Health and Beauty

How I Became a Non-Smoker for the Last 14 Years

Became a Non-Smoker

In this day and age, you would have to be completely cut off from the world not to know smoking is absolutely terrible for you in at least a dozen different ways. Based on the ‘’me’’ he knows now, my fiancé finds it hard to believe that at one point I was a full-on regular smoker. I really can’t believe it either, but there was a point in time where I was not as health-conscious. But, even then my habit bothered me, and I knew if I quit when I did, I could give my body enough time to heal, and hopefully head off any damage in the future. It has been almost 14 years to the day since I last took a puff, and I would like to share some of my strategies in hopes they will help you get this smoking monkey off your back for good.

Became a Non-Smoker

Groomed My Mind for Success

Our mindset is a huge factor in whether we are successful at the various endeavors in our lives, whether it is trying to quit smoking or going back to school to finish the degree we started all those years ago. You hear so much about how smoking cigarettes is more addictive than the use of most type of drugs; you hear smokers lament how much they want to quit but just can’t. I am not arguing it is not challenging—there is a physical addiction component along with a strong mental one. But, you can’t have this type of mindset, or you will quit at the first sign of a struggle, and blame the cigarettes. You can’t take the role of victim to the big bad tobacco companies who hooked you on their product. Tell yourself it is possible, it is not that hard.

Cut Back in Preparation for Completely Stopping

There are plenty of people who quit smoking cold-turkey and never look back. Their will is admirable, and if you think you have it in you, go for it. I had tried it unsuccessfully several times before, and rather than look at myself as a weak-willed failure that was incapable of giving up cigarettes, I decided to take the ‘’wean myself bit by bit and finally quit’’ approach and it worked like a charm. Over the course of a couple of months, I cut back on the amount of cigarettes I smoked each day. By time my ‘’quit day’’ approached, I was down to about two a day, and going from two to zero was hardly a dramatic shift. So, if you decide you want to quit smoking today, but don’t think you are quite ready for a complete cessation, start with a cut-back plan.

Aversion Therapy

My second strategy in giving up smoking for good involved a bit of homemade aversion therapy. Nothing too complicated—I would go online every day and read about all the horrible things smoking did to your body. I would look at pictures of tumor-ridden lungs, and the disfigured faces of people who suffered from smoking-induced oral cancers. This strengthened my resolve to stay quit, and it was highly effective. After really getting a true understanding of the devastating effects of cigarettes, to go back to them seemed absolutely ludicrous.

Quitting smoking can seem like a Herculean task, but with a bit of resolve, it is surely possible. People quit every day. It is important you make a plan of action that will help you stay on track. It may take a few stops and starts before you really get this whole quitting thing to stick, and that is okay. You are only human, and may succumb to temptation; it may seem really hard sometimes and you will give in–maybe a particularly stressful day at work, or a fight with a loved one, will set you off. But, don’t see this as a ‘failure’ and decide you don’t have it in you. You can do it.

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