Live Smoke Free and Enjoy Getting There!
I finally quit smoking! I feel better than I’ve felt in many years and I want to help you get there too.
It was several years ago and I was going through a nasty break-up when I reached over and grabbed a cigarette from a friend’s pack. That was the first cigarette I’d smoked in over ten years. After all was said and done with the girlfriend, the only thing that remained was that my old smoking addiction was back and stronger than ever.
Long story short; after battling that dark, black rain cloud that hovered over my head and controlled every aspect of my life for years, I can say that I’m smoke free and a much better man because of it.
Here’s the interesting part. I know that everyone is different and we all place a different set of values on our behavior. Some view smoking as nothing more than something they know they probably shouldn’t do. That’s all well and good and may make quitting easier for you if you don’t give it too much meaning. If you’re anything like me, however, smoking became a constant, 30+ times a day reminder of how I was not living up to my potential. I began to see myself as a failure. When a person attaches that much negative emotion to a behavior, it gains much more strength than it deserves and can make quitting a living hell!
I’d like to share with you a couple of things that I did to help make the transition from all of that negative emotion and ‘smokers hell’ to a smoke-free and healthy individual and also discuss the change in mental and physical state from smoker to non-smoker. It’s an amazing feeling and I really want to inspire you to finally let go of that awful habit and live to your full potential.
Because I’d tried to quit too many times to even attempt to count, I had a fairly solid supply of 4mg nicotine lozenges and nicotine gum. In the past, I’d always tried to make an about face from cigarettes to either the gum or the lozenges. Well, as any smoker can attest to, a fresh cup of coffee and a piece of nicotine gum in the morning just doesn’t cut it! Then you pace around the house and finally throw in the towel and go buy another pack. The problem with that is that you condition your mind into believing that you can’t quit and it makes it really difficult to push through that craving.
Rather than make the sudden switch, I went ahead and had a few smokes in the morning and then eased into the gum. It was so much easier that way to begin building the confidence ks quik that would ultimately be needed. From about mid-morning on, I got to where I was comfortably controlling 5 out of 6 cravings with gum. Training your brain to do this and acknowledging the fact that you CAN control cravings is the key to success!
Another important factor was my reduction in caffeine. Our bodies do a wonderful job of keeping an even keel. When we take in too much coffee and get the morning jitters, the brains natural response is to ingest something to counter it. Can you say, smoke cravings? I drink various green teas now and I love it. They have a little caffeine but nothing like a cup of home brew and they have a nice ‘zen’ effect that works really well to help counter some of the stress of stopping smoking.
Since we all know just how powerful the morning and after-meal cravings are and because I knew that at some point I was not going to buy another pack, my next step was an electronic cigarette. This can be a really powerful step but it needs to be temporary. What I found helpful about the e-cigarette was that I still got to go through the motions of going outside for a smoke break just as I had done for years. By being able to still go through the motions, it wasn’t near the system shock that you get from cold-turkey and we all know the games the mind plays on us when we try that!
What I noticed right away with the e-smoke was that I felt much better physically within just a day or so of not ingesting all of the crap that we take in with a regular cigarette. I was feeling better physically and my confidence was really on the rise. The next step was to slowly replace the e-cig cravings with gum. At this point, I can honestly say that it was becoming almost fun. My mouth was so much cleaner, my fingers weren’t yellow anymore, I had more energy and most importantly, instead of a dark cloud overhead, I had a little voice in my head that kept saying “you’ve got it this time, nice job!”