and toes. That too is a natural method of beating stress.
The point that we are trying to drive home over here is that you need a break from whatever you have been doing for this exercise of quitting to work. Since it is impossible to change your job or your home, you have to bring about as many changes as possible to get that whole new feeling.
Develop New Interests
Try developing new interests or hobbies like gardening or painting. Such things would keep your mind off that urge to smoke. All of us have a certain measure of creativity that often remains untapped. It would be a wonderful thing if you could try working on that creativity. Join a dance class or a drama class.
Or you could try learning a new skill like pottery or clay modeling. Try to involve yourself with other people. Do same social work, or try helping out at the local volunteer organizations.
Do not feel shy to tell these new acquaintances that you are trying to quit smoking.
You will be surprised at how understanding people will be. The advantage of doing such things is that it not only takes away all your brooding (read that as spare time that you other wise smoke away to glory) time but it also makes your life a whole lot richer.
In other words it lends a lot of meaning to your life so that you will become accountable to more and more people.
Such activities make us appreciate the meaning of life in a better way and we will stop to think twice before we waste away this life at the end of a cigarette.
Once you stop smoking you might notice significant changes in your food habits. Most smokers experience weight gain as soon as they stop smoking. There are people who have gained nearly 15 pounds once they stopped smoking.
But there is no reason to worry. This is just a very temporary phase and you will soon get over it. It is however important that you develop a proper diet routine and watch what you eat. That is why I have included this supplement on proper eating habits.
Work on your diet as well. If you have erratic eating habits, it is going to affect every thing you do and that indirectly affects your smoking habits as well. There are many of us out there who skip breakfast.
Now, this is the best way to start your day badly. Just check the very meaning of the word. It is break-fast. So what does it mean? It means that this meal is meant to break the fast that we were undergoing.
The effects of skipping breakfast may not be felt immediately but sometime during the day this is sure to tell. Our body needs the energy from the food we have at breakfast. And we can either start our day with good breakfast or smoke a couple of cigarettes and gulp down a cup of coffee and work away towards a highly stressful day.
So what does a proper breakfast mean? In this context, I would like to point out that a cup of coffee is not breakfast.
Many people believe that a big cup of coffee is breakfast.
Sure coffee perks you up but it also takes away your hunger and as the caffeine and other alkaloids present in the coffee hit the different parts of your body, it completely takes away your appetite. Couple that with the nicotine of cigarettes and you are done for.
You will have succeeded in fooling your brain that it is fully equipped to meet the challenges of the day.
So it is advisable to go easy on coffee especially in the morning. Drink tea instead. Tea is supposed to be good for your heart and can prove to be just as stimulating once you get used to it. But those of you die hard coffee fans, what you could do is take a lesser quantity of coffee if you must, in the morning.
A breakfast drink is fine, but there is nothing that beats a tall glass of fresh fruit juice in the morning along with two pieces of toast, an egg or a cereal. Then you are all set for a wonderful day.
The same thing that I said about having breakfast applies to the other meals as well. Our body needs nourishment at fixed time intervals and at those times you had better grab something to eat.
The human stomach is a remarkable thing and can even digest small bones and small stones. So if you do not give it something to digest from time to time, it will very well start attacking its own walls. That is when people end up with conditions like acidity, ulcers and digestive disorders.
If you have never experienced such disorders before in spite of your erratic eating habits, don’t wait for it, believe me a digestive disorder is not something to play with.
It was my experience that in order to silence those maddening pangs of hunger that hit us during work, there was nothing like a couple of cigarettes. I used to do just that and in a couple of years I ended up with a severe acidity condition.
Noon time is meant for lunch so have it then itself. There are many people who find it difficult to have lunch between 12 and 2, which is the right time for lunch. For such unfortunate souls, the best thing you could do is gulp down yet another glass of fruit juice or probably nibble on a cookie. But again coffee is not a substitute for lunch. And nor are cigarettes.
Again in the evening it is best to eat something that is not too filling like a light sandwich or a couple of cookies. A glass of milk along with that, and you will have had the perfect tea. But of course tea time is not an absolute no-no to coffee or tea whatever be your choice. But any how I suppose all of us do our share of downing cup after cup of coffee during the day time.
