Have you ever tried to quit smoking before?
Even if you haven't, you know it's not the easiest thing to do.
There's lots of stress making your day so uncomfortable, that the only solution is to grab that last cigarette you have in that last pack you forgot to throw out.
Using willpower alone to quit smoking seems admirable and helps you feel like you deserve being smoke-free because you "roughed it out". But did you really figure out how to manage the root of the issues of why you smoke?
During the time you have spent smoking, you may not have realized you have been pulled into an automated cycle.
You may experience something stressful or uncomfortable, and now your brain is looking for a way to decrease or get out of that stress.
When we were cavemen, our solutions were to fight or run away--or we could die.
But the stresses we deal with today are not tigers or lions, but our brains are still thinking that way.
So to get away from the stress of spending time with the extended family, you go outside to light a cigarette, the rush of dopamine in your brain is the perfect antidote to bring things back to normal.
Over time, this step-by-step approach is how you deal with stress without you consciously think about it.
Using will-power to push away your stresses does not deal with them.
Instead, we need to think of other activities that we can do to give us that sense of relief, satisfaction, or taking care of our problems.
So what can you do while you figure this out?
Well, here are 5 tips to get you started:
1) Check out group forums on the internet for ideas
Going to check out forums like Reddit's stopsmoking subreddit forum. Sign up, subscribe, write a post and introduce yourself and your struggles you are having.
You might be surprised the useful tips and experiences you can share with other smokers that are quitting or have been smoke-free and are doing their best to stay smoke-free.
2) Talk to your pharmacist or doctor about medications
(Nicotine replacement, Zyban, Champix)
Medications are not the instant cure for quitting smoking, although that seems to be the way things are spun off at patients.
What they really are, are providing you lower doses of nicotine to helping your brain release small amounts of dopamine, etc. so you can spend more energy working on your problem-solving and in your search for other non-smoking activities.
Better than just struggling through withdrawal, right?
Think of the great feeling you get going outdoors for a hike, finishing that workout at the gym, or showering after a good sweat!
Not only are you distracting yourself from the discomfort of quitting smoking, but exercise is good for you, you start thinking about things to make your life healthier, and you'll be surprised how you've progressed in a year looking back at where you started.
Your discomfort isn't going to kill you, right?
So take a breather and focus on your breathing.
There's a reason why yoga is so popular with people who are trying to overcome anxiety and stress.
Breath in for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, Breath out for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds. Repeat until you're back to feeling more comfortable.
5) Discover your Passion
What gets you out of bed and excited for the rest of the day?
When you find something you are passionate about, the need for that short relief from smoking cigarette just isn't worth it anymore because you know that isn't going to give you a life-time of great experiences and the lifestyle you really want.
Take a moment, right now, and make a list of things you are passionate about.
If you're stuck, you can also download our FREE QuitFix video series to help you get started