It's difficult, but you knew that already! Giving up smoking is one of the hardest things you'll ever have to do. It's all been said about what you are doing to your body, so that doesn't need repeating. What needs to be said is what you need to do yourself to stop smoking. Unfortunately, there's no quick fix, it's all about mindset. As with addiction, it forms in the mind, but by altering your mode of thought, this is the first step to giving up for good.
Firstly, you need to think positively. You may have tried to quit before and didn't manage it, but don't let that demotivate you. Much like when we go on diets, and we have a bad day, our instinct is to gorge on unhealthy snacks. We all fall off the wagon sometimes. Just look back at what your attempt to quit was like before, and what you can learn from it.
In keeping to a specific mindset, you need to make a promise to yourself. Set a date and make sure that you stick to it. The temptation to have a little drag on occasion, you may think, is irrelevant. But by doing this, you may be setting yourself up for a relapse, as one small puff can turn into a long puff and can snowball massively. Instead, say to yourself “I will not have a single drag,” and stick with this until the cravings go away. It is incredibly cliched to talk about mind over matter, but to be scientific for a second, in actual fact your brain cannot comprehend the difference between reality and fiction and serves the purpose that you tell it to do. This is why self-fulfilling prophecies are so common because when people tell themselves they cannot do something, they believe it! By the same token, being vocal to yourself by repeating affirmations or something similar, will help you obtain that mindset you need to give up.
If it all gets too much on occasion, and you feel that you need to satisfy a craving, then E-cigarettes has proven to be a very popular middle ground for this. Vaping, as it is known, is fast becoming the alternative to smoking due to it providing a satisfying amount of liquid nicotine, and also costs less money than constantly buying cigarettes. There are also nicotine patches and other methods you can try if you feel you've hit a dry patch.
Understanding when you crave cigarettes the most may be the key to unlocking your addiction. For example, if you crave a cigarette after dinner, it may be because some food such as meat makes a cigarette more satisfying. There are other foods, like cheese, vegetables, or fruits that make cigarettes taste horrible. So, you may wish to swap your chicken or steak for a cheese platter or vegetable medley. Exercise is another method to cut down on cravings as it releases endorphins, which helps you feel good, and exercise may also help your brain generate anti-craving chemicals.
The mind is a powerful tool when it comes to giving up smoking, so use it!