It is those coffee breaks that you have to extremely wary off. Those are the times when you will have to exercise the maximum mind control and there is nothing better than that meditation or breathing exercises that I described.
I suppose supper is not such a big ordeal because by evening most of us are relatively free. But there we have another foe to battle with. Most of us are so pooped in the night that we cannot be bothered with supper. Even putting something to warm in the microwave can be a chore so most of us settle for something fried which is usually munched while sitting glued to the television.
I would like to say it now once and for all fried foods are bad for you and the more you cut out on fried foods the healthier you will become.
Most people go for a smoke after meals and this is something that must be tackled carefully. You are going to find it increasingly difficult if the people you have just dined with make a beeline for the balcony to smoke.
It would be best if you could stop dining with such people, but if you do, muster up all your will power and do not accompany them to the balcony. It is ideal if you pop in one of those gums or spices after meals to control the urge.
While you are trying to quit smoking, try to double your intake of fluids. Drink as much water as you can at least 12 to 15 glasses a day. If you can have fresh fruit juice, then it is even better. But I don’t think it is possible for a person to have 12 glasses of fresh juice every day.
A few more pointers on what to eat…
· Choose a variety of foods from all food groups every day. This is a fine way of keeping deficiency diseases at bay.
· Steer clear of food supplements or nutraceuticals as they are sometimes called. If you are eating properly, you do not need any supplements.
· It is best to go for natural foods instead of processed or packed foods.
· Eat fresh fruit instead of drinking fresh juices whenever you can. Fresh fruit has a lot more fiber, which your body needs.
· Go crazy on vegetables and salads; they can never do much harm.
· If you can say no to alcoholic beverages please do.
· The next time you are thirsty, try drinking water instead of soda. Your body prefers water in its purest form.
· Increase your intake of fluids. Try and drink at least 12 glasses of water every day; it helps to flush out all those toxins.
· Wash your vegetables and fruits well before consumption and search for packets that say ‘free from pesticides.’
Practice these eating habits and before you know it, you will have a whole new body, which you certainly won’t want to pollute with cigarette smoke.
Smoking and Sleep
Some people make it a habit of taking a puff or two before going to bed. And this is precisely something that should not be. A smoke or two before going to bed is the worst thing you can do when your brain is just preparing for the much needed rest. The nicotine that you inhaled goes straight to the sleep centers of your brain and then everything goes hay wire. The result is that you have a bad night’s rest.
In the morning you wake up feeling any thing but refreshed and the only way to take away that feeling is by having that smoke again.
Below I am going to discuss sleep in general and when you alter your life style and habits it would be good if you could include these pointers in your sleep routine as well. You see, everything is connected; your eating patterns, your sleep patterns and every thing.
So if you are not doing any of these tings right, you might just bounce back into becoming a smoker.
The National Sleep Foundation reports (2002) that America is on the verge of a poor sleep epidemic, characterized by the following eye-opening statistics:
· 64% of American adults get less than the eight hours of sleep that experts recommend is required to maintain optimal physical, mental, and emotional health.
· One-third of the US population says they get less sleep now than they did five years ago
· One-half of Americans have experienced insomnia (sleeplessness)
· Drowsiness due to a lack of a proper night of sleep interferes with the daily activities of 37 percent of all adults.
Amazed? Well, you should be. Sleep has become a critical issue as far as most adults are concerned.
The following is an excerpt from "Sleep: Essential for Optimal Health" by Drs. Robert Goldman and Ronald Klatz.
"Don't slight sleep. It's when you're tired that you tend to overwork. When you're rested you can finish the work without strain and still have energy and time left over for the rest of your life. Research shows that workers who get less than six hours of sleep a night are prone to costly accidents, poor concentration and poor performance.
Without sleep depression, anxiety and anger increase. The quality of sleep is just as important as number of hours. If you have trouble sleeping, try going to bed earlier, before 10:00. This usually creates a deeper sleep. Prepare for deep sleep by avoiding TV and computers in the evening."
You know what is funny about sleep? Most people believe that sleep is something that the body will take care of by itself. They feel that their bodies will give them signals when it wants sleep. That maybe true, but the question here is, do these people know how to read or sense these signals that the body is trying to give them.
