QuitSure: How to decide whether you are ready to quit smoking
The culprit behind this cycle is nicotine, which is more dangerous than most drugs.
We've all seen the warnings that "Smoking is Injurious to Health" everywhere - from movies to posters and books. So why is it so hard for us to quit smoking? Why can't we just stop in one day? We try and we take that first step on our quit smoking journey, but something pulls us back and we end up stuck in a vicious cycle.
The culprit behind this cycle is nicotine, which is more dangerous than most drugs. It takes over your dopamine system, which controls your emotions and decisions, making it hard to derive pleasure from other activities and leaving you feeling satisfied only after a smoke.
But don't worry, it's natural to feel this way when trying to quit smoking. Understanding the stages of quitting can help, and with the right support and guidance, you can achieve a smoke-free status. And if you've tried quitting before and weren't successful, don't give up! Take a moment to retrace your steps, re-evaluate, and restart with renewed determination. You've got this!
There are different ways to quit smoking, but the stages to decide whether you are ready or not remain the same. Here are some of them -
1. Precontemplation - The first stage, known as precontemplation, is characterized by a strong sense of denial and reluctance to acknowledge the negative impact smoking has on one's health. Smokers in this stage often minimize or dismiss the harm caused by their addiction, making it difficult to take the first steps towards quitting.
During the precontemplation stage, many smokers are defensive about their smoking habits and may feel that quitting is unnecessary or too difficult to achieve. This reluctance may be due to a fear of facing the anxiety and stress that come with accepting the reality of their addiction.
2. Contemplation - The second stage of quitting smoking is known as contemplation. In this stage, smokers begin to acknowledge the benefits of quitting smoking and may attempt to rationalize the need to quit. However, the deeply ingrained nature of their addiction makes it difficult to fully commit to quitting at this stage.
Despite this, the mere act of contemplating quitting smoking represents a significant first step towards a healthier lifestyle. While change may not happen overnight, the seed has been planted, and with continued effort and support, smokers can successfully move through the stages of quitting and achieve lasting success in their journey towards a smoke-free life.
3. Preparation - This is a time when smokers make a conscious decision to take action and put an end to their smoking habits. They begin by weighing the pros and cons of quitting, exploring various methods to quit smoking and considering potential obstacles that could hinder their success. This often involves conducting research, seeking advice from others, and mentally preparing themselves for the journey ahead.
Once a smoker has determined a quit date, they begin to bolster their conviction in the decision they have made. By doing so, they set themselves up for success, enabling them to remain committed to their goal of quitting smoking permanently. This stage is a critical aspect of the quitting process, as it lays the foundation for the subsequent steps that will be taken towards achieving success.
4. Action - The time has come to take action - mark the date and time, and prepare to embark on the journey to quit smoking. This is the moment when a smoker officially becomes a non-smoker, committing themselves to the process and following the techniques and methods suggested by their chosen program.
The support of loved ones during this stage is crucial. Facing setbacks is a normal part of the journey, and having someone to provide encouragement can make all the difference. It's important to keep in mind that each smoker's journey, success rate, and timeline for quitting may vary based on their chosen technique.
Yet, with a strong commitment to quitting and the determination to succeed, the non-smoker-to-be perseveres. Eventually, they reach the point where they must finally stop smoking and break the habit for good. At this stage, they are free from the need for cigarettes, and can celebrate their achievement of overcoming addiction.
5. Maintenance - As former smokers transition into the maintenance stage of their quit smoking journey, the challenge shifts from quitting to maintaining their newfound status as a non-smoker. This phase can be particularly difficult as cravings for cigarettes may persist, and temptations to smoke may arise in social situations or moments of weakness.
It is crucial for individuals to be vigilant during this stage and remain steadfast in their commitment to quitting smoking. Succumbing to cravings may lead to a relapse, undoing all the hard work and progress made thus far To combat the urge to smoke, former smokers must stay mindful of their triggers and develop coping mechanisms to manage their cravings.
If you are a smoker, which stage are you on?
There are a lot of programs in the market that can help you in all these stages. QuitSure app’s 6 Day program is one of them. Day 1 of this quit smoking app will help you with pre-contemplation and contemplation stages. You can even speak to specialized coaches or ask the members of its facebook community if you need coaxing. Once you start the program, the action and maintenance stages are taken care of because the main idea behind this is to uproot cravings from your subconscious. No Cravings = No Desire to Smoke = Smoke-free status achieved!
So when are you starting your journey to stop smoking permanently?
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