The experts agree on one thing: quitting smoking is always a great idea, and there are no reasons you shouldn’t do it. But what experts don’t agree on is the exact right way to quit smoking. In truth, there is not only one right way to quit smoking that applies to everyone, and you need to find the right way for you. Here are some of the possible methods and how you might choose the one that’s right for you.
The organized plan. Are you the kind of person who lives their life by the calendar in your smartphone or computer, with appointments and plans mapped down to the minute? If so, you might want to consider taking a similar approach to quitting smoking. Things you might do with this method include planning a definite quit date, throwing out all of your cigarettes and ashtrays, and making contingency plans for how you’ll cope when cravings strike.
The heavy smoker’s step-down. You aren’t just a casual smoker who lights up after a night at the bar. You’ve been smoking since you were a teenager and smoke at least a pack a day, and you have your first cigarette of the day within just a couple minutes after waking up. You’re seriously hooked on nicotine, so you’re going to have a little harder time to completely wean off of it. Some of the nicotine-replacement programs like the nicotine patch or nicotine gum might be good choices for you since they allow you to begin with a higher dose of nicotine replacement and gradually taper down.
Anxiety management. Smoking is a comfort habit for a lot of people and is a way that many people self-medicate to deal with anxiety and stress. Giving up that familiar habit can cause a lot of nervousness and distress for some people, so it’s important to incorporate anxiety management techniques into your plan to quit. In addition to establishing good habits like journaling, meditation or prayer, you may want to ask your doctor for medications like Zyban or Chantix to help manage the cravings. Reducing the cravings might also reduce your anxiety about quitting.
Sheer willpower. When you make up your mind about something, you put all of your effort into it and you make sure that you don’t fail. If you’ve decided that you want to quit smoking, your determination will ensure that you succeed no matter what you choose. The cold-turkey method could work well for you. Llimiting yourself to a fewer number of cigarettes per day until you’re finally down to zero could also be effective if you’re good at holding yourself accountable.
The holistic alternatives. You’d rather look for options at the health food store instead of at a medical doctor’s office. There is a long list of alternative therapies that could help you with quitting smoking. Consider seeing a hypnotherapist to help you break the psychological habits associated with smoking. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can be helpful in restoring energy balance and reducing cravings to smoke.
Cutting edge technology. Science and industry are always working together to come up with new treatments to help people live healthier lives, including quitting smoking. One new technology uses low energy laser beams at certain points on the body, which can be very effective to reduce nicotine cravings.
Cognitive behavioral therapy. This form of talk therapy helps you to take control of your thoughts and actions by changing your thought processes and patterns. A trained therapist teaches you these techniques to stop unproductive thoughts and replace them with positive affirmations. Cognitive behavioral therapy helps you break down something big and overwhelming like quitting smoking into smaller actions that feel much more manageable and therefore you feel like you have more control over the process.
Herbal supplements. Some studies out of the United Kingdom suggest that certain herbal supplements may be helpful in quitting smoking. The herbs that may help reduce nicotine cravings and anxiety include valerian, motherwort and St. John’s Wort.
Self-help books. Millions of people before you have attempted to quit smoking and many have written self-help books about how they successfully quit. One of the most famous books about quitting smoking is Allen Carr’s The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, but there are also many other helpful books on the subject, including e-books.
Make your own combination. One of the best things about having so many possible options available to help you quit smoking is that you can pick and choose which ones will work for you. This allows you to design your own plan using as many of these methods as you want and customize it just for you.
There’s no one right way to quit smoking, there are lots of them. Which ones do you think would work best for you?