Money & Life – Quit smoking to have more of both!

SA Men - stop smoking

Smoking is a habit many of us love to hate. We know it’s unhealthy, expensive and becoming more and more unaccepted in public places. Why then do we cling to it like we do, or battle so much to give up? Well first of all, as we all know, it’s highly addictive. There are those who might say, ‘’oh, I can stop whenever I want to!’’ Well, when you look at what it does to your body and your bank balance, the way it makes you and your clothes stink, why wouldn’t you then just give up? We are addicted! End of story. In essence, the most enjoyable smoke is usually the first one in the morning and the one after meals. The rest are just pure habit.The thought of quitting is daunting to many, as it becomes a habit we rely on at social occasions and is a kind of coping mechanism when life gets a bit tough. False Hope There are many ways to assist in the abstinence of smoking. There have been books, articles and programs dedicated to assisting people in stopping. Some genius has even come up with the idea of using an electronic cigarette to assist our conquests over the dreaded smoking habit. The e-cigarette is a great way to end the intake of toxins and other rubbish we put into our bodies with each smoke, but does little to assist in breaking the reliance on the cause of the problem, namely nicotine! It’s like some of those machines you can buy off the TV that claim to give you great abs by strapping them on and sitting back while the machine does all of the work. Cold turkey, my friend! That’s the only way. Get it over and done with, and don’t prolong the inevitable. There will be cravings, there will be moodiness and there will be unease within yourself while stopping. But instead of delaying this with chewing gum or e-cigarrettes, get on with it. The sooner the better. What to Expect Be prepared for cravings way down the line, and expect to have dreams about smoking. The key here is to take comfort in the fact that it will get easier, and these cravings will become more fleeting and manageable. Prepare yourself mentally for what is to come, understand why you want to stop, as well as the benefits. Start thinking about smoking as the disgusting habit it actually is, the damage it does to your health, and what a waste of money it is. At the end of the day, you’ve got a bunch of leaves rolled up in a piece of paper which you set fire to and inhale. Start by mentally preparing yourself. Constantly look at other smokers and think how stupid they are to spend so much money every month on something that stinks, will shorten their lives, and is way too expensive anyway. You don’t want to be one of those idiots do you? Secondly you need to understand what you’re in for. It is tough, and pretty uncomfortable, your mind will start making all sorts of excuses as to why you should just have one and then stop tomorrow, or is this really worth it etc. Stay in control and remember why you are doing this. No matter how you feel, it will pass. The Method! Try keeping a smoke with you, and just know that all you have to do to fail and start smoking again is to set fire to that cigarette. If you don’t do it, you’re in the clear. And by all accounts you must not set fire to it, no matter what happens. The only mental hurdle you have now is to refrain from lighting that smoke. Without it, your mind would start making excuses, and telling you stories until eventually it has convinced you to get in your car, drive to the shop, buy a pack of smokes, and fail on your conquest of a smoke free life. Your first goal should be to make one day, smoke free. If you can do one day, you can do two, if you can do two days, you can do four, and so on. After you’ve done one day, aim for 3 days, and then 1 week, and then 3 weeks, 3 months etc. For some reason, the number 3 represents the toughest periods- 3 hours, 3 days, 3 weeks and 3 months. Stick to your guns, keep your mind strong, and kick that filthy habit out of your life. Good Luck!