I’ve tried to quit smoking on so many occasions before. With the exception of nicotine patches, I’ve used methods like decreasing the quantity through time, changing to a brand you don’t like and other tips in that fashion, but none of them really worked in the end. My many attempts of breaking with the addiction have taught me that the best method is “cold turkey”.
Doing it “cold turkey” is more effective than any other method. The other methods fail a lot because they don’t make you commit to actually quitting. You’re still smoking and waiting to quit. Maybe less quantity, but your body is still feeling the same. In the end you’re still going to have to go “cold turkey” anyway. Even if you’re just smoking one cigarette a month, you have to make the decision of stopping. It’s not going to magically happen.
The hard part is not the physical addiction either. The first three days are the hardest and you might feel dizzy, irritated and hungry, but it’s not something difficult to handle. The worst part is the psychological part.
If you been successful at quitting or were able to do it for a couple of months, you know that it had a more psychological hold on you than you imagined. For a lot people, smoking is so ubiquitous that it’s really hard to detach it from a lot of activities they do on a day to day basis. It’s more a habit than an addiction and like habits, they’re done unconsciously. Like brushing your teeth.
If you smoke, and are considering quitting, I recommend searching for more information on this to get a more medical perspective on it. I don’t know how serious it could get on an individual basis, but the following methods have worked for me:
It’s a Habit, Not an Addiction
Remember, habits are things that you do daily on autopilot. Getting rid of a habit is really hard because your psyche will scream at you when you take part of it’s cruise control. And when you get rid of a habit, you have to add a new one to replace that old one. Tips: Don’t decide to quit an still have a box laying around. Chew gum, drink a lot of water, and practice meditation. Seriously, for the first week or so your going to be really cranky.
Anchor it to a Purchase Goal
This method relates a lot to the next one. The money that you save when you’re not smoking can be used to buy something you always wanted. For example, a new Macbook Pro.
Add up how much your spending weekly, monthly and yearly. Put that information somewhere you see it everyday
When I did this for the first time it motivated me more to quit than the health issues. Some people are like that.
Use a Calendar to Check Off Dates
Tracking your ongoing progress is very powerful and a strong motivator. Like Jerry Seinfeld says, “don’t break the chain”.