If such people think that the tendency to nod off to sleep while working or driving is the signal that their bodies are going to give them, then they are mistaken. The body starts by giving subtle signals like dark circles around the eyes, listless eyes, a general lethargy, a lack of interest in everything, unwarranted yawns, poor performance and so on. But of course, most of these ‘symptoms’ can be washed away with a cup of coffee or a puff of nicotine.
Again let us go back to the lower animals. Look around you and you will find that most of the animals sensible enough to get the sleep that they want. Whether it is horses, or cows or dogs or cats (cats the most) they sleep when they want to, and that is probably why they are more wiry and energetic than humans.
You won’t find a dog sitting up half the night to watch a ball game, nor would you find a cat browsing the net all night long. An important point that most people do not know is that our bodies are influenced or governed by what experts call circadian cycles. These are cycles of sleep, rest and activity that are in fact governed by sunlight and darkness.
You might have seen certain plants that let their leaves droop their leaves in the night to revive them when it is day. Just like this, our bodies too are influenced by light and darkness. For every stimulus there should be a response. Here the stimulus is darkness so the response must be to sleep. Thankfully however, our bodies do not really need 12 hours of sleep.
Experts tell us that adults need 8 hours of good sleep to become fully functional. If you cannot manage eight hours, try to make it at least seven. Anything below that is not good for your body, and is going to take its toll at some time or that other.
Similarly think about all those activities that are constantly going on in our bodies. Think of your heart that never stops pumping blood not even for a couple of seconds. Think of those lungs that help you breathe in and breathe out and the various other parts like you digestive system, your organs and you sense organs.
Don’t these wonderful systems deserve some rest? They certainly do. And I have news for you.
Experts have found out that when the human body is in a state of sleep, all these functions slow down (they can’t stop of course) and get carried out at a much relaxed pace.
This is the only rest that these parts of our bodies get. So don’t you think that it is highly unfair to deprive them of the rest that they really deserve? Often we use the brain or the muscles as a measuring stick. When these parts are tired we decide that we need to rest.
And so we relax with a book, or plant ourselves in front of the idiot box, or listen to some music. Ah, but that is just rest, it is not sleep and when the body needs sleep, you should give it sleep itself. When a cat is hungry you cannot give it dry oats or raw carrots.
Of course there is another extreme where some people need more than eight hours of sleep. Such people sleep too much. But that is altogether a different issue, which I cannot address here. In such cases all I can say is that such people might have a physiological condition for which they might require medical assistance.
Other people can never sleep properly and I was one of them. I used to go to bed in the night and wake up in the morning feeling no way better for my “sleep.” Phrases like sleep like a baby or sleep like a log were completely alien for me. But now I have over come this completely and on most days I do sleep like a baby.
Below, I have included some pointers that really worked for me. Try them out I’m sure that they will work for you as well.
If you have problems falling asleep:
· Fix a bed time routine and stick to it religiously
When I say religiously I mean it. It does not mean from Monday to Friday, and then wild nights on Saturday and Sunday. Maybe once in a month you can have a wild night but if you want to break this routine every week it is not going to help.
· Go to bed early.
Now, that is a tough one. I’m sure that most of my readers are very late sleepers. And when I say go to bed early they will probably think that I sound like a fussy old parent. Well, I think it is good if I do sound like a fussy old parent because our parents knew what was good for us. Now coming to the reason why I suggested that you go to bed early.
Most of us are working people right? So our work demands that we get to our offices at fixed times. That of course deprives us of those couple of extra winks that we hope to get in the mornings. So it becomes going to bed late and getting up early. When we should wake up is decided by our work.
So the only thing that we have the freedom to decide is the time we crawl into bed. So the ideal condition would be to go to bed by 10 or 11. If your wake up time is 8 in the morning, this can be extended up to 12 or even 1 in the morning.
In any case, let your wake up time decide your bedtime, work backwards so that in any case you give yourself those blessed 8 hours of sleep.
· Don't eat two hours before bed time
It is difficult to get a decent sleep with your tummy full. So try to have supper at least two hours before your bed time. And keep supper as light as possible. If you have a heavy meal there is a greater chance for you to have disturbing dreams and even nightmares…oooooh!
