Many smokers cease to be smokers without using any methods, sheer will power and determination seems to be enough for them. I used to envy such people, even though I knew a few of them envied me 'enjoying' my cigarette. Some smokers though, give up smoking, and after finding it easy to do so, decide that now is not the time to quit, and they can now quit whenever the time is right, it is easy anyway! One of the ironies of being a smoker.
For most smokers though (including me then) it is a see-saw battle in operation on a daily basis, deciding every day that 'Today is the day I quit', only to find myself smoking again in a few days, if not hours.
As a doctor I knew what smoking was doing to me, and also the people around me. After having tried numerous times to quit, I had given up on giving up smoking!
Surprisingly after my last attempt to quit I did not feel like smoking anymore, and I realized all the different methods and approaches I had taken to quit smoking over the years had led me to that moment where I did not feel like I needed a cigarette anymore. It was a euphoric moment for me, and I felt like I had conquered this addiction of mine. I decided to share my new found knowledge with other smokers, and found it to be a near universal 'cure' to get rid of the addiction.
It is not possible to explain in entirety everything which goes in to being a non-smoker in a article. However a few important things to consider are briefly explained below.
In order to quit smoking and remain a non-smoker it is important to understand the true nature of this addiction.
1. The 'benefits' of Smoking .
Smoking helps me relieve stress, smoking helps when I am bored, smoking make my celebrations more enjoyable, when not smoking I feel something missing in my life.
As a smoker, I find that all situations and events incomplete without my cigarette, it relaxes me and makes me comfortable. Remember the time you were not a smoker, did you not feel relaxed then? Did life feel incomplete?
Smoking your next cigarette is going to temporarily relieve you of the withdrawal pangs, which by the way were created by the last cigarette you smoked. The reason a smoker feels complete, at ease, and confident even, after smoking is because the nicotine from the cigarette replenishes the dropping levels of nicotine leaving the body. The smoker smokes and is relieved, the world seems a happier place, but all the cigarette has done is replenish the nicotine in the body. It is a vicious cycle, which most smokers are unaware of, explaining why cigarettes are so precious to them.
Smoking does not relieve any stress or make more enjoyable, it in fact adds to the stress, because now you have to handle the stress already in your life and not smoking is creating another stress.
Does a cigarette seem tempting right after you have exhausted it? Probably not, your body is not suffering withdrawal pangs yet, wait for a while.
2. The withdrawal pangs.
The withdrawal pangs are horrible, it is hell! I'd rather smoke than go through this.
Withdrawal pangs are what your body and mind experience when you have not smoked for a while. Depending on the addiction, it can vary in intensity and frequency. For smokers who decide to quit using will power, experiencing it is at times akin to going to hell. Some smokers say it is a feeling of discomfort, unease, some feel restlessness, a few even experience anger and irritability. Hunger is another commonly experienced withdrawal sign.
Most smokers do not however realize that they undergo withdrawal period every day of their life and are able to handle it successfully without even realizing it. Surprising, but true. I have never come across a smoker who said they would wake up from their sleep because of withdrawal. The withdrawal pangs seem to cease when sleeping, wonder why? Because the withdrawal pangs are so minute and imperceptible that we are able to sleep without having had a cigarette for six to seven hours. Six hours during the day without a cigarette and the same smoker would experience a mountain sized withdrawal, but the same smoker is able to sleep blissfully through it.
So is withdrawal really so bad, or does it only appear so?
3. The brain washing.
I remember my biology teacher in school admonishing a few class mates who were caught smoking, she told them "Your father smokes because he has stress, what stress do you have?". Lesson learnt in our young minds- smoking has a justification, when faced with stress it is perfectly fine to smoke!
There are many such brain washing that we receive which makes the pain and discomfort of inhaling the smoke seem worthwhile, such as:
- Smoking makes you look macho and cool- many on screen heroes do it.
- Smoking helps me relax and focus, all successful people appear to be smokers.
- Smoking is a part of every celebration- a reward for myself, I deserve it.
- I can handle this stress better as a smoker- During stress, it is common for a smoker to offer a cigarette to a non-smoker, he says "Have one, it will make you feel better", he doesn't, there is no withdrawal to address, but it may be enough to get him hooked.
- The biggest brain washing- Quitting smoking is impossible !
Understanding and recognizing what was that brain washed you to have your first cigarette, the process to quitting is easier.
The most important thing to remain a non-smoker, is to break the chain, by being a HAPPY NON SMOKER! And it is achievable when you understand why you smoke, what smoking actually does for you, and learn how you can quit happily and choose for yourself to get rid of this 'habit'. Remember smokers who find it easy to quit, find it easy to start again. Quit wisely.