HOW TO STAY MOTIVATED WHEN QUITTING SMOKING
ARE YOU CURRENTLY TRYING TO QUIT SMOKING?
HAVE YOU QUIT AND STILL THINK ABOUT SMOKING ON THE REGULAR?
Everyone that's smoked knows the struggle. It's real. You're not alone.
Staying motivated can be the biggest challenge when trying to ditch the smokes. Everyone has a different reason for wanting to decrease their smoking, but finding yours and sticking to it is the key to success.
We’ve put together a list of ideas that can help you to stay motivated and kick the habit of smoking forever. Whether you're looking to quit for the first time, the twentieth time or you're on track but still need some helpful ideas, a bit of positive motivation helps.
Check out these tips below for some practical advice for a cleaner and healthier life.
Find your reason
One of the best ways to end smoking for good is to develop a strong reason why you’re quitting in the first place.
Find your reason.
HEALTH: Many people choose health as the main reason. Cigarettes are the number one cause of preventable death in the United States. A smoke-free lifestyle can result in reduced blood pressure, less chance of developing heart disease, improved concentration and reduced anxiety.
THE STIGMA: Many want to quit smoking because of the stigma that comes along with using tobacco. Side glances, requests to put the cigarette out and generally being marginalized to the curb in order to enjoy your cigarette. Smokers get a bad rap from society these days.
YOU'RE THE EXAMPLE: Some parents choose the idea of living a full and healthy life with their children as one of the main reasons for quitting smoking. Others don’t want to be looked at as the “smoker” at work or in their group of friends and decide it is time for a change.
What are you reasons for quitting?
Take out a pencil and piece of paper right now and answer. Repeat those reasons in your mind frequently to continue the motivation. Whenever you go out or when you wake up in the morning, take a look at this list. These motivators will help you stay enthused whenever the cravings strike.
Organize a Support Group
Do you have a group of friends that is trying to quit smoking? Organize a way in which you can all communicate and encourage each other. Stories from others that have been successful quitting is always helpful motivation.
This communication system could be a group text or an email thread or a Private Facebook group. Call up your best friend, Phil, from high school that you played football with and ask him if he’ll serve as a support buddy while you try to quit. Give ol’ Phil a call whenever you feel tempted. Whichever method you choose, use this group whenever you feel a craving. Reach out to the group and ask for help. Ask them for tips and tricks and use them as emotional support whenever it gets tough to fight the tobacco addiction.
Eat Healthy & Exercise
When you decide to quit smoking, you’ll notice an immediate change in your health. Two hours after you quit, your heart rate and blood pressure will be close to normal levels. 12 hours after you quit, the levels of carbon monoxide in your blood will be reduced and return to their normal levels.
As your health starts to improve, you’ll appreciate feeling better and enjoying a higher quality of life. By eating healthy and exercising, you’ll feel so much better that the thought of smoking again will disgust you. The idea of picking up another cigarette won’t even cross your mind.
Taking up a new sport can be a great way to exercise and keep you motivated to quit. Basketball, soccer even just table tennis. Something that get's your heart rate up. Once you get involved in an activity it will help reinforce your healthier lifestyle. Other team mates will encourage you, especially if your smoking is hurting your team performance. Use the team support and stay accountable to them.
Set up a Rewards System
One option that works for eliminating or creating any number of habits is to reward yourself whenever you’re successful. Every day or week that you go without a cigarette, you could reward yourself with your favorite dessert or by watching your favorite TV show. Using a reward system will train your brain to believe that by refraining from smoking, it will then receive another treat.
Avoid trigger zones
Do you smoke every time you go to a particular bar or restaurant?
You know the place, the Mexican restaurant with the patio outback. I know the enchiladas are to die for, but if you keep going there and smoking you could literally die from it. Take a break from that queso and find a new more smoke free place to eat.
Do you have a particular group of friends that you’re always smoking with?
Tell your friends that you’re taking a break from hanging out for a few weeks to focus on your health. Avoid the bar or places that you commonly meet up and smoke. Make up any excuse you need. If they don’t believe you, tell them you’re going on a “cleanse.” No one ever wants to hear the details of a cleanse. If they’re good friends, they’ll accept whatever you say regardless. Some friends may even be willing to join in and try to quit smoking with you. This can be a great way to stay motivated.
You only need a few Smoke-free days
Staying strong on your smoke free lifestyle and once you do get a few smoke free days under your belt be sure to notice how much better you feel. Feeling better about yourself and your future is the best way to stay motivated.
Useful Apps and Tools To Help You Quit
- COACH.ME - A powerful habit tracking app that is great for those trying to quit. Each habit that you choose includes a community of people who all engage and support one another in help of trying to form or break habits. The app offers great tips and tricks to keep you focused on your goals, and also provides coaches for hire that will help motivate and keep you on track.
- LIVESTRONG - MY QUIT COACH - One of the best apps out there to help struggling smokers with quitting. Reviewed by smoking cessation specialists, this app features personalized plans for people no matter if you want to quit cold turkey or wane off the habit.