Preparing to Quit Smoking
The first step to quitting is to study your own smoking habits. What events or activities make you light up? How often do you smoke?
Once you have an idea of when and why you smoke, you can look for replacements for smoking. For example, smoking may relax you. If so, learn and practice another way to relax, such as deep breathing and relaxation exercises. If smoking gives you energy, try standing and stretching or taking a walk when you start to feel the urge to smoke. Exercise can make you more alert.
Perhaps you enjoy the feeling of holding the cigarette, lighting it, gesturing with it, and tapping off the ashes. To keep your hands busy without a cigarette, try a strand of beads, a polished stone, or a pen.
Before you quit, it's also a good idea to plan rewards for sticking to your goal. For example, you might go to a movie to reward yourself for each week you don't smoke. Or you might put your cigarette money into a jar and use it to buy books or CDs or clothes - or save it for a trip.
Also, set up a cheerleading squad - family or friends who will give you support. Former smokers understand what you're going through and may be especially supportive. The more people you tell you are quitting, the more your pride will help you resist lighting up.
Finally, set a date to quit. Choose a time when you expect your life to be fairly calm. That way, stress won't tempt you to smoke. And if you do have withdrawal symptoms, they won't interfere with your life as much.