· Have a glass of warm milk at least 30 minutes before going to bed
Milk is the best sedative that nature has to offer so go for it by all means. In order to really make your eyelids droop, just before boiling add a pinch of ground ginger, pinch of cinnamon and 1 clove. But remember; drink it warm, not hot.
A date along with the glass of milk is the classic sedative that has stood the test of time.
· Wash your feet and calves up to the knees in warm water. And also wash your hands and forearms. It really works!
· Gently massage feet and calves, hands and forearms for few minutes preferably with some moisturizer or baby oil
· Diffuse some lavender essential oil in the room 30 minutes before bed time. This will help tremendously.
· No reading in bed and absolutely NO T.V.
· If you are a light sleeper shut off all disturbances like a loud clock, a dripping faucet, a telephone that might ring or even a creaky bed.
If you wake up and can't go back to sleep:
· Have a jar filled with dry rose petals by your bed. When you wake up, inhale the rose scent for minute or two. You'll be back to sleep in no-time at all!
· But my strongest advice is to steer clear of sleeping pills of any kind. Let nature and your natural body cycles do the job for you. If you need external intervention, then realize that everything has been thrown hay wire and you are not on a safe track.
When you start your first day of quitting, in the morning you will feel very glad about it. You might experience an uneasy feeling once or twice but it does not affect you very much and you start wondering about the great fuss that is made about quitting.
But as the day progresses, the feeling gets worse and it’s almost like a monster raising its fearful head every now and then. If you are chain smoker this feeling becomes terrible as the clock ticks away and by noon time, it becomes almost unbearable.
You start feeling terrible and it is almost as if something has taken possession of your body and mind. You end up feeling so depressed that you begin to think, “What the hell? Who cares a damn about quitting?”
But this is not the worst. The worst is still to come. It is almost as if you are at one end of a tunnel and have started advancing. As you keep moving forward, the darkness of the tunnel engulfs you. You inch forward slowly at first and then at a faster pace. But the tunnel seems endless. There is no end to the darkness. It is so black inside that you can almost walk on the darkness.
There doesn’t seem to even a glimmer of light. To make things worse you lose your sense of direction and do not know whether you are advancing or retreating. Along with that the air starts to get stuffy. You find it increasingly difficult to breathe and before you know it you are gasping for breath.
Every part of your body seems to be tearing itself apart and the feeling is just too much to bear. You cannot identify what exactly the feeling is. It is not pain but yet you feel tormented and tortured. It is sheer agony for you.
It is almost as if someone has got a grip on your throat and is slowly squeezing the very life out of you. To make things worse you start stumbling and have to reach out to steady yourself from falling. You reach out and you feel a hand. It is not a strong supporting hand but a wet, slimy and cold hand that makes you shudder. But you hold on to it to steady yourself.
Then before you know what happened, the hand gives you a tug and sends you whirling around. You try to stop yourself from going round and round but you cannot. The hand keeps on exerting force that you can hardly resist. You feel dizzy and realize that you will hit the floor at any moment. The experience is sheer agony.
You do not want to fall down because you realize to your horror that the tunnel has started filling with water. But then you stop caring. Your agony is so great that you just want to fall down and die. At this moment when you feel that all is lost and you are about to lose your senses, you see a sudden ray of light; the exit of the tunnel.
If only you could get there. If only you could steady yourself. You make one last effort to stop swirling around and to your surprise you stop. But your head is swimming so much that the exit of the tunnel keeps passing in front of your eyes.
You topple over and you are on your hands and feet. The water is dangerously close to your head. You literally crawl towards the opening but you just can’t seem to reach there. At last, after what seems like eternity, you reach the opining of the tunnel.
But you are so exhausted with your efforts that you just want to lie where you are with your eyes shut and so that is what you do. You lie there for what seems to be a very long time but in effect is only a couple of hours. And then the feeling seems to disappear almost as fast as it appeared. You mind starts getting clearer and clearer and you find it much easy to breathe.
