What are you doing different than when you were smoking?
Welcome to the community!
Nicotine use is more than a habit. It is a psychological AND physical addiction. I will give you lots to read to better understand it, and ideas later on in this welcome for things to do instead of smoke. I like the fact I can enjoy the talk at the table after I eat instead of getting right up and out to smoke. I like being able to sit in an airport and on a plane without jonesing for a fix. Instead of going outside to smoke, I go outside and take a walk, or admire the clouds, or watch for and listen to the birds. I can go to a movie and not have to get up in the middle! SO many things are different when you don't smoke!
The important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This easy and entertaining read provided a world of good information about nicotine addiction, most of which I was not aware. I credit it in large part with my success at quitting. You can search for it online or at your local library.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort after you have tried to delay and distract. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for obvious reasons.
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T. You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
I am breathing and loving life without the smokes...Also, I am walking more than before, exercises more than before, I am enjoying some down time just reading a book, etc., You can do this...it takes hard work and substituting smoking for health things...~ Colleen 609 DOF
I do everything without thinking of smoking. Nearly seven years later (quit at 54) I live without dependency quite well. Time and attention got me here. I don't plan to let go of freedom. Habits at first--any distraction--walk, read, tv, eat treats, work, collect books, on and on.
No new habits really, but lots of hobbies that helped distract me.
Did many things differently - washed dishes immediately after a meal, brushed my teeth as soon as I woke up, deep breathing exercises when anxious, adult coloring books when I was on the phone, sang while driving (so I always had CD's instead of listening to commercial filled radio), short walks when I felt like ripping my hubby's eyes out when he told me how proud he was, dancing with my cat to dry my tears.
I was on my quit smoking forum for HOURS daily reading and writing.
I did develop (and continue to this day) an addiction to forum games. I found a really cool site that has pages of games that kept me busy and was fun at the same time.
Been thinking about this for a while. The only "habit" I could come up with is being on the Ex everyday. Other than that, I don't think I have any new "habits" since I quit. There are places and times that I smoked that I don't anymore--those are probably new behaviors learned more than new habits. I already walked everyday and exercised. Both are a real life savers to not smoke. Playing video games helped with my quit, but I also did that already.
I used NRT and Welbutrin to quit--I don't use those anymore. I also used Sour Patch Kids and chewing on straws for cravings--I don't do that anymore.
Learning new behaviors and associations is key to not smoking.
Remember that smoking is an addiction and not a habit. Like Barbscloud, I ate Sour Patch kids, I also stepped outside and blew bubbles. I don't do either of those things anymore but I do still come to EX and it helps to strengthen my quit every time I come here.I read blogs and benefit from the experience of others...I have learned a great deal about myself, I do play some computer games, I read, I spend some time just relaxing. I exercise when it is physically possible.
You CAN do this, it's time to look for what you love and know that you deserve to spend time doing it,
Ellen, I'm laughing. Think I clicked on the wrong heart.
I feel like I am about to lose my mind and then feel great others. I would say these are 2 different feelings like night ans day difference.I however just get back to close norm.
Where are you with your quit?
We often talk about the roller coaster of emotions that we go through when we quit, up and down, up and down. I cried at the drop of a hat but things that I found funny were even funnier. I think it was from the oxygen getting to my brain in spurts for the first time in years.
This WILL get easier if you stick with your quit.
I picked up a new hobby I taught my self how to play the harmonica You'll never see me on stage but it's fun and great for my lungs.
Joyce (my wife) and I also added a puppy to our home just over 2 years Now includes more walking.
The best thing I can tell you about quitting is just win today and it will all come together
Cousin-Itt Playing the harmonica was something my pulmonologist suggested for breath control. I never mastered it and nearly scared my cats out of the house.
GoGo my dog wasn't to thrilled with me when I started playing She would howl a couple time and leave the room. I must have improved as she stopped the howling
I always have my 2 harmonicas next to me My pulmonologist thinks it's great. I haven't mastered it I can play some song a couple Neil Young solos and a few blues rifts Sometimes I'll grab one and just start making things up as I go. I enjoy it
I get on to Becomeanex.com and “give back” to new quitters who are looking for information and support! I am now smoke free and feel complete without killing myself slowly with Nicotine!
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