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Whether you are 30 or 65, quitting smoking is always a good idea, no matter what your age. Because cigarettes have countless negative effects on the body and psyche and are a central risk factor for cardiovascular diseases such as a heart attack or stroke. Smoking cough or a smoker's leg are also typical consequences. In order to stop doing so in the long term and to be able to lead a smoke-free life, you need above all a firm will and consequence.
Many smokers find it difficult to give up the previously "beloved vice" and to deal with unpleasant withdrawal symptoms. However, there are many techniques, tips and home remedies here that can be used effectively to make it easier to quit smoking and the first time afterwards.
Type of addiction
Many smokers have tried smoking several times - it is probably the most common New Year's resolution alongside sporting ambitions. According to a representative survey, every second smoker would like to quit. It's not that easy, however, because nicotine is physically addictive and activates the brain's reward center in a matter of seconds. Without the regular dose, withdrawal symptoms such as increased irritability or inner restlessness develop. In order to avoid these unpleasant side effects of withdrawal, many smokers who want to quit are immediately lighting their next cigarette. The taste buds already have docking points for nicotine on the tongue, which is why the physical addiction probably begins in the mouth.
Some smokers find it relatively easy to break the unhealthy habit. However, the chances of success for an individual depend on how quickly the body breaks down nicotine in the circulation. If the nicotine disintegrates quickly in the organism, stopping is more difficult and physical addiction is more pronounced.
As different as the following home remedies are - they have one thing in common: when used alone, the chances of success are limited. Be sure to combine several methods to increase motivation for detoxification.
Withdrawal can only succeed if you are completely convinced of the purpose of the stop. If the internal motivation deviates from it, the exit is difficult to implement. In order not to fall into the "shift trap", a fixed day is set, from which not a single cigarette is smoked.
The problems with stopping smoking are of course, on the one hand, the physical withdrawal of nicotine, on the other hand, in the change in our trained behavior. Normally, automatic behavior saves resources and is therefore often advantageous for us; at this point, however, they prevent us from immediately becoming a non-smoker. It takes a lot of patience, because bad habits can only be dispelled by substituting new and healthy habits. To do this, we have to have a strong will against our “inner bastard” and defeat it over and over again over a longer period of time. Here are some tricks to help you fight the "bastard".
For a successful stop with the cigarettes, it is extremely helpful to clarify your own behavior during and before smoking. In which situations or situations do I tend to smoke? For this purpose, we chronologically consider when and where we consume the first cigarette of the day in order to find a suitable alternative for this first cigarette. The considerations for the following cigarettes must be similar - since we can only break through our years of trained smoking behavior by systematically overwriting our old habit patterns.
For every smoke-inducing stimulus, we therefore need a non-smoking-friendly alternative action that takes the place of smoking. In addition to a nicotine substitute, this can also be a piece of licorice (medicinal plant of the year 2012) for nibbling, a round of sudoku or a relaxing yoga exercise. It is important that the substitute action can be carried out immediately - it must therefore fit the location and circumstances.
For very heavy smokers, it is advisable to gradually reduce the high consumption over a few days to two weeks. In this way, the physical symptoms of nicotine withdrawal can be significantly weakened, making psychological persistence easier. If a box is usually smoked a day, three cigarettes are removed from the box - the rest must be enough for that day. The next day, two more cigarettes are deleted, up to the last day, on which a maximum of 2 smoldering stems can be smoked.
Have you been smoking indoors? Then it is helpful to wash apartment textiles such as loose carpets, sofa covers, curtains and the like as hot as possible or even with some fabric softener. In connection with frequent ventilation, the smoker's muff disappears from the apartment and cannot be tempted by the usual smell.
Equally beneficial: Avoid typical places of “smoking pleasure” two weeks before the stop, in order to practice replacement habits. It is still allowed to smoke in these two weeks, but we are always looking for an “uncomfortable place”. For example, the cold winter weather on the doorstep is suitable if you have smoked inside the apartment beforehand. From now on, in the office, they no longer go out smoking with their colleagues, but only after a time alone or on the other side of the building.
To quit smoking successfully, you need motivation, strong will, and consistent behavior. However, some smokers find it particularly difficult to say goodbye to the cigarette, so stopping smoking from one day to the next seems hardly conceivable and possible.
In these cases, so-called "nicotine substitutes" can help with weaning by giving off small amounts of nicotine, thereby alleviating the symptoms of withdrawal and the desire for a cigarette. This makes it easier for many fresh non-smokers to switch to the “new” life and is easier to manage. The release of nicotine from the cigarette is replaced, but it is much safer because the agents contain neither tar nor carbon monoxide or other toxic or carcinogenic substances (such as aniline, arsenic or hydrocyanic acid).
The preparations are e.g. Available for sale in the form of chewing gum or plasters in the pharmacy, but the costs must be borne by yourself. In addition, the doctor can prescription tablets such as e.g. prescribe the so-called "anti-smoking pill" Zyban to relieve withdrawal symptoms and strong cravings. Withdrawal symptoms can also be combated with the smoking drug varenicline. However, the medicines can potentially cause serious side effects, so they can only be taken under medical supervision.
