Many smokers can recall their first cigarette, but many will not recall when they lost the pleasure of smoking, nor can they tell you why they still do.
The first step for anyone wanting to quit smoking is to decide to do it. It takes the average person 30 attempts before they will quit for good, making the thought of being a non-smoker seem elusive for many. It is important to not get disheartened, and you will benefit from each attempt at stopping smoking because each quit attempt teaches you a valuable lesson.
I recommend sitting down and really examining why you smoke; this exercise brings a greater awareness which will make your quitting attempt likely to be a more successful one. The more awareness you have, the more you educate yourself and give yourself the power over cigarettes.
The reasons why people smoke is often very personalised and likewise is the reasons for quitting, therefore a holistic approach is recommended. Below are a few strategies for quitting smoking that may be helpful:
· Take multivitamins and minerals, fish oils and vitamin C may help.
· Reduce junk foods, caffeine and alcohol.
· Increase fresh fruit and vegetables in the diet, with plenty of fish, lean meat, nuts, and water.
· Write down when you smoke and rate the pleasure from 1-10 that you get from every cigarette, cut out the cigarettes that provide you the least amount of pleasure in the days leading up to quit day.
· Take responsibility for your actions and success of quitting, tell your family and friends that you are quitting to make yourself more accountable.
· Write down your reasons for quitting and keep them with you, use them as a reminder during cravings.
· Exercise daily.
· Go to bed early and at a regular time, stick to a routine.
· Keep your hands busy by reading or using fidget toys.
· Breathe through cravings.
· Empty your ashtrays into a jar. Add a little water and stir them up. If ever you get an overwhelming urge to light up, go open that bottle and smell the contents.
· For the first three weeks set yourself a goal to avoid those places and situations where you used to smoke and spend more time in places where you cannot.
· Save up the money you would have spent on cigarettes and go on a holiday
· Make quit day a party! Make it a happy celebration. Alternatively, hold a funeral for your smoking habit and dig a little grave and toss in an ashtray, a book of matches, a half-full pack of smokes.
· Reward your efforts with pampering treats such as an aromatherapy bath, a massage, a manicure, or a blowout at your hairdressers.
Aromatherapy is a wonderful adjunct to include in your smoking cessation efforts because it works on the mental, emotional and physical level. And, aromatherapy is a portable modality with many different applications.
Remember to always check contraindications and cautions before use, use as directed and in proper dilutions, and to never take essential oils internally!
· Add essential oils to diffusers in your house and car
· Place essential oils on a tissue and carry it around with you, inhale its aroma deeply when you have a craving,
· Make an essential oil blend to use in massage and to place on pulse points (behind knees, wrists, inside of elbows).
Penelope Espinoza Hallett, Naturopath
BHsc (C.M.) AdvDip. Nat/N.D, Dip. Aroma, Dip. C.H., Cert. R.M., Cert. R.M., Cert. SBM, mNHAA