How to Motivate Yourself to Quit Smoking
So, you need tips on how to motivate yourself to quit smoking…Good.
Whether you’re yet to make the decision to quit cigarettes or already in the midst of your cessation journey, this illustrates your desire to purge cigarettes from your life – which is one of the best decisions you can make as far as your health is concerned.
We’re not out to read you the charge sheet on the harm you risk on yourself and everyone around you from cigarette use. Or bombard you with the long list of harmful effects attributed to smoking. That’s info you must be privy to, which is probably the driving factor behind your reason to ditch cigarettes in the first place.
Rather, it’s not lost on anyone that quitting smoking is tough business. And we understand the cessation journey can be a long and treacherous one, filled with challenges and temptations aplenty. Pulling through successfully takes some doing, and it’s usually easier said than done.
As such, for someone determined to kick the habit, it is imperative to know how to motivate yourself to quit smoking; because there will be days the desire to pick up a cigarette will be immense, but it’s important that you don’t slip up and find yourself in the same hole again.
The good thing is that quitting smoking is absolutely possible. A good deal of it is psychological, an often overlooked aspect. Here are some tips you can borrow that could prove useful to that effect.
Remind yourself why you want to quit
The journey to quit smoking can be tricky. As much as you’re privy to the health effects of cigarettes and doing your best to stick in there, each day is a potential banana skin.
Withdrawal symptoms could feel unbearable, a nicotine craving might prove too hard to resist, or a trigger could give you reason to smoke – might be a stressful situation, the smell of a cigarette, or the desire to smoke after consuming alcohol.
However, reminding yourself of the reasons that elicited your desire to quit can provide good impetus when the going gets tough.
You might have been concerned about your health, for instance, or want to protect your loved ones from secondhand smoking effects. Could be that you finally had it with the hold that nicotine had on you that made it impossible to function without it. Or simply desire a better lifestyle or get rid of what is an increasingly costly habit.
Reminding yourself of your personal reasons that made you want to quit can be the difference between lighting up and hanging in there despite how testing it might get.
Have a plan
This nugget on how to motivate yourself to quit smoking applies to both individuals who have quit and those planning to quit smoking.
If you’ve already started your nicotine cessation journey, it’s important to have a plan on how you’ll navigate around situations in which you used to smoke.
For example, if you used to take a cigarette break at work or school (say over lunchtime), you can think of how to manage those moments when they come. Similarly, if your company is made up of fellow smokers, it’s important to make it clear that you want to quit and that their overtures at enticing you for a smoke are regressive to what you’re looking to achieve.
If you’re planning to quit but haven’t started yet, working with a timeline helps. For starters, you want to lock in a date to stop smoking because “tomorrow” never comes.
Avoid choosing a date that is too far out as that’s simply postponing a problem you have to deal with. You also don’t want a date that is too near because you want to give yourself time to prepare psychologically. A few weeks should do, unless of course, short notices and that sort of thing works for you.
Get your mind right
It’s not often stated enough, but quitting smoking is to a large extent a psychological affair. Most of the advice out there focuses on the physical aspect of quitting; the smoking alternatives – nicotine gum, patches, inhalers, vapes, and other cigarette substitutes.
While relying on quitting aids is all nice and dandy, it’s important that you also find a way of dealing with the mental blocks that could be holding you back. Examples of some common mental blocks include:
- Fear of withdrawal symptoms and how to manage your days without nicotine
- You’ve tried quitting before but nothing worked
- Fear of relapse
- You feel quitting cigarettes will suck the fun out of life and make your life boring
- You’re afraid of gaining weight after quitting
It’s natural to have your concerns about doing away with something you’ve done for a fair amount of time – stretching years or decades probably. However, if you want to know how to motivate yourself to quit smoking, it’s worth noting that eliminating cigarettes from your life successfully means confronting these mental blocks head-on and finding ways to overcome them.
Perhaps you aren’t sold on the whole idea of quitting and need a more convincing reason to quit. Or you don’t trust yourself to go all the way without stumbling. Mental roadblocks only serve to hold you back, but they can be overcome by changing your perspective. This is one of the core issues that the Quittercheck program deals with.
Consider nicotine replacement therapy (NRT)
Some people prefer to quit smoking cold turkey while others favor a more gradual approach – we are all different. In truth, though, while willpower is one of the most powerful tools in your arsenal when you’re trying to quit smoking, it’s realistic to acknowledge that for most people, it usually takes more than that.
As such, if you feel having a coping mechanism in the form of NRT to help you deal with the effects of nicotine withdrawal is the catalyst you need to quit smoking for good – well – that’s something you should consider.
Worth highlighting, however, is that a coping mechanism doesn’t necessarily have to be a nicotine product.
For instance, at Quittercheck, we have physical devices in the form of Venquil Pocket and Venquil Pendant that can be used as a healthier cigarette (or vape) substitute to combat nicotine cravings without getting nicotine into the system.
Regarding their efficacy, perhaps it’s worth noting that plenty of research has established that removing nicotine completely is a more effective method to quit smoking compared to a gradual approach.
We don’t promise it will be a stroll in the park, but it’s the fastest ticket out of addiction-ville.
It would be remiss to talk about how to motivate yourself to quit smoking and exclude exercise.
Cigarettes and exercise do NOT mix – it’s either one or the other. Exercise actually accelerates the quitting process by reversing the effects of smoking in the body. Your cardio function – the system that bears most of the brunt of smoking – is the biggest beneficiary of exercise.
The more you exercise therefore, the easier you’ll find it to quit. Not only that, but exercising is a great way to fend off nicotine cravings and stimulate your feel-good hormones, something you’ll need in spades particularly if you resort to cigarettes to cope with stress.
Besides, it’s also a great way to keep the pounds at bay for anyone concerned about weight gain after quitting.
A support system helps
A support network is always a good source of practical or emotional support, and it can come in handy when you’re trying to quit smoking.
A support system could be made up of family, close friends, or a group you share common interests with. It could also be a healthcare professional or platform such as the Quittercheck app that provides motivation on your down days and helps keep you on track vis-à-vis your goals.
Whichever form your support system assumes, it’s something you definitely should consider if you’re looking for sustainable ways on how to motivate yourself to quit smoking.