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Most people are aware of the ill effects from smoking cigarettes. However, according to a recent CDC study, close to 38 million Americans still smoke regularly. This means 38 million Americans are at a higher risk for heart disease, cancer, and a wide variety of chronic illness. There is more reason now than ever before, to quit smoking. The resources are at our disposal. All we need to do is make the decision and take action.
Anyone who has been addicted to cigarretes, or has lived with a smoker, knows how difficult it can be to quit. As a child I remember watching my father smoke. He would quit many times. The he would start up again when he experienced significant life changing events, such as death, sickness, or family crisis. Watching this was difficult, because it was a constant struggle. He did not want to smoke, yet it was as if he had no choice. It would always sneak it’s way back into his life.
By observing this, I knew I would never smoke cigarettes, and that remains true to this day. It also motivated me to begin reflecting on ways to kick any bad habit or addiction. Often addictions begin as enjoyment, turns to an unconscious habit, and eventually we are co-dependant and addicted to a person, substance, or pattern. I realized the pattern of addiction is more of an internal process than an external one. What I mean by this, is that it is not so much the substance, but how we relate to it.
Addiction Is More Than Bad Luck, Or A Lack Of Will Power…
We all have those friends who smoke regularly, but can quit anytime. Or the people who can just smoke when they want, and go weeks or even months without a cigarrette. Then for others, they have one cigarrette after years of quitting, and they are hooked back in. So, what’s the difference? Well there are many factors:
- How we handle stress
- How we express and process emotions
- Our diet and wellness routine
- Our mental health
- Genetic factors
- Living situations and social life
Depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the above points, will define our risk factors for addiction. In this article we will be covering 10 easy steps to help, no matter your risk factors. These techniques can be applied to many addictions and habits, however we will be focusing on ciggarettes in this article.
1. Eat An Apple
That’s right, eat an apple. It may seem crazy and outlandish, but it works! Every time you feel the desire to reach for a cigarette, eat an apple. Not only does it replace some unhealthy with something healthy, but it also retrains your neurochemistry.
2. Talk To Your Cigarettes
I know, another crazy one, but hear me out… Positive thinking helps us focus on what we want. There’s an old saying… “I don’t know what I want, but I know what I don’t want, and that’s exactly what I get”. The short and sweet of it… So often when people step out for a smoke, they talk about their anxiety, how they can’t quit smoking, how much they hate their job… and so on… They talk about what they don’t want. Instead, every time you smoke, only allow yourself to think and speak of what you do want in your life. Try it, and see the power of positive affirmation.
3. Quit Everyday
When we proclaim from the rooftops that we will never smoke another cigarette, we put a huge amount of weight and pressure on ourselves. Instead of quitting once for the rest of your life, try giving yourself the freedom of choice. Every morning when you wake up, decide whether you want to quit smoking or not. Take some pressure off. Alternatively, decide to quit for a week or a month, not a lifetime.
Meditation. It’s become another buzzword. However, for good reason. Cultures around the globe, for thousands of generations, have been meditating. Through the practice of self observation, stillness, and breath, we are able to calm our nervous systems, quiet our mind, and reduce stress and anxiety. All of this helps reduce common mental and emotional risk factors for cigarette addiction.
5. Phone A Friend
Phone a friend, or a number of friends and family members, and inform them of your decision to stop smoking. Ask them to keep you positive through moral support and encouragement. When we tell the people around us of our goals and ambitions, then it naturally keeps us more accountable for our actions.
6. Try A Vape Pen
Vape pens are a means to an end, and they can work! Quitting cold turkey is difficult. It can be beneficial to wean yourself off, slowly tapering your cigarette consumption and transitioning to nicotine vaporizers. It will fill your cravings for both the “smoke” and the nicotine. However it is very important to set goals, or you are just swapping one addiction for another. Create a timeline. For example, over a month, cut your cigarette use in half. Next month, transition completely to a vape pen. Over the next 1-2 months, slowly reduce your vape use until you are nicotine free.
7. Swap Your Smokes For Nicotine Patches Or Gum
Similar to vape pens, it can be helpful to wean off cigarettes by trying nicotine patches and gum. Once again, have a plan, so you aren’t constantly dependent on alternative nicotine sources.
8. Healthy Diet And Exercise
Stress is a huge factor in addiction. When we are stressed, it can be harder to “stand on our own two feet”. With a healthy diet and exercise routine, our bodies will be healthier, and less stressed. Not to mention, with a runner’s high, cigarettes won’t look half as good as they did before.
9. Avoid Certain Situations
If there are certain friends, or situations such as a bar or party, where you know cigarettes will be present throughout the experience, try stepping away for a while. Communicate with your friends or coworkers of your intentions to quit smoking, and ask for their support and understanding if you are not as social… If they poke fun and don’t support you, then explore new friend groups.
10. Try Some Good Old Fashioned CBD
Well, we are a CBD blog after all… It wouldn’t be a Patriot Hemp article without the mention of CBD. A recent study showed that those who quit smoking while supplementing with CBD had considerably more success, than those who didn’t. So crack open a bottle of CBD, or invest in some CBD vape juice, and puff away while you toss the smokes.
So there you have it 10 easy steps to stop smoking cigarette, or quit other bad habits. Try one, or try them all, and see how it works! Comment below… Have these suggestions helped you? Do you have any tips to quit smoking? And remember, these 10 steps are important… but the most crucial of them all is to make the decision to make a change! From there, everything will unfold as long as you are determined, motivated, and focused. Good luck!
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