The e-cigarette is also a popular substitute, but e-cigarettes also make you addicted and sick. The popular replacement cigarettes vaporize so-called liquids through a heated chamber element, the contents of which reach the lungs through inhalation. In the current study situation, it remains unclear which health consequences arise from the regular consumption of flavored and nicotine-containing evaporator liquids. For other reasons, e-cigarettes are hardly suitable for cigarette deprivation.
The steam of a hookah also contains numerous toxic substances and, in the worst case, smoking shisha can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. In general, it should be noted that nicotine replacement products do not “take over” the addiction, but can only offer a supportive framework. Instead, every smoker who is willing to wean has to want to change old behavior patterns on his own initiative. You have to learn to cope with certain situations in which people used to smoke, of course, without a cigarette.
Change of diet
Smoking stimulates the metabolism, which results in higher energy consumption and about 200 to 250 more calories are consumed every day than in the case of non-smoking. The smoking cessation normalizes the body's metabolism and fewer calories are burned than with a cigarette. The acceleration of the metabolism by the nicotine decreases in the first 24 hours after the last cigarette, which means that stopping smoking often increases the body weight very quickly.
The metabolism only runs “on a back burner” during withdrawal, and the taste and smell nerves regenerate again, which suddenly makes many foods taste much better than before. Another “danger” is old habits after smoking has ended. Because many ex-smokers take hold of certain situations in the first period after weaning, e.g. in case of stress or in the evening in front of the TV instead of a cigarette with small snacks, chocolate, wine gum and Co.
In this way, a large number of additional calories are often taken unnoticed, which become noticeable on the scales after some time. The "calorie trap" is supported by the fact that nicotine suppresses appetite. This leads to an increase in appetite and feelings of hunger after stopping smoking. As a result, some people gain weight temporarily, which is often only a few pounds. In rare cases, ex-smokers also report an increase of up to ten kilograms. Overall, however, the weight usually balances out over time.
Accordingly, in order not to gain excess weight, it is important to get your metabolism going with the right diet and a lot of physical activity and generally not to consume more calories than are consumed throughout the day. A lot of fresh vegetables and fruits, salads and whole grains are recommended. It is better not to peel fruit and vegetables, but to eat with a bowl. It is also advisable to eat fish and cook with vegetable oil at least once a week to provide the body with valuable unsaturated fatty acids. In order to support the detoxification of the body and to avoid a constant feeling of hunger, it is also important to drink enough (at least three liters) throughout the day, whereby water, tea or fruit juice spritzers are particularly suitable. There are also other tricks to boost your metabolism.
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Change of location
A little trick to bypass the power of habits: change location! On the one hand, the smoker who wants to quit should initially orientate himself to non-smoking places and avoid typical smoking places. This includes ashtrays at bus stops, smoking pubs and colleagues at work who go to the door to smoke. Stand at the back of the bus stop and choose a smoke-free cafe instead of the previous smoking bar for the first time.
Mini breaks at work can be good for herbal tea or used for a small amount of back exercises. Here it is best to get used to small rituals immediately. For example, the windows can be opened briefly once an hour, consciously standing up and taking a deep, slow breath right next to the window. Ginger tea is particularly suitable as a smoldering stalk substitute because the slightly pungent taste occupies the tongue buds.
Distraction against addiction
Hand on heart - how many times have people in the past smoked out of sheer boredom and waiting time because there was just the opportunity? This smoking in lazy moments naturally ceases after the smoking cessation, the change in this habit even leads to psychological withdrawal symptoms. Depending on the situation, a “substitute action” should be used here. For example, they could still step out into the fresh air with their work colleagues once an hour. Instead of the cigarette, there are now 15 properly done squats, which bring our blood flow back on track and distract us from the puffing process.
In the past, smoking was often done at home, depending on the situation, at the kitchen table, so you are looking for a replacement for exactly that moment of the day. Every time you feel like a cigarette in the morning, pour yourself a cup of green tea - by the way, this is an excellent radical scavenger. Did you smoke a smoldering stick at home after work? Then instead a small sudoku is solved every evening - or alternatively they take care of a pet extensively. The practice of such small new habits supports us extremely well in the fight against nicotine addiction.
It is important to know that habits are difficult to memorize in our subconscious. To consolidate a good substitute act, you have to "train" this habit for two weeks, if the habit is firmly anchored in our subconscious. Warning - eating or snacks are no substitute for a cigarette, the negative consequences in the form of being overweight will soon become apparent.
Support medicinal plants
Chewing on a small liquorice root is also a great activity for the mouth. The sweet taste also relieves the appetite for sweet snacks. St. John's wort dragees can also help, as St. John's wort reduces irritability and has a calming effect. Valerian also has a calming effect as a tea or in coated tablets. Lingane contained in it dock onto our body's own receptors and thus ensure mental relaxation.
If each cigarette is smoked for the equivalent of six euros, this adds up to 180 euros in the course of a month! It helps some to think specifically about what beautiful things can be done with this saved money. Other smokers are put off by “disgusting pictures” with warnings about lung cancer or smoking legs - in this case it is not reprehensible to hang such a picture enlarged on the refrigerator or office door.
