Smoking is said to be among the strongest addictions. And, I agree with it. I used to be a heavy smoker for 15 years who puffed about two packs daily. It was part of my life, just like getting up in the morning or eating. It was my friend in hard and good times. I couldn’t imagine my life without it. I thought it was impossible for me to quit.
But I was wrong. There is life without cigarettes — a much better life than with a sneaky friend.
I quit smoking three years ago. There was a massive change in my life. My son was born! That little guy gave me so much that I couldn’t stop myself from trying to quit. My mind was full of questions like what would happen to him if I died of smoking, why I didn’t spend the money on him instead of tobacco, and what kind of father I was. That little boy gave a huge motivation to throw the coffin nails once and for all.
My beliefs about smoking now seem stupid in the light of what I now know. I used to have a lot of excuses why I couldn’t quit smoking that was all false. During my journey, I experienced and realized many things that I couldn’t accept in the past.
Quitting smoking: Things I’ve learned
“Smoking is the best way to deal with stress or anxiety.” – False
I always said that, but it isn’t true at all. Actually, I used to be stressed when I couldn’t smoke for some reason, and 20-minutes after smoking the last one, I felt the need for another one making me restless. Now, I don’t feel this. I handle stress with a healthy snack such as nuts, fruit, or veggies. I chew gum, and I do breathing exercises. I’ve changed my lifestyle. I try to take things easy.
“I smoke because everyone smokes around me, this way it is impossible to stop” – False
It seemed impossible to quit smoking when everyone around me smoked. I felt I had to smoke to fit in or be accepted. Smoking is a social activity and the best way to have a chat with others.
Of course, that was not true. After telling my friends and coworkers that I wanted to quit, they helped me a lot. They didn’t smoke when I was there at the beginning or told me they wanted to smoke, so it was better for me not to come. After one year, the smoke of cigarettes doesn’t disturb me anymore. Luckily, in most cases, I don’t feel the temptation. Although, I know it is a dangerous situation for me, so when I feel the lure, I move away.
“If I quit smoking, I’ll be fat” – False
Smokers often worry that if they quit smoking, they will gain weight. Ok, there is some truth in it. When the craving comes, most of trying to appease it with a piece of sweet thing. I did the same. But I didn’t worry about it. If you quit smoking, you will experience far more health benefits. Heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer can all be reduced by quitting smoking.
When I decided to stop smoking, I also decided to change my lifestyle. So, I started to exercise and changed my diet as well. Nothing fancy, though. I do bodyweight exercises at home 2-3 times a week and some cardio once. I don’t eat and drink sugary things. I try to avoid junk. Thanks to that lifestyle change, I have been able to lose over 15 pounds.
So, thanks to quitting smoking, I even look and feel better than before.
I’ll enjoy the food much better than before – True
I remember the days when I used to enjoy a cigarette before and after meals. Smoking was a part of my daily routine, and I never thought twice about it. But when I quit smoking, I realized how much better food tastes without cigarettes.
Smoking really does take away from the flavor of food. It’s amazing how much difference there is when you don’t have that stale smoke taste in your mouth.
The constant craving for nicotine will ruin my days – False
It is common for smokers to experience cigarette cravings when they try to quit smoking. The duration of these cravings can vary from person to person. Cravings may last for a short time for some people. Cravings may last for days or weeks for others.
For me, the first five days were really hard. I had cravings almost every hour, but they didn’t last more than 3-5 minutes. I always checked my watch. This way, I knew it would go away soon.
You can reduce your cigarette cravings by doing many things. Staying busy and distracted is one of the most important things. That worked for me. Giving in to your cravings can be easier when you have nothing to focus on.
Maintaining a positive attitude and staying motivated can also help. Stay focused on why you want to quit smoking and what it can do for you. In my case, it was my son. When you start to experience cravings, this will help you stay on track.
You may find it helpful to seek professional help if you suffer from prolonged or intense cigarette cravings.
There is no doubt that smoking is an addiction that is extremely difficult to break. It was hard for me, as well. Smokers are addicted to nicotine because it is such a powerful drug. Withdrawal symptoms, including headaches, nausea, and cravings for cigarettes, are common when people attempt to stop. It can be complicated not to give up when you have these symptoms. But, it is possible!
To tell the truth, now I feel as if I have fought for my freedom from an invisible beast. I feel myself much better in my skin than before. Of course, there is no day when I don’t think of smoking, but it gets easier and easier as time passes. I hope my experiences will help you to get started