Excuses are always plentiful when you are trying to disrupt the status quo. Whether you are trying to diet, start an exercise program, change jobs or quit smoking. Once you review your stages of readiness and have decided that you want to quit smoking, do not fall into the trap of perfect timing.
Most of us try to live by a false sense of reality. We try to live with the belief that there is such a thing as the perfect time. We finish school, we get married, we have children all in the order of the way things should be. This belief in perfect timing is especially true for quitting smoking; there are tons of reasons to not change a thing. Change is difficult, so if you wait for the perfect time, you will still be waiting on your death bed.
It is the most difficult part of any process. Sure you can think about change, you can plan for change. It is simple to imagine how your life will be better once the change is implemented. But it is the implementation phase, the doing it stage, that requires the desire, the will-power, and the strength. The time is right once you make the choice. Your life is in your hands and the timing will always be wrong until you tell yourself otherwise.
It is easy, just make the decision the quit and follow through.
I admit it; I was also petrified of failing at quitting. It took me at four solid attempts at quitting and the average is about the same. But, you can do better. All you have to do is decide and keep deciding to be a non-smoker. The timing will be right as soon as you decide to stop smoking. Only you can determine the perfect time. Regain the control!
One of the many reasons that people give, when asked why they still smoke cigarettes, is that it forces them to take breaks in their day, and thus smoking cigarettes helps them relax. This is wrong on several levels, but for smokers, it is the truth. Smoking cigarettes indeed forces them to take regular breaks during the day; this breaks up the days and makes them go quicker, as they are punctuated by regular and recurring intervals.
The first thing to realize is that nicotine does not calm, it excites. In conjunction with caffeine, it is the staple breakfast of a great many smokers and will certainly help them start their day with energy, if not vivacity. To think that cigarettes actually relax when their chemical composition indicates that they do exactly the opposite is interesting. Obviously, it is something else that helps you relax. Perhaps it is taking regular, deep breaths, for a period of approximately 5 minutes?
Many smokers believe that if they didn’t smoke, they would not take breaks at work. They have observed non-smoking colleagues, and have come to that conclusion. While it is true that non-smokers take less breaks, it does not mean that they are not relaxed and apt at doing whatever their jobs require, to the contrary. Maybe a non-smoker will take a trip to the water fountain and drink a glass of water quietly, over a few minutes, in silent contemplation. The goal of regular breathing and of 6the “break” is accomplished, all without ingesting actual poison in your lungs, like cigarette smokers do, all the time.
Smokers believe that their tobacco habit punctuates their day, and marks breaks at regular occurrences. It is true that it does indeed perform that function, but it takes very little effort to see how that can be replaced by an non-harmful activity that could even contribute to your productivity or to your ongoing efforts to become nicotine-free.
The most popular reason most people give for not quitting smoking is that it is too difficult. When asked the question, most people that give this answer have already tried quitting smoking cigarettes, usually without proper planning, support and motivation, and have understandably fallen back into their own habits, sometimes almost immediately. If you can not go a whole morning without a cigarette, if depriving yourself of nicotine for a whole five hours is enough to break your resolve, then you have not planned this out very well.
The difficulty in quitting smoking is extremely relative. Consider the pack-a-day cigarette smoker. He smokes between 20 and 25 cigarettes a day; assuming he sleeps for 8 hours each night, he will smoke a cigarette at a minimum of every 48 minutes during the whole day.
Now he sleeps 8 hours a night, and his cravings, which leave him foaming at the mouth during the day if he doesn’t have a cigarette, are not even enough to wake him up from his slumber! I’m not saying this do diminish the importance of your cravings and what makes stopping smoking difficult, I’m just saying that everything is relative.
We are programmed, from the moment we are old enough to understand a sentence, that it is difficult to quit smoking. If you empty your head and think about smoking, the first thing that’s going to pop into your head is “it’s bad for you” and the second one is almost certainly “it’s difficult to stop.”
If you believe that stopping smoking is difficult, then you better believe that it will be! If you manage to convince yourself that it’s only a matter of ignoring the cravings, in the confident – and true – belief that they will eventually go away, then suddenly quitting smoking is not so difficult anymore.
Smoking was a great pleasure for me for many years. As an extremely shy person, the act of smoking allowed me to actively engage with others while sharing a common pass-time. In school, it provided a necessary break from the stress of achieving while being able to bond with my classmates. At the office, I had my smoking buddies, and each day around the same time we would meet outside and catch up.
While smoking cigarettes does not necessarily alter your reality like alcohol or drugs, it does change the chemical composition of your brain. Some may argue that it was the joint social activity that decreases social anxiety and fights depression, for me it felt like it was really the chemical agents and deep breath that kept me sane. Or so I thought.
After quitting, I realised that sanity was possible without nicotine. Yes people, it is possible to live a healthy and happy life without your crutch: cigarettes. In fact, once the withdrawal symptoms subsided it was actually much less stressful without nicotine addiction. While I my daily work-family stress did not change, I had one less thing to worry. As a non-smoker, I no longer had to tailor my schedule around my addiction. Wow, freedom. Without the crutch, I was able to focus on the anxiety and depression and deal with it instead of hiding behind something else. Smoking was in fact only adding to the problem. Why didn’t I listen before now? Wow, what freedom. Although, it can be painful at first, to truly feel life, it was and is worth it. Quit smoking and regain control of your life.
And, what you will realise after a while of being smoke-free is that your altered smokers brain chemistry eventually goes back to your true state. It just takes time. So don’t give up, hang in there and persist in your efforts. Smoking is like a wizard putting a veil over your eyes. Persist in being a non-smoker and you will begin to wonder how you ever were so foolish.