• Quitting Smoking – Are You Ready?

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    We all know that quitting smoking is one of the single most difficult things that anyone can do. So when thinking about quitting, you should do all the things that you can to prepare, to give you the best chance at success.

    The stages are:

    1. Pre-Contemplation: When in this stage the person has no desire to stop smoking. In fact, the person is enjoying smoking and never even thinks about quitting. Only about ten percent of smokers are in this stage at any given time.
    2. Contemplation: Here, the smoker is just starting to think about quitting smoking. He/she is not ready to take any steps toward stopping but maybe is thinking about the different ways of quitting or why smoking is so bad for you. Some smokers never get out of this stage, they continue to think about stopping but don’t ever take any further action.
    3. Preparation: In this stage the smoker has gone beyond just thinking about quitting and has taken some action. Perhaps he/she has changed brands, cut down on the number of cigarettes smoked, started doing research on the web (like visiting this website). This person is building up the desire to quit and the commitment to stick it out.
    4. Action: In this stage, the person has chosen whichever method to quit smoking they wanted and is no longer smoking. He/she is very motivated and trying to cope with nicotine withdrawal and the psychological and habitual aspects of quitting. It is a very difficult time and will require the use of new coping mechanisms.
    5. Maintenance: People enter this stage when they haven’t been smoking for about six months or so. The ex-smoker still gets the urge to smoke from time to time. So his/her resolve is still being tested. This is when the different coping mechanisms you’ve chosen will help in overcoming those urges.
    6. Relapse: As the name suggests, at this stage the person has succumbed to the cravings and gone back to smoking. However, if this has happened to you, don’t be discouraged because you haven’t failed. Relapse is a normal part of quitting. And think how much you have learned! You know more about your strengths and weaknesses and why you smoke so that you know that you must try some different things next time. The important thing to remember is not to get discouraged and to keep trying. If you do you will be a non-smokerif you stick with it.

    Am I Ready for Action?

    Determine which stage you’re in and, if it is not stage one, even if you’ve relapsed several times before, you are now on your way to finally quitting smoking.

    Remember that no one else can make you want to quit so you must decide when it’s the right time. Several of my clients think they should wait until there is no stress in their lives. While you don’t want to quit during a period of major stress there is rarely a time when your life is stress free. There is never a perfect time to quit.

    So answer the following questions to see if this is a good time for you:

    • Do you have at least one specific, personal reason for quitting?
    • Are your top five reasons very important to you?
    • Are you willing to experience some temporary discomfort in order to achieve your goal?
    • Do you have at least one support person to help you?
    • Would you be willing to possibly gain some weight (usually temporary) in order to quit smoking?

    If you can answer yes to at least two questions you should continue forward with your decision of stopping smoking. Obviously, if you have more than two you are in even a stronger position to try quitting. If you can’t answer at least two then this is not the time for you to try. Keep reevaluating your position each month until the time is right.

    If you’ve determined that this is a good time to quit smoking, you may now want to review the various methods for stopping smoking.

This entry was posted on December 30, 2010 at 3:50 am
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