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10 Non-Health Related Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

10 Non-Health Related Reasons Why You Should Quit Smoking

If you are a smoker, you have heard about all the dangers before – bronchitis, asthma, heart diseases, and even cancer. Despite this, there’s still that crazy feeling that compels you to reach out for one more cigarette, one last time. Of course, there it goes again, your resolution to quit smoking down the drain, for the nth time. Different smokers, same story. You know it, we know it. However, do you know that health is not the only thing that you lose when you smoke? Studies show that smoking affects you in a number of ways, none of which is related to your health.

Here are 10 surprising things that get affected when you smoke.

1. Your Productivity at Work

Contrary to what many smokers love to believe, smoking does not help you become more creative or productive. Most smokers tend to overstay the designated 15-minute smoke break, thus costing the company more in terms of lost time. In fact, smoking may even hamper your focus as you crave for the next cigarette and end up taking more breaks. Studies show that smokers also call in sick more than the non-smokers. A study published by the Ohio State University in 2013 even claimed that each smoker costs an annual average of $5,816 to the company!

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2. Your Savings

Smoking is an expensive habit. How expensive? Just consider the number of cigarettes you smoke daily and then calculate how much you spend on it annually, and you will be shocked. Let’s do the math. In the US, the cost per pack of cigarettes varies from state to state. If you are in Virginia and Missouri you could be paying around $5.25 per pack. However, if you are in New York, each pack could cost you as much as $12.85. At even $10 a pack, if you smoke 10 cigarettes a day, that’s $1,825 per year and $24,054.95 in 10 years (when you factor in a 6 percent annual price hike). Think of all the money you could save by quitting. A nice vacation, anyone?

3. Your Career

Do you know that many companies don’t hire smokers? The trend started way back in the mid-1980s with Alaska Airlines. Union Pacific and Weyco followed suit in 2004 and 2005 respectively. Today, many companies even urine-test their applicants as part of the interview process to check for nicotine. The practice of opting for non-smoker employees is not restricted to healthcare alone. Even Scotts Miracle-Gro, a fertilizer company, doesn’t hire smokers. Can smokers resort to the law of the land in order to fight this discrimination? Probably not, because 21 US states, including Texas and Florida, do not protect smokers. Think of the world of opportunity that this one bad habit is costing you.

4. Your Holidaying Experience

Restaurants and bars don’t only designate a separate smoking zone. These days they go the extra mile and declare themselves 100 percent smoke-free. This is especially true if you are vacationing in England, France, and New Zealand. These are among a few countries that have a ban on smoking at restaurants and bars.

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5. Your Image

It’s true that smoking can make you less popular among people who don’t smoke. However, that’s not all. Do you know that researchers studying cancer caused by smoking have long used animals as the subject of their experiments? A 1970 document from the British tobacco company Gallaher Limited states the process in detail. Elaborating on it, a part of the paper says, “Both research groups are using beagles which are made to inhale fresh whole cigarette smoke.” If you are empathetic to the cause of animal welfare, it’s time you sever yourself from this history of animal cruelty.

6. Your House

It is estimated that hundreds and millions of dollars are lost every year in the US alone due to smoking-material fire. According to the NFPA’s report “The Smoking-Material Fire Problem”, issued in 2013, fire departments in the US responded to around 90,000 smoking-material fires in 2011. These fires took a toll of 540 civilian lives, 1,640 civilian injuries, and $621 million in direct property damage. You can imagine what’s at stake every time you light up a cigarette.

7. Your Morals

Online cigarette trading is a thriving, albeit a sleazy, business. While it may save you some bucks, it makes you a part of something illegal. Selling cigarettes to underage kids is rampant in the online world. An experiment conducted by the Journal of the American Medical Association revealed that minors were successful in purchasing cigarettes over the Internet, with 93.6 percent using a credit card and 88.9 percent with money orders. In this study, the online vendors sent a total of 1,650 packs of cigarettes to the kids. So every time you buy cigarettes online, you are contributing to something that should be stopped right now.

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8. Your Walls

Smoking leaves ugly stains on your walls. Just imagine how your favourite artwork would look with that kind of a background. Not too nice, right? These patches are not only bad to look at, but are very persistent as well. You need to put in a lot of concentrated effort to get rid of the stains.

9. Your Planet

Tobacco farming is one of the causes for deforestation. Wood burning, an important aspect to cure the tobacco, is also harmful for the environment. In addition to this, tobacco leaves behind a clinging odour on your clothes, which means you need to wash them more often and more vigorously. This only means you will end up using more water.

10. Your Mood

How many times do you get lectured by non-smoker colleagues, friends, and family? You have probably lost count by now. Does it feel good? Nope. The best way to stop this once and for all is to quit tobacco.

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Conclusion

Smoking is bad, and you know why. It’s probably time that you explored the reasons beyond your health to get that extra push in calling it quits.

