Professional help goes a long way in ensuring permanent smoking cessation.
To quit smoking is a decision easier taken than followed through in practice. People deciding to quit the addition to smoke often find themselves bowing down to psychological pressure and physical need of the body that has got used smoking regularly. It is for this reason that professional help is often advised to people seeking to successfully break the habit.
Counselors helping those hoping to quit smoking, aim at strengthening the will power of their patients, so as to reduce stress and decrease the possibility of a rebuttal. Introduction of major lifestyle changes plays a vital role for smoke quitters to let go successfully. Many counselors follow a three step regime.
- Staying Free
The first step involves preparing the patient to quit, by deciding upon a quit date. Often, tablets to stabilize the blood sugar levels, mood, cravings and depression are started in this phase. This phase lasts for four weeks and helps avoid weight gain in later stages.
- Understand why and when you have cravings to smoke and do something else at that time.
- Start some exercising regime or join some interesting hobby class, to help keep the mind occupied, while still smoking normally.
This phase begins as soon as it’s the quit date. The patient is advised to do away with all the cigarettes, lighters, ash trays and anything and everything that sparks the urge to smoke. From the quit date onwards the patient is no longer expected to smoke. In addition to the previous medication, the patient is also prescribed nicotine craving reducing tablets three to six times a day. In addition if mood swings and restlessness is too frequent, counselors also prescribe medication for the nervous system which helps bring a soothing and calming effect. This phase lasts for four weeks.
- Throw away all nicotine to avoid giving in to cravings.
- Continue with the exercise or hobby to create a diversion.
- Keep your appetite in check; works well in preventing weight gain.
- Follow a reward system and buy yourself a gift at the end of four weeks from all the money saved from not smoking.
Once a person manages not to smoke for four weeks at a stretch, it’s time to congratulate the non-smoker! However, the battle is not won completely yet. While the physical cravings have been conquered, the psychological ones still need to be tamed. Therefore, medication is continued for three more months.
- Practice meditation to soothe nerves.
- Keep exercising.
- Do not succumb to the temptation of “just one cigarette”.
- Reward yourself every month and aim at celebrating your smoke free anniversary.
Even though it is not easy to come clean of this addictive habit, determination, will power and a strong support system have been known to help bring permanent success.
Also read - Alternative Therapies To Quit Smoking