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10 Tips To Help Smokers To Quit Cigarettes

10 Tips To Help Smokers To Quit Cigarettes

Six million people will die before 2016 is over. Cancer.org reported that 30% of those numbers will be from cancer-related diseases. Scary, isn’t it? It’s especially horrifying if you’ve spent the last few years of your life smoking two packs a day, every day.

Heck, I used to smoke a pack a day – which isn’t as bad… if it weren’t for my mom smoking two packs a day while she carried me in her belly. I was born with asthma and a whole host of other trials. Heck, I didn’t even experience life until I was 2 – my first 2 years on Earth were inside various hospitals.

I’ve been smoking since I was born. So, yeah, quitting is hard. BUT, through trials and errors, and putting myself through sheer hell for the benefit of others, I’ve managed to cut back to six cigarettes a day. How? By rewiring the brain, which believes anything that makes you happy is good for you. The brain doesn’t understand good from bad. Prime example: alcohol.

One thing I actually cannot get rid of is the orgasmic joys of that first cigarette in the morning. You know what I’m talking about, right? (Yeah, you know.) This is because nicotine gives us a temporary (but addictive) high.

Here are several ways to curb that high.

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1. Stand Up And Shout

The biggest way to make sure something never goes away, is to be silent about it. Bring the issue to light. Grow the proverbial balls and try to make a difference for yourself, and others suffering, by confiding in people. A research firm Stollznow did a study that found two thirds of people who talked to others about quitting, felt like smoking less.

2. Avoid Triggers

Avoiding triggers helps us to not destroy ourselves. One of my triggers is coffee – after a few cups of Joe, I’m fixing for a cigarette like homeless people need food. If we stay away from triggers, we’ll sidestep that gut instinct and unracking nerve to light up. Sometimes it’s as simple as returning your mind’s frequency. Other times, it means not going out with certain friends or colleagues.

Now, what I want you to do is this: throw out all your cigarette packs, ashtrays, lighters. Then wash your clothes; put them in bags, and wash them a bag at a time. Shampoo-clean your drapes, carpet, and steam your furniture clean. We want to exterminate the smell of smoke.

3. Cold Turkey

You may or may not have heard horror stories about the benefits of quitting cold turkey. The power of the mind’s will and human spirit is a tremendous feat, and no small matter. A number of people have pledged to themselves to quit, and they did. This flies smack in the face of “medical experts” who advise you to never go cold turkey. (Then again, if medical experts told you to down a mickey of Jack Daniels, in less than 5 minutes, would you?)

Surrounding yourself with people who genuinely care about you, and want you to quit smoking (and to live a happy, long life, hopefully) is key here. Warm friends. Good family. People who make you smile. There’s nothing like seeing the motivation reminders about why you’re doing something, each and every day.

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4. Make A Journal

How much time have you put into a crave journal? In the same vein as budget tracking, in your crave journal you list all the times you wanted to smoke throughout the day; who you were with, where you were, what you were doing.

It’s as simple as being vigilant about note-keeping, and here’s why: At week’s end, you’re giving yourself a chance to see what fires off your triggers and makes you crave. Giving you a hands-on experience to see which people/places keep you from kicking the habit.

5. Why You’re A Fool For Smoking

For measuring our best chances to quit, it’s imperative we look at exactly why we smoke. You can’t put out a fire without knowing where it is. Otherwise, nothing will be done: smoking is water. So, what is the fire? For many people (myself included), smoking (whether it’s weed or cigs) is a way to deal with stress, loneliness, fear, and depression.

Many people don’t realize the full-on, real-life benefits of alternate lifestyle methods. Some of them were beaten over our head for years until they were accepted and validated: vipassana meditation, sensory relaxation strategies, and Buteyko exercises.

6. The Lazy Man’s 10-Minute Exercise

Medical experts try pounding into our brain (again and again) that just ten minutes of exercise can significantly help us out – smokers and non-alike. The benefits of exercise have been chewed to death by now, for good reason.

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They found that brain activity changes, triggered by exercise, could help reduce cigarette cravings. Who’s getting hurt from exercising? I personally surrender my joints to a five minute daily round of jumping jacks, seal jacks, and “boxer hops”.

7. Nicorette Gum

I’ve used Nicorette gum now and then (as in, I bought 13 boxes at once and still have a hefty supply of gum), and can say it does work. For me, the nicotine is a lot more prominent in gum than in cigarettes which, believe it or not, has me smoking less. (Remember I used to smoke 2 packs a day.)

8. E-Cigarettes

Some people say e-cigarettes filled with e-liquid can help wean smokers off tobacco, at little risk to their health. For others, both of those assertions are false.

You’ve heard of these – some people say e-cigarettes help wean smokers off tobacco, others say it doesn’t work at all. But the U.S. Surgeon General often cites the combustive chemicals in the cigarette, not the nicotine itself in cigarettes or the e-liquid in e-cigarettes, is responsible for a majority of smoking-related illnesses and diseases. (After all, do you know how many chemicals are in one cigarette?)

Other medically-proven (University of Geneva’s Institute of Social and Preventive Medicine) cigarette-stopping measures include inhalers, nasal spray, and lozenges.

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9. How To Kill Withdrawal Symptoms

Everybody has them. A few commons ones are:

  • Irritability: can last less than a month. Take hot baths, exercise, anything to use up that energy.
  • Exhaustion: lasts less than a month. Take power naps. Weariness is nothing to take lightly.
  • Hunger: lasts a few months or more. Water helps curb our appetite and replenishes our system.
  • Anxiety: Anxiety, on all levels, is something that needs to be treated by a professional. To help until then, though: consider Buteyko breathing.

10. Quitline

“There’s an app for that” is so funny because it’s true. Thankfully, there are several apps that can help you quit by putting you in touch with quitline coaches. For those times, you need someone to talk to, and it feels like there’s nobody out there who truly understands.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, quitting the cancer stick isn’t easy, but it is do-able. Just be sure to keep a few things in mind: you can do this. You can do this. You will do this. You must do this. For the safety of yourself, your children, and everyone who wants you in their lives.

Featured photo credit: comfreak via pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on October 20, 2020

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future. Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

Bonus: Think Like a Rhino

More Tips for Procrastinators to Start Taking Action

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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