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Preparing Yourself to Quit Smoking

You will have greater success if you prepare your mind, body and life for quitting. Remember that most smokers who fail to quit smoking complain that they just weren't ready to stop.

Here’s a list of tips to get your ready for quitting smoking and moving into your smoke-free life.

Slowly reduce the amount of cigarettes you consume. It will be much easier to handle the cravings that result from seven cigarettes a day than from twenty. This will also get you used to not smoking during your regular times. One way to do this is to stop carrying cigarettes everywhere you go.

Do something else during regular smoke breaks. While you're weaning yourself from smoking you should also wean yourself from the habitual actions you take in order to smoke. During your regular smoke breaks, begin taking brisk walks around the block or the parking lot at work. If you do this a month a head of time, by the time you quit, you'll have forgotten all about the smoke shack.

Practice taking concentration breaks. Concentration breaks are easy and effective. Just close your eyes and take three deep breaths, each time visualizing clean healthy air entering and leaving your lungs. Get in the habit of taking these breaks now as they will help you get through tough cravings while you quit.

List the pros and cons of smoking. Having a list of your reasons to quit verses your reasons not to can be very powerful. You will probably find that you value your reasons to quit far more than your reasons to not to.

Avoid cynicism. The mind is a very powerful thing and you may find that it can be very easy to talk yourself out of quitting by thinking cynically toward the idea of quitting. Cynicism is, after all, a defense mechanism. You can learn to turn your cynical thoughts into positive ones by returning to your list of pros and cons or your list of reasons for quitting. For example, if you find yourself saying, "Why should I quit when I could get hit by a bus tomorrow?" Respond to yourself by saying, "Sure, I could get hit by a bus tomorrow but I probably won't. And when I do die I'd like it to be after a long, happy, well-lived life."

Share your plans with others. Many people avoid telling others of their plans to quit, keeping their plans a secret as a safety net for failure. But support from friends and family members can be the very thing that bolsters you through the dark moments of withdraw. Social pressure can, as you know, be a very strong motivator. Another point here: it can take several attempts at quitting before quitting actually sticks, so don't think of a slip up as failure. Just renew your resolve and quit all over again.

Clear the remnants of smoking from your life. The day before you quit for good, clean your house, your car and your clothes of the smell of smoke. Get rid of matches and ashtrays; put your lighters away. Replace your ashtrays with vases full of fresh flowers. You will be surprised at how the scent and beauty of flowers can beautify your surroundings and positively affect your mood.

Begin a moderate exercise program. A program that includes walking, swimming or yoga will be gentle for your body, while naturally boosting your endorphins, the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters. Plus, exercise can fill the idle time you used to spend smoking.

Begin to drink more fluids. Drinking a large amount of caffeine-free fluids while quitting will help your body begin to detoxify from the chemicals that have built up in your body. Additionally, downing a glass of water can help calm your cravings. Drinking herbal, red or white or decaffeinated green tea will also help in this process while also providing you with a healthy regimen to replace an unhealthy one.

Make a Quit Plan. Formulating a plan for quitting can mean the difference between success and failure. » Smoking Cessation Center » Preparing Yourself to Quit Smoking