For as long as I can remember, I have known cigarettes to exist. I can bet my parents and their parents can say the same.
So, it would not be wrong to say that cigarettes have been around forever.
I am very sure that you would not disagree with any of this no matter what part of the world you belong to.
Why the Long History?
This long history of cigarettes means that people have not been either been able to let go of cigarettes, or that there has always been more inflow of people coming in to cigarette smoking than of those wanting to (and succeeding in) quitting cigarettes. But, given the exponential growth we can assume rather accurately that it has to be a combination of both. So, then we can get a hint about the fact that it is somewhat difficult to quit smoking.
Although nobody can place a finger at the exact moment that cigarettes were invented, some accounts place at as far back as 5000 CE when people used it for inhaling medicine. So, we now also have a hint of where cigarettes began from. But, what we took very long to find out was the health concerns.
What are the Health Concerns?
Perhaps it is not that we took so long to realize the health implications of cigarettes but more the fact that we do not want to concede that our addiction to cigarettes is extremely harmful to our health. But, that does not change the fact that it is.
Cigarettes have been proven to lead to multiple life threatening diseases of which most are impossible to cure at this point in time. This happens mostly because of tar, a material that is known to contain a plethora of harmful chemical compounds that will lead to harmful side effects with prolonged consumption. Moreover, the smoke produced by cigarettes is also extremely harmful, not only to the smoker but also to people around the smoker who inhale this smoke.
Why Not Just Quit?
Now the question that arises is that when we know how harmful cigarettes are to our health, why won’t we just quit smoking them. The answer to this question can only be understood by someone who has known smoking very closely and hence understands the stakes and costs involved.
You see, the problem with just getting up one day and deciding to quit is that our brain goes berserk. Our brain, with time, gets addicted to smoking. This is actually the nicotine that people are addicted to and not the practice in general. Suddenly just leaving nicotine triggers strong craving in your brain for nicotine and so you just run right back to cigarettes.
Effective Ways to Quit:
So, then how do you even quit. Well, you can quit smoking start vaping and the best way to quit is to understand that sudden withdrawal is not the answer. Instead, one of the most effective schemes to quit cigarettes is to use a gradual approach. A gradual approach means that you try to limit your nicotine inhalation while reducing it gradually until you finally end up at a point where you can completely let go.
People often use alternatives to smoking that help them quit. These alternatives allow them to filter out their nicotine from other harmful chemicals and even to alter the content of nicotine that they inhale at once.
Smoking Stress: How to Handle it?
Since now you know that quitting smoking is very difficult, you should have realized that many people that try to quit fail to do so because they cannot just let go. But, research has proven that attempts to quit fail for the first few times before they succeed for most of the people that succeed in quitting.
This also means that quitting smoking itself is very stressful and you just begin to get annoyed at how difficult it is. Here are some ways to help you cope with this stress of quitting:
1. Positive Attitude
I agree that this is easier said than done, but in all honesty this is the most important and effective way of handling your stress. Keeping your mind engaged in positive thoughts and not losing hope is the best thing that you can do to fix your smoking problems.
You can ask your friends and family to help you with this by keeping clear of all the triggers, smoking in front of you, that might relapse your smoking habits.
The best way to steer clear of any stress or even to use it is to make sure that you stay engaged in what you love. Just keep yourself busy and keep moving no matter what. This way, you will not only be using your stress to be productive and generate something useful for yourself, but will also keep yourself distracted from stress.
Exercising is another way that will help you relieve your smoking stress. This is mostly because the addiction of nicotine is overcome by a positive addiction of endorphin that your brain produces when you exercise. Endorphin is the pleasure hormone and will help keep you distracted from the craving for smoking.
4. Be Prepared
When I say be prepared I do not ask you to get some special equipment or anything but to just be mentally prepared. You have to know that no matter what happens, no matter how much you distract yourself, you will have to face moments where you will be very close to completely letting go. These are the moments where you need to really prove how serious you are about quitting and just not letting go.
Being mentally prepared will help you neutralize some of the upcoming stress and eventually quit.
You need to make sure that you do not panic. Panicking will make it worse and help the stress win. Just take out some time for yourself and practice breathing exercises and yoga.
Or just simply sit and read a book to keep yourself engrossed.