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Are you planning to start the New Year without a cigarette in your hand? As the clock strikes midnight, will you be putting that cigarette packet in the closest bin? There’s something very significant about leaving the old year behind you and approaching the new year with a fresh approach and a new outlook on life.
Wondering how to stop smoking in 2019 and start a happy new year for both your body and your mind? Here are some top tips to strengthen your resolve and make your resolution a success:
Smoking is an addiction, and quitting is a difficult challenge that many people fail every day. By acknowledging that you might need extra support, and lining up that support, you are much more likely to succeed in your goal. Cessation aids, such as nicotine patches, gum, and e-cigarettes are all great options to get you through those tricky first weeks when your body will still be craving nicotine. You should also seek the support of your friends and family members: if you live in the same house as another smoker, for example, you might want to ask them if they could smoke outside the house or change their smoking routine so that it has minimal impact on you. They may even use your decision to quit as motivation to quit themselves, and then you can support each other through the process. Finally, if you’re finding it tough then visit your GP who will be able to put you in touch with your local cessation support group: this will offer expert advice and support, and many areas also offer group therapy where you can meet others who are trying to quit. You can then support, and seek strength from, each other.
When you’re in the middle of the quitting process and thinking about giving up and having a cigarette, it is easy to forget about all the progress that you’ve already made. To remind yourself of the journey you’ve been on, and to give you support when the going gets tough, why not write a quit journal? List the reasons you have decided to quit smoking, the pros and cons of the decisions you’ve made, and make a tick list of how many days it has been since your last cigarette. You could even write an entry detailing how you felt on the day you decided to quit and any health benefits you have experienced as part of your quitting journal. This will give you a physical reminder of the benefits of your decision, and reading through it when are having a moment of weakness may help to strengthen your resolve to keep it up.
When you give up nicotine, your body will initially react by going into shock. Your body has become used to being given the chemicals in cigarettes every day, and although they are dangerous and damaging, your body will crave them and go into shock without them after just a few hours. You can help to minimize this reaction in your body by giving it the fuel that it needs. Choosing the right kinds of foods are important: a balanced diet loaded with fruits and vegetables will give your body the nutrients that it needs to fight off the cravings and other nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Avoid high fat or high sugar foods that are loaded with empty calories: these have no nutritional benefit and will only serve to make your cravings worse.
On the subject of eating well, it’s important to avoid replacing one addiction with another. Many people turn to eating sweets and chocolates whenever they feel the need to have a cigarette. Whilst this may seem beneficial in the short term, it will only cause you to gain weight, feel sluggish, and ultimately leave you with another addiction to overcome. If you want something to distract your hands or replace the time filler what you had when you were smoking, why not drink a glass or water every time you would have had a cigarette instead? Drinking water will help to flush the residual chemicals and toxins from your system, and there are many wider health benefits associated with drinking at least 8 glasses of water every day. If you do this, you’ll only feel better as a result of your smoking cessation journey!
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