Featured photo credit: Quit Smoking via domivrt.vecernji.hr

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Olivia Taylor

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Last Updated on February 18, 2019

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

13 Tips to Face Your Fears, Grow with It and Enjoy the Ride

Fear. I spend my life talking about fear — fighting fears, fixing fears and understanding fears. And yet I doubt I get 10 calls a year from people saying “Mandie can you help me fix my fear?”

Why is this so critically important to you?

The realization for me is that fear is not the fundamental driving force in your life it’s what regardless of whether I’m talking to a doctor, a teacher, a CEO’s, a senior citizens or teenager – every single one of those conversations has a direct correlation with your world.

Fear can range from the overwhelming desire to look away or stop in your tracks to literally fleeing your country and the life you knew. In this article, I will share you with 13 tips to face your fears and enjoy the ride.

1. Know That Fear Is Real, but Can Be Overcome

Right now around the world people are facing fear — real fear. Fear that I pray my children and I will never experience. Does that lessen my fears or your fears in your relativity safe 21st century life?

When I look at the world we all live in, I find that fear like so many other emotions can mean so many different things to so many different people:

  • The child who has to be physically dragged to their first day of school.
  • The man facing the judge.
  • The woman with her hand poised over the buttons over her phone because she has to walk down a dark corridor late at night alone.
  • The man as the surgeon says “count backwards from 10 Mr Smith.”
  • The woman that’s told “We are sorry, we can’t help you.”
  • The man that faces the empty circle of a gun and prays for his very existence.

These and a million more (Portrayed in every kind of movie, book or song you could imagine) are what make us human. We face fear and somehow move forward or are stopped in our tracks.

Like the rabbit in the headlights of the car that veers off through the field away from the tyres of the car or stays still praying for salvation. Like someone will save them. Sound familiar?

Fear is huge. Fear is everywhere and yet fear can be overcome, controlled and can even be a power for good.

2. Accept Your Fear

Firstly if you aren’t facing the barrel of the gun, atrocities that make the news or impeding death, that’s a good start. However it doesn’t mean your fear is any less real.

We are quick to say “I can’t moan, my life is not as bad as X.” While in theory, that’s honorable your appreciation of Mr. or Mrs. X’s horrific life won’t change anything directly. So accept your fear is relative to you.

And here’s what can be done.

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3. Get Some Perspective

I found myself asking anyone that would answer “what is your worst fear”. The answer that intrigued me the most came from my daughter (15 years old and she usually has a copy of Fight the Fear – my book – in her school bag so she can help someone else be as positive and confident as her. No matter what life throws up.)

And her fear, surprised me — heights. I pointed out that we live in a sprawling bungalow (one storey) and the highest she goes is two storeys’ at school! She laughed but added, fear isn’t like that Mum. I know it’s not a real fear, but it’s like when you stand on a chair and feel unsafe.

That girl will go far. Because she truly gets fear.

We know something is scary and yet we still do it. Why? Because we have a perspective to the fear. When you lose perspective, it can feel too big, and too scary.

So look around you to get some perspective on your fear:

  • Are you really at risk?
  • Will this kill you?
  • Which leads us on to..
  • If the worse was to happen what would it be?

4. Hold a Hand

As a coach, it is my job to holds someone’s metaphorical hand and help them face a fear.

Like the child petrified of the thunder storm or the teen that can’t get back in a car again after failing their test, your job as a parent is to reassure, encourage, enable and motivate someone to face something that ideally they never would choose to again.

We know many of our fears aren’t real. However, it is only when someone guides us with love, respect, lack of judgement and safety are we able to get through fear. And trust me, you can get through your fears. I’ve seen it so many times.

Ask yourself:

  • If the worse were to happen, what would that be?
  • Could that really happen?
  • If the worse did happen, how would you recover?
  • If the worse were to happen, what would you need to do next?

By seeing fear as not the end destination but part of being human, you can see through it’s wily evil ways and move forward.

5. Know Whose Hand You Hold Either Physically or Emotionally

This helps with fears for the rest of your life.

Think of someone you can always rely on (and ideally you won’t just answer yourself because that adds a lot of pressure to your existence!) And you will find that you’ve already found a way to get through fear.

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The beauty of this is that it means that fear becomes part of life not something to be feared and shied away from.

It means you know you can turn to your friend, partner, colleague, parent, sibling and say “Right I need to deal with this, and I’m going to need you to help me.”

For one moment, think about it from the other person’s view point. When we get to help other people we feel valued, loved, respected and lots of other positive emotions and we get a good dose of positive chemicals setting off in our bodies too.

Your fear, and your determination to fight it, helped someone else too. Now that’s cool right?

6. Understand That There Are Some Things Fear Will Never Touch

I like to find role models in life — people who have faced heroism, history changing moments, war, atrocities, miracles, life saving inventions.

Not everyone was looking for greatness, however they all found it. And one of my favourite books to date is written about Alistair Urquhart, the forgotten highlander. If this doesn’t get turned into a film in the future, then no man’s story is likely to.

