Bak to Home - Shores of Positive Mental Health

Home - To the Shores of Positive Mental Health

Break Free from Cigarettes



True Stories
Book Fair
Video Gallery
Refer this Site
Contact Us

Privacy Policy

© Twilight Bridge™ All Rights Reserved


Quit Smoking IndexThe Final Countdown

Now that 
    you have your reasons lined up, 
    your family and friends are ready to stand by you during the fortnight long physical withdrawal,
    you also know step by step the psychological and emotive mind frames to follow, 

The time has come to begin
the final countdown before you stamp out cigarettes once and for all.

Do remember being an addict you have cigarettes so tied up into your lifestyle that when you give up smoking, you will feel that you are giving up all activities associated with cigarettes.  Considering these activities include almost everything you do, from the time you awake to the time you fall asleep, life would appear not to be worth living as an ex-smoker.  In all probability you may also be afraid that you will experience the painful withdrawal symptoms from not smoking as long as you deprives yourself of cigarettes.  Considering all this, quitting smoking creates a greater fear than dying from smoking. This is the problem with all your smoker friends who like you are standing on the verge of quitting.

If the smoker were correct in all his assumptions of what life as an ex-smoker were like, then maybe it would not be worth it to quit.  But all these assumptions are wrong.  There is life after smoking, and withdrawal does not last forever.  Trying to convince the smoker of this, though, is quite an uphill battle.  These beliefs are deeply ingrained and are conditioned from the false positive effects experienced from cigarettes.

The smoker often feels that he needs a cigarette in order to get out of bed in the morning.  Typically, when he awakes he feels a slight headache, tired, irritable, depressed and disoriented. He is under the belief that all people awake feeling this way.  He is fortunate though, because he has a way to stop these horrible feelings. He smokes a cigarette or two.  Then he begins waking up and feels human again. Once he is awake, he feels he needs cigarettes to give him energy to make it through the day. When he is under stress and nervous, the cigarettes calm him down. Giving up this wonder drug seems ludicrous to him. 

What we derive from the above para is that every smoker including you will have to counter certain triggers specially during the first few days of quitting. These triggers may be activities/ situations/ circumstances etc when previously you used to smoke. Thus the next step in quitting is drawing up a list of all such possible triggers. After you have done that go two steps ahead of the nicotine that's plotting against your attempt to break free from its absolute mastery over you. In other words figure out in advance what exactly you will do when the trigger tries to get the better of you. Employ the help of family and friends, not only in deciding on plausible alternative behavior that you could practice but also for making the list of triggers. To help you with this, beneath is a table of triggers and possible steps that could be taken. Add to this list specific triggers pertaining to you.

Triggers & Alternative behavior
Getting out of bed Deep Breathing/ Tell yourself just for this day you will not smoke, tomorrow you will think of tomorrow (one day at a time approach)
Sitting on the commode
Read the news paper, should keep both your hands busy
At the breakfast table
Have fresh fruit juice/ carrot sticks etc
Having Alcohol
Avoid if possible/ take up some hobby to get you through your leisure hours (painting/ swimming/ basket ball/ tennis/ golf etc)
Driving to work Remove car ashtrays/ drive with the AC on making it imperative to draw up the windows/ Listen to soothing music
Beginning the days work at Office Put up no smoking signs on your desk/ Glance through the list of reasons fixed beneath your glass table top while the computer boots/ Put up a desktop wall paper on your PC saying "I am proud to have left smoking, hope someday you will join me." 
After the boss shouts at you/ excessive work pressure/ argument with someone Practice doing deep breathing/ say to yourself smoking will not solve the problem/ Consult our section on stress management.
Lunch Break/ Occasional coffee break with friends Have lunch with a beautiful lady or handsome man as the case may be (opposite sex) who appreciates not smoking/ sit in the non smoking section of the cafeteria/ try carrot or apple slices
After lunch or any meal Try out sugarless chewing gum/ play a computer game/ spend two minutes with the Rubik cube or some other puzzle allowing time for the urge to pass over
While watching TV Cuddle your pet/ use carrot or apple slices
While walking Sugarless Chewing gum/ walk with free swing of both of arms
While talking on the phone How about jotting down relevant points from your conversation while speaking with a pencil (should keep both hands busy)
Watching somebody else smoke Have pride for oneself and pity for the other (Pride in oneself is very important to prevent relapse)
At bed time Congratulate yourself for not smoking/ put aside the money in a small little piggy bank or container/ count the amount and think about all the marvelous things you could do with the money if you save for a week/ a month/ a year

Do remember that these are emergency measures and are necessary to get you through the acute phase of withdrawal, the first few days. Take them one day at a time. The real obstacle in quitting is the psychological dependence on cigarettes.  Most smokers are convinced smoking is essential in performing many normal daily activities.  Dealing with stress, working, driving, eating, sleeping, waking up, relaxing - just about everything requires smoking.  These are the triggers that you got to watch out for. The only way to overcome this perceived dependence is by proving to oneself that all activities done with cigarettes can be done equally well without cigarettes.  Just living through the first few days and functioning in normal required roles will prove that the smoker can survive without cigarettes. These alternative behaviors can safely be put aside once you have got through the first fortnight. There will be an occasional urge which will last only a few seconds, neglect it and very soon you will forget about the need to light up. As time passes by these urges will be more and more infrequent and you would have successfully stamped out a life consuming addiction.  It may be difficult, but it is possible.

Once the initial quitting process is overcome, the rest is simple. You will no 0t only feel better but will be able to cope with life more efficiently than when you were a smoker.  No longer will you drag out of bed feeling horrible.  Now you will wake up feeling well rested and refreshed.  In general, you will be calmer than when you smoked.  Even when under stress, you normally will not experience the panic reactions you used to feel whenever your nicotine level used to fall below acceptable levels.  The belief that cigarettes are needed for energy is one of the most deceptive of all.  Almost any ex-smoker will attest that he has more strength, endurance, and energy than he ever did as a smoker.  And the fear of prolonged withdrawal also has no merit, for withdrawal symptoms would peak within three days, and totally subside within two weeks.

If you just give yourself the chance to really feel how nice not smoking is, you will no longer harbor the irrational fears which have made you maintain this deadly addiction for so long. You will find life will become simpler, happier, cleaner, and most importantly healthier, than when you were a smoker. Sure there will still be times when you will  want a cigarette. But you must realize that you do not have the luxury of only one. Because you are a nicotine addict, smoking is now, and always has been an all or none proposition. Any exposure to nicotine will put you back to square one, i.e. full fledged addiction. So once you quit remember to stamp out any urge that arises, the first time, every time.


It Pays To Know In Advance | Stamp it out

Quit smoking index page