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It must be difficult to quit a habit that you may have started when you were a teenager….after all you’re dealing with both a physiological and psychological addiction.
Add to this the ever increasing stresses with life I.e., financial, family (children) etc…kicking a habit that helps you cope and provides comfort can be quite a challenge.
Different approaches can be employed to kick the habit: These include weaning off or cold turkey. Success with either will depend on the individual.
In this blog and the next, we will look at some helpful hints that may be of aid to you in the process of quitting.
Here we go:
• Tell friends and family: You will need the support to help get you through the rough spots. You may want to consider a ‘Quit’ hotline for support. In addition, there are a lot of ‘quit smoking’ materials on the internet.
• Keep busy and distract yourself: Exercise, chew gum (sugarless), meditation (deep breathing) and drink water.
• Avoid certain smoking triggers, especially at the beginning I.e., Don’t hang out with people who smoke: I.e., friends at a bar.
• De-stress as much as possible as stress can easily trigger the urge to smoke. Get plenty of rest, exercise, eat healthy and avoid too much sugar or caffeine as these can increase anxiety and lead to increased stress and the urge to smoke.
• You may want to consider a 12 – step program. The same concept that one may use in Alcoholics Anonymous can easily be applied to a nicotine addiction…Look towards a ‘higher power’ to be there for you. Substitute phrases like `I am powerless over alcohol’ with `I am powerless over my tobacco habit.’ Commit to memory phrases like, ‘One day at a time‘; even ‘one minute at a time.’
• Reward yourself for each day of not smoking, but not with food. You don’t want to substitute one addiction for another. Pick up some fruits and veggies instead of something like candy and pastries.
• Adopt an attitude of wellness and total health. Eat properly, exercise, and try some sort of meditation. Tell yourself that not smoking is a part of your newfound overall wellness. You owe it to yourself to not smoke.
• Think about how much money you’ll save. The money you save in one year can pay for a vacation!
In the next blog we’ll discuss some actual techniques that may help you to quit smoking…until then.
Yours in good health,
Dr. Robert Axelrad, Brampton Dentist