There is no longer the sound of swirling waters around you. Your hands and feet seem to have lost the numbness that hat hit them. Your breathing becomes more regular and you calm down a lot. But still you do not want to open your eyes, but there is bright light that is beating down on your eyelids which is trying to force them open. Unwillingly you pry your eye lids open a little bit and lie there squinting.
You cannot believe what you see, you stare upwards into the bluest sky that you have ever seen and after your dark experience in the tunnel you had almost stopped believing that there could be anything bright in this world. But here it is the bluest sky ever.
You sit up and though your hands and feet feel a bit sore, there is a perfect freshness about every thing.
The grass seems greener, the air seems cleaner and all around you there are smiling faces.
For a minute you wonder whether you are a heaven but it takes you only a moment to realize that you are still on earth.
But it seems to be a very different earth indeed. You get up to walk and you feel fresher than you ever felt in a very long time.
A Second Chance
You have done it, you have managed to quit smoking and what you have now is a whole new life. It is almost as if you have been given a second chance. This life of yours is like a new gift. You know better than any one else what you have been through and how difficult it was to get through that horrid tunnel. But yet you survived like many others.
You shudder at the very thought of going back there.
As you walk on you can see the other end of the tunnel as well and standing in front of it is an endless queue of people. They all seem to be waiting to enter the tunnel and they all have lighted cigarettes in their hands. Just beside this long queue there is another small line of people who are walking away from the tunnel.
They are obviously the people who failed to make it through the tunnel. They walk away with their heads hanging low. If you care to take a closer look at them, you can see that their eyes are listless, their faces are glum, their teeth are stained with nicotine and as they breathe they let of a wheezing sound. Every now and then they let out a rasping cough that seems to hit at the very vitals of their bodies.
They are the ones who failed to quit smoking. You feel sorry about them but there is very little that you can do for them. They too know that their days are counted and they smile glumly at you flashing once again their nicotine stained teeth.
You realize with a shiver how close to death you were and you thank your lucky stars and the forces that formed you for giving you the will power to get over the addiction. You are now free to start your life all again. And this time there will be no mistakes. Life is too precious a gift to waste it at the end of a cigarette.
Do not underestimate your self. You are perfectly capable of having a good time, or maybe I should say a wonderful time even without the help of any external stimulant. You can work as hard as you want and you can go through stressful situations; believe me your body can take it.
Understand that you do have a choice so choose wisely and live life to the fullest. Once you get over the habit you will realize how different conditions are than when you used t smoke. You will realize how it feels to no longer be dependent on tobacco.
A Word About Relapses
I certainly would not tell you to expect a relapse, but the fact is that one out of three people who are trying to quit experience relapses. This is something that happens within the first three months when one is trying to quit.
Now if at all you experience a relapse understand that there is nothing to feel bad about. It is quite a natural phenomenon. But just because it happened, do not let it get the better f you. All you have to do is start the quitting process all over again and believe me you will be stronger this time because you know what to look out for.
Some Final Facts About Tobacco Before You Go:
· Tobacco is the single largest cause of oral and lung cancer.
· Use of tobacco leads to conditions like erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation in men
· Pregnant women/new mothers. If you continue to smoke you are increasing the chances of giving birth to a baby who has congenital disabilities and diseases. By quitting, you protect your baby's health and your own.
· Hospitalized patients. By quitting, you reduce health problems and help healing.
· Heart attack patients. If you continue to smoke you are increasing your chances of a second heart attack.
· Lung, head, and neck cancer patients. If you continue to smoke you increase your chances of a second cancer.
· Parents of children and adolescents. By smoking, you expose your children and adolescents to illnesses caused by second-hand smoke.
Well, so what are you waiting for? The choice is yours. There are so many things that you can do with this life of yours. And isn’t it a pity to waste it at the end of a cigarette. It is no wonder that George Bernard Shaw once said that a cigarette is a roll of paper that has fire at one end and a fool at the other.
I hope this guide will help you in your quest to STOP being the fool.
And to get started and stop smoking with a proven system, the Native Remedies Stop Smoking Ultra Pack
is an all natural way of quitting which does not include nicotine substitutes like nicotine gums, sprays, patches, etc.
Remedies for full details of this tried and tested stop smoking system.
And to read more about smoking and how to quit using natural methods, read
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