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Smoking is bad for you—we’ve all heard it before. But what makes it so hard to quit? The act of smoking is both a physical and psychological addiction, which is often treated as a way to cope with stress, depression or even boredom. In order to effectively quit, you have to address both the addiction and the habits that go along with it. Here are 10 tips to help you kick the habit for good.

1.       Talk about your plan: Telling your friends and family about your plan to quit smoking is the fastest way to develop a support system to aid with encouragement and motivation. Even better, you may find someone who also wants to quit, allowing you two to take the journey together.

2.      
Remove the temptation: Get rid of all cigarettes, ashtrays, lighters and matches if you plan on quitting cold turkey. Shampoo your car and carpets to remove the cigarette odor.

3.       Find distractions: Whenever you feel a craving, distract yourself with another action, such as cleaning the house, calling a friend, creating an oral substitute like popping a mint or eating a snack, reading, doing a crossword puzzle, going for a walk or anything else you find effective.

4.       Find focus: Remember why you decided to quit in the first place. Whether it be for your health, for the money you’ll save or both. Focusing on your reasons can help you stay on target.

5.       Avoid triggers: Refrain from doing things or going places that trigger your craving for a cigarette. It may help to keep a journal of these triggers in the weeks leading up to quitting. Note the times, locations etc. that you smoke and search for any patterns so you can anticipate when cravings may kick in.

6.       Use positive reinforcement: A reward system can be very effective. Whenever you overcome a craving, treat yourself to a piece of chocolate or something as equally delightful to your tastes.

7.       Try hypnosis: A skilled hypnotist is able to get you into a deeply relaxed state, in which you become more open to suggestions that can help enhance negative feelings toward smoking.

8.       Try acupuncture: Once you resolve to quit smoking, acupuncture can help you manage withdrawal symptoms by triggering the release of endorphins in your body to help with relaxation.

9.       Keep your hands busy: Many people report missing the action of holding a cigarette. Instead, try squeezing a stress ball, journaling or building a puzzle.

10.   Talk to your doctor: If you continue to struggle, your doctor can prescribe medication to help with withdrawal symptoms. If you’d rather not go that route, try nicotine patches or gum that can be purchased over the counter.

Learn more about improving your health. Call Loftis & Wetzel Corporation at 405-418-3200 for more information on Oklahoma City health insurance.

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