The Most Effective Natural Method to Stop Smoking
Do you long to quit smoking? Have you tried to beat this habit many times without success? Are you concerned about the health hazards of using stop smoking aids filled with nicotine – the very substance you are trying to give up?
Don’t worry, you are not alone! It’s very difficult to stop smoking (even ex-smokers agree that it’s one of the hardest things they’ve ever done!) but we are here to help you every step of the way.
Our founder and CEO, Michele Carelse, smoked 20 – 30 cigarettes a day from about the age of 18. She also tried many times to give up smoking, without success. Finally, she had enough and wanted her health back. Michele decided to create a strategy to help herself give up smoking. As a Clinical Psychologist, Michele knew that quitting any addiction, especially a nicotine addiction, is very difficult. Most people (especially non-smokers) think that it is all about willpower. They view smokers who fail to stop smoking as ‘weak’. This couldn’t be further from the truth – after all, who would expect a heroin addict to stop without rehab, help, support and even psychiatric medication? Nicotine addiction is just as difficult to beat!
Not wanting to go the psychiatric medication route (and replace one addiction with another!), Michele decided to combine her knowledge of psychology and natural medicine to come up with a plan to help herself stop smoking. Fifteen years later, she is still ‘clean’. Since then, Michele has shared her Stop Smoking Plan with many people who have succeeded in quitting the habit – and are still clean!
Here are Michele’s 5 top tips to help you to prepare for quitting and make your stop smoking journey easier:
1. Create a stop smoking plan
A great way to prepare to quit smoking is to have a plan in place. Some smokers have quit by going cold turkey but for most people this is extremely difficult – and that’s why creating a plan helps to keep you on track. A good plan should be tailor made to your specific needs and identify the short-term and long-term challenges you will face as you move the process and how you will also overcome them.
2. Choose a quit date
Once you’ve decided to quit smoking, set yourself a quit date. It’s best to choose a date within the next four weeks to quit smoking – this will give you enough time to PREPARE while you are still motivated. Think carefully about your quit date – you would ideally want to choose a day to quit when you are feeling relaxed and calm and mentally focused! Don’t quit smoking on a day when you are stressed or going out with friends and may be tempted to light up.
Mark your quit day on your calendar and place it somewhere you will be able to see it every day. This will be your daily reminder that you have made the decision to live a smoke-free life. It’s important to remember that the stop smoking process has to be a gradual, steady process in order to achieve success. Natural remedies have been shown to prepare the body for quitting smoking and resist cravings for longer.
In the Feelgood Health range, our Stop Smoking Solution consists of three natural remedies to help you quit smoking – MindSoothe, Crave-Rx and Triple Complex NicoTonic to give you the best chance of a successful transition to a smoke-free life.
The first remedy that you should start using is MindSoothe which prepares your body while you continue to smoke – in the few weeks before your Quit Date. It contains herbal ingredients which prepare you psychologically for nicotine withdrawal and helps to keep you calm and ready to face the challenges ahead of you, preventing the typical nicotine withdrawal depression so often experienced by people who are trying to quit smoking.
3. Identify your smoking triggers
All smokers have smoking triggers and that is why it is very important to identify your personal smoking triggers. When do you crave a cigarette the most? Do you smoke after a meal? Do you smoke first thing in the morning? Do you smoke more when you are stressed or upset? These are triggers that help to identify what causes you to smoke and are usually associated with certain activities, people or places.
A good idea is to keep a craving journal and list all the things that make you want to smoke and at what times the craving occurs during the day. Keep a log of your smoking triggers during the weeks leading up to your quit day – What were you doing when you felt the craving? Who was with you at the time?, How intense was the craving? How were you were feeling and how did you feel after smoking?
In order to quit smoking successfully, you have to find ways in which you are going to deal with certain situations without reaching for a cigarette. And yes, it’s going to be hard, it’s going to be difficult at times but it will be worth it too!
A common habit of smokers is to have a cigarette directly after a meal. Replace that habit by eating a piece a fruit, some dark chocolate or chewing gum. Many smokers often say that they only smoke when drinking alcohol. If your smoking is linked to enjoying a few glasses of wine or beer, then try drinking in places where smoking is prohibited. You could also abstain from alcohol and rather have a non-alcoholic beverage.
One of the hardest parts of trying to quit is when other smokers are smoking around you. It becomes so tempting to have a puff! You need to let your friends, family and co-workers know that you have decided to quit. If you used to join your smoking buddies for a smoke and a coffee break, you have to do something else instead.
4. Coping with nicotine withdrawal
As soon as you reach your Quit Date and stop smoking, you will start to experience symptoms as your body adjusts to not having nicotine in its system – this is called nicotine withdrawal. Withdrawal symptoms can be unpleasant! You can expect to experience cigarette cravings, irritability, frustration, restlessness, headaches, increased appetite, sleeplessness, tremors or tiredness. It starts quite quickly, about thirty minutes to an hour of your last cigarette and symptoms can last for a few days, sometimes even up to several weeks. While these withdrawal symptoms are uncomfortable, they will pass and you will get through them. Craving for nicotine often also often leads to other addictions such as food, caffeine and nicotine gum.
Try and remember that the PHYSICAL symptoms of nicotine withdrawal only last for 3 – 4 weeks. They are intense, but pass quickly. You can get through that, can’t you? The psychological craving to have a cigarette is much longer lasting but easier to resist, so the worst time is really the first month and then you are on your way to a cigarette free life!
Use a natural remedy like our Crave RX to assist with the management of nicotine cravings. This remedy also contains herbs that will help to prevent the sugar cravings and overeating that often cause people to go back to cigarettes due to unwanted weight gain.
When trying to quit, most smokers can be ratty, moody and temperamental. Michele calls it the ‘short fuse syndrome’! Our Triple Complex NicoTonic uses natural biochemic tissue salts to assist with the “short fuse syndrome” so frequently associated with nicotine and withdrawal. Triple Complex NicoTonic helps to prevent irritability, restlessness and temper outbursts and ensures a calmer and more successful path to a cigarette free life!
5. Managing nicotine cravings
Unfortunately you can’t avoid cravings altogether! They will sneak up on you but don’t usually last long. Remember to wait it out because the cravings will pass. In the beginning, it will be hard and you will have to find ways to distract yourself – this can be done by keeping yourself busy with another activity like going for a walk, watching TV or messaging a friend. It definitely helps to take up a hobby and many ex-smokers now find themselves enjoying running, cycling, hiking or going to a pottery or an art class.
Constantly remind yourself why you quit smoking, especially when you feel you may relapse. Stay focused on your goal and remember that you have come this far now. Keep in mind how much better you feel and look now, that quitting is ultimately good for your health and also that you are saving more money.
Avoid situations where you may be tempted to smoke. Be aware of your smoking triggers and remove yourself from people or activities that may cause you to crave a cigarette.
Finally, remember to reward yourself! Celebrate your victories and individual milestones such as “I’m one week smoke-free, I’m one month smoke-free or I’m six months smoke-free”. Be proud of what you have achieved and reward yourself. You should definitely have some cash to spare after saving all that money you would have spent on smoking!If you have any health-related questions, please contact us or leave a comment below for FREE advice. We always love hearing from you!