As with losing weight, often when we want to quit smoking, it is as difficult to achieve as it is to maintain it. Most ex-smokers say that even if they spend years without lighting a cigarette, it never stops appearing to them, and it is an appetite with which they must fight for life.
Some situations and factors make it especially difficult, because they accentuate the desire to smoke or prevent changing the relationship with tobacco. These are some of those factors, and how you can overcome them.
1. You think of it as a sacrifice
When you stopped smoking , you considered it a personal sacrifice achieved through willpower. The idea of sacrifice implies giving up something good, and then you still consider it that way. If that is your case, it is normal that come a moment, you again feel strongly the desire to smoke.
To avoid it, you must change your relationship with tobacco and how you think about it. Quitting smoking is not a sacrifice, but an improvement of your quality of life and your health. Think about what you gained by leaving it , and not what you think you’ve lost.
2. You have not changed your habits
Smoking is a daily habit for many people, and leaving it leaves a gap that, if not filled, pulls the ex-smoker with great force and can make him fall back. In many cases, it is an indivisible part of some activities, such as having a coffee after eating or going out drinking with friends.
Find something to replace it , preferably something that has your hands busy and can take you more or less the same time. Eat sweets (better without sugar), assemble puzzles, use a toy against anxiety … About coffee or drinks, change places or time, avoid repeating the same activity that you used to smoke .
3. You have not noticed a big change
Maybe you thought that as soon as you quit smoking you would notice a big change in your health and the thing has not been like that. Normally the beneficial effects on health can be noticed immediately (breathing improves, the skin looks better, the flavors of food are better perceived …) but perhaps in your case it takes a little more time. Be patient .
And since you’re betting on your health, combine quitting smoking with starting sports or eating healthier . It is not about changing your life from top to bottom, something that will only cause you more stress, but to improve your habits little by little so that smoking again will be worthwhile no matter how much you feel like it.
4. You have gained weight
A side effect of quitting smoking may be to gain weight . This happens because often the anxiety felt by those who quit smoking is channeled through eating, which can throw back many recent ex-smokers.
If it is your case, you must be clear that quitting smoking, in itself, is not the problem . The problem is changing cigarettes by calories. Try to compensate the desire to smoke with something that does not fatten, or at least that is healthy(like nuts), and accompany it with some physical exercise that will help you not only to be healthier, but also to see you better.
5. You are surrounded by smokers
This is perhaps the most difficult point. If your partner, someone in your family or your usual friends smoke , or if you frequent places where people smoke (the coffee break in your office, for example), the possibility of relapse increases because you spend your time surrounded by smoke and cigarettes, and just smelling it can be enough.
As you will not change partners or friends, it is best to say it openly and seek their support. In case the temptation is too strong, try asking them not to smoke in front of you. Pacta smoke-free spaces and let them know that your help is essential for your effort to succeed.
6. You thought that nothing would happen for one
After weeks, months, even years without smoking, you thought that nothing would happen for a cigar. But after so many years without trying it, it was like opening Pandora’s box and now you can not take away the desire. So much time keeping away from tobacco is now in danger for a single moment of satisfaction.
Before you smoke that cigar, before you even have the desire to smoke it, stop for a second if it would be worth to throw away the effort and have to start over . Give an answer, and repeat it to yourself when you feel the urge to smoke that cigar.
It is probably the most common reason. When you have managed to quit a season, it is very possible that a peak of stress accentuates you the desire to do again, since for many smokers , tobacco is a way to manage it .
If it is your case, it is important that before those peaks develop alternative strategies : do sports , practice relaxing disciplines, a room or stage change that will help you to disconnect … If you think it can help you, seek professional advice in your doctor. Try that tobacco is not your only way to deal with stress, and you will learn to resort to other, healthier methods.