Alistair went through the most horrific experiences in the 2nd world war. If you think of one of the awful things that happened back then in our world, Alistair went through at least 3 of them! Asked afterwards how did you cope? He talked about how whatever they did to his body, no matter how they starved, tortured, threatened or mocked him, they couldn’t have his mind. In his mind he was free.

Of all the people’s voices I’ve heard in my head over the years, this is one of those statements that reminds me anything is possible if you have faith and hope.

Look for the things in life that fear can’t touch. They will create confidence and faith for the future, whatever you face. And they will give you a sense of why being you is awesome.

Of all the billions of people on this planet, no one will have an answer identical to yours!

7. Process Your Fears to Carry on with Life

Being brave is not about sticking your chest out and smiling regardless of what hell you endure. It is about finding a way to emotionally process your fears to be able to keep going.

I have a tool kit of things I can rely on – tools, strategies, techniques. They include people to hug or talk to, music. hobbies, walks on the beach and even my favourite food. It sounds mad but at the times where I have questioned “how will I get through this?” I’ve found immense joy in doing the most unlikely of thing that makes me smile.

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It may be a short lived moment of happiness. However, it reminded that nothing stays the same and I can find away.

One client told me that it was crazy when it felt like their world was falling around their ears to run a bath to the brim (you don’t waste water) get the best bath oils, light too many candles, lock the door and drink a glass of bubbly (champagne is only for special occasions.)

Did that moment fix the disaster that my clients life felt? No, however it gave them a moment of calm and the brain is far quicker to find solutions, resolve and motivation to keep going when you do that.

It may feel like madness to do something you love, however it can be a powerful way to help you find solutions to the fears you face in life.

8. Assume the Worse

If you read the statement from the client above. Notice how they assumed it was wrong to fill the bath up to the top? How bubbly is only for special occasions?

Think how naughty they felt to be doing something that was not allowed?

  • Think about what age it may have made them feel?
  • Think about how they feel about champagne?
  • What special moments it’s been a part of in their lives?

And you can see how the assumptions they made about their “right” to have these things was not healthy.

When I drag the assumptions out of people’s words for them to see, they are often struck by how negative the words make them feel.

Don’t assume your words aren’t impacting on you. You can go through fear and actually enjoy the ride when you take the time to understand how you are letting words get to you.

9. Take a Fear That Feels Insurmountable Right Now.

If you were to repeat it to me out loud, what would you say?

Would you have blame on yourself in there? Would you assume others can do it and it’s just you? Would you feel small, unsuccessful, useless, unworthy?

Usually, when you do this exercise, you are able to spot the untruths that run wild in your head convincing you that you are doomed. And rarely when we are faced with our assumptions is there is a lot of evidence to them.

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10. You Are Not Defined by Your Fear

One fear does not define your life – be mindful of that. It is likely to lead you to thinking of all the times you’ve succeeded and bring a moment of calm, confidence and faith back to you.

11. Go with Fear

When you learn to go with fear, you could find yourself actually having fun, no seriously – having fun.

I have a few amazing clients I’m working with right now who would describe themselves as life long worriers, or pessimists. In the past that has served them well, enabling them to keep safe, steer clear of risks and even develop strategies in the event of disasters. However, now they find it’s becoming hard to break the cycle and they really want to because it’s holding them back.

Notice how they’ve found their hidden fears and want to face them?

One client said “I knew this was going to be tough, and I knew I couldn’t fight it alone and I knew you would be the one to help me.” Before I sat an incredibly successful, confident, capable business owner with a family and a social life to die for.

However, I’ve learned that the most successful looking lives can hide things that impact on life, success, love, happiness and business.

We didn’t start with the fear that they felt was holding them back, we broke the fear down, and found lots of little obstacles that had been deemed as “life” and “unchangeable” and “that’s just the way it is” by developing awareness to the little steps on the road to their obstacles to happiness and success they were able to tackle them in a different way.

12. Discover Great Skills in Your Scary Moments

And in that clients words “I came here to work with you to grow my company, and my own personal skills. I didn’t expect to get the children to be cleaning up after themselves and my partner being more attentive! It all feels a little magic.”

The moral is that out of the scariest of moments, we can find great skills we didn’t know we had. Find better, healthier, happier ways to live and find ways to enjoy life more. (And have a bit of magic!)

What a great place to be in ready for the next fear that thinks it’s going to get in the way of you, right?

13. Own Your Fear

Think back over these tips and come up with at least one example for each one. Write them down. Put them on your phone. Turn them into a piece of art. Turn them into a poem. Frame them. Go for a fast walk across the fields, beach, down town and repeat these things in your head to the sound of your feet on the ground.

We rarely take the time to appreciate how far we have come, how much we can achieve or what we are capable of – by really owning the tips in this article you will have given your brain a big fat dose of “Damn right I can do this!” and the motivation and accountability to say “Let’s find a way” through any fear.

You can’t help but feel good when you see that can you? And fear doesn’t stand a chance, does it?

More Resources About Fighting Fear

Featured photo credit: Ben White via unsplash.com

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