As we stand at the start of a new decade, many of us will be thinking of making changes to the way we live. It could be a new career, selling your house to travel the world, kicking the habit, hitting the gym… the list could go on. Self-improvement is not be mocked but it can be hard to do. Because habits die hard. Just how do you make a big change like giving up smoking? It’s all to do with facing your fears…
#1 What are your fears about quitting smoking?
Addiction. It’s not a nice word as it conjures all kinds of images. Essentially it means that you can’t do without something. Nicotine is a substance that draws you back time and again.
It’s a grip that can be broken. But it takes a bit of effort, commitment and facing your fears. The rewards are excellent. Want to know more about how vaping can help as a quit smoking aid? Have a peek at our detailed quit smoking guides.
#2 Why not use a quit journal?
A quit journal is a diary of your journey to successfully kicking a habit. On page one, you can list your reasons for quitting. Recognising the drivers - and their value – as to why you chose to make this change is important. You’ll need to consult these from time to time, especially when the nicotine cravings are drumming inside your head, pushing you to pick up a cigarette.
#3 Tap into your support network
Everyone who is making a change whether that is eating better, training to run a marathon or give up smoking will need to be surrounded by people who are positive about this change. A supportive person telling you that ‘you got this’ can make a difference between success and failure. And when it comes to quitting smoking, a fellow vaper can be the person you need.
#4 Your relationship with food could change
Smoking has many effects on the body, the majority of which are well researched and documented. When we quit, the changes in our bodies and brain are personal, although most smokers suffer similar withdrawal symptoms and issues.
One change is that we can begin to smell things again. And when our sense of smell returns, so too does our sense of taste.
Making one major change at a time is better than trying to do everything all at once but when it comes to kicking the habit, whether you replace it with vaping or not, try not to replace cigarettes with food…
#5 Up your drinking game!
Drinking more water flushes out residual toxins after you have quit and can help to heal your body. But don’t overdo it!
#6 We need to talk about sleep
When you ditch or reduce nicotine, it plays havoc with your brain. It has become accustomed to regular hits of nicotine and when it doesn’t get it or doesn’t get the right amount, your brain goes into overdrive. It becomes irritated and irksome.
But it’ll pass. During this time, however, you can suffer from lack of sleep. This, in turn, leaves you tired which can fuel cravings.
The solution is to recognise that this may happen and have the tools at your disposal to get over this hurdle. That means things like a warm bath before bed, a milky drink and napping during the day when you feel a wave of tiredness coming over you…
#7 Keep moving
You need to strike a balance because on the one hand, sitting around twiddling your thumbs leads to craving a cigarette but overdoing leads to being exhausted and a nervous wreck.
Having said that, psychologists who have studied people giving up old habits found that increasing activity levels was essential to success. This is certainly true when it comes to kicking the habit.
Here are a few ideas;
- Ditch the car for short journeys – better for the environment too, walking is a great way of getting you moving.
- Use activity to head off cravings – the urge to smoke, when it comes, is strong and so when you feel the edginess of a craving coming on, get your shoes and coat on and take yourself for a 10 to 15 minute walk.
- Make time for activity – build activity into your day and scheduled intervals so that you have something to concentrate on other than getting through the next craving.
#8 Keep reminding yourself why you are doing this
With nicotine cravings buzzing behind your eyelids and you are still all fingers and thumbs when it comes to vaping, you can feel helpless and in a very bleak place. The temptation to buy a packet and smoke ‘just one’ can be all-consuming.
Now is the time to reach for your quit journal and tune back to page 1 to remind yourself why you are doing this.
We also talk about the value of these drivers to success. Why is it that you want to be able to run around and be more active? Is this because you have children you want to be able to play with?
Renewing daily resolve is important and that’s why people say, ‘one step and one day at a time’. Worry about next week when it arrives, concentrate on today.
#9 Avoid ‘junkie thinking’
Junkie thinking is when we feel sorry for ourselves when we can’t do something. So you feel sorry for yourself because you can’t smoke or you can’t enjoy pudding because you are on a diet.
This type of negative thinking places you in a difficult spot and so making sure you don’t fall for these kinds of thoughts is important. You are choosing not to smoke because it was killing you.
#10 Let it go
Sometimes, we hold on to things because they are familiar, not realising that they are holding us back. It seems strange to think that we can hold on to smoking and the effects it has on us when we know how adverse they are to us and our health.
Smoking is a habit. It will take determination and time to quit but we also need to let it go, just like the song from the children’s film tells us too.
Still looking for more help and inspiration? Read our detailed guides on quitting smoking and switching to vaping. The NHS website also gives great advice on how to ditch the cigarettes. Ready for the switch? Grab one of our starter kits such as the Flare Vape Starter Kit and get going with your smoke-free journey!