Relaxation exercises against cigarette pleasure
Most former smokers always have a more or less strong desire for a cigarette. It is often difficult to remain consistent, especially in situations where the glow stalk has always been used automatically. This can e.g. waiting for the bus or a long phone call with the girlfriend. Likewise, there is often a strong desire for a cigarette after eating, during stress or in good company with friends over beer. However, these “attacks” are by no means a sign of weak will, instead they are completely normal in the weaning phase and gradually fade away over time.
In order not to relapse in the acute case, it helps many sufferers to consciously concentrate on their breathing and to breathe deeply in and out a few times. In this way, the thoughts about the cigarette can be “redirected”, which works especially well when it is trusted that the desire to smoke gradually diminishes and finally disappears completely. In addition, certain "danger situations" such as the lunch break with smoking colleagues should be avoided at first so as not to be tempted in the first place.
The same applies to moments in which stress suddenly arises and the desire for a cigarette arises (such as at work or through an argument at home). Here it is advisable to temporarily leave the situation or the location of the event and, for example, take a moment out into the fresh air. In general, it helps many "fresh" non-smokers to distract themselves in difficult moments with activities that are fun and quickly cause other thoughts.
If the desire for a cigarette is strong and it causes massive inner unrest, techniques for Stress relief be a good help. Autogenic training, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga or meditation are methods with which former smokers learn to relax in the weaning phase, so that the desire for a cigarette and the nervousness can be significantly reduced.
Quit smoking with hypnosis & acupuncture
Hypnosis can also be used effectively to quit smoking. However, it must be assumed here that this is motivated by your own will and not by the urging of friends, family or other people. Because a successful stop to smoking can only succeed on its own initiative. In hypnotherapy, smokers are put into a trance state in order to be able to analyze and “reprogram” the underlying psychological motives for smoking. For example, if someone smokes primarily in the event of stress, tension or frustration, it is important to learn alternative, healthier behavior patterns for these situations. For this purpose, the hypnotist formulates verbal messages and suggestions that act directly on the unconscious and should lead to the fact that the desire for the next cigarette is overcome in a trance state.
In addition, many people rely on acupuncture if they want to stop smoking. Usually three needles are inserted into the so-called “addiction points” in the ear, which suppresses the need to smoke and reduces unpleasant withdrawal symptoms such as irritability or aggressiveness. One session is often enough to overcome the desire for a cigarette, but sometimes several appointments are required until the method shows success.
Addiction tame with sport
Even short intensive sports units have been shown to significantly reduce the attractiveness of smoking, researchers found in studies. So our subconscious thinks: a steel body doesn't match the cigarette smell. In view of the increased metabolism without nicotine consumption, regular exercise in everyday life is highly recommended. It is not important here to become a sports cannon - it is much more important to incorporate the exercise units into the daily routine. As soon as the habit is firmly anchored in life, it is no longer difficult for us to pick up sports - a few sports advice for beginners may help.
Search like-minded people
Shared suffering is half suffering - and of course that also applies to smoking cessation. Various self-help groups help you to successfully quit smoking. Internet forums of non-smokers are also good for finding motivated support. It is highly motivating to stop together with your partner or a good friend. In difficult moments, you can give each other perseverance, for two the distraction from the addiction is often easier.
Help through aromatherapy
The healing power of essential oils can provide effective support and reduce stress and tension in aromatherapy. In many cases, bergamot has proven itself because it has a balancing effect on mood swings, it can calm and relax. The essential oil of bergamot can be used, for example, in the form of a compress, as a bath additive (3 to 5 drops on 50 ml neutral soap) or in a fragrance lamp (5 to 10 drops with sufficient water).
An aroma massage is often perceived as particularly beneficial, since the combination of fragrance and touch acts like a “balm” for the stressed psyche during smoking cessation. For this massage, ten milliliters of neutral oil (e.g. almond oil) are mixed with three drops of bergamot oil, which is best warmed slightly before use.
Lavender has a relaxing and soothing effect, as does chamomile and sandalwood. Some oils can also be made as herbal oils themselves. With depression and depressed moods during the smoking cessation e.g. Geranium and lemon balm have a mood-lifting effect. Lemon, orange or grapefruit oil often helps here. To support detoxification and detoxification, fennel and juniper oil are suitable, which can be used, for example, for baths, as inhalation or in a fragrance lamp.
Quit smoking with Schüßler salts
Schüßler salts can be an effective aid in quitting smoking. For example, Potassium sulfuricum or potassium sulfate (salt No. 6), which is considered an oxygen carrier and promotes cell renewal. Accordingly, it is used to activate the metabolism and to naturally support the body in detoxification. In addition, the salt No. 10, sodium sulfuricum (sodium sulfate), is suitable as a natural support for "detoxification", since it serves to remove waste materials and old cells in the body.
For example, salts No. 26 (Selenium), No. 21 (Zincum chloratum) and No. 5 (Kalium phosphoricum) can be used to relieve psychological stress and calm the nerves during weaning. If the withdrawal symptoms are acute and there is a feeling of being "under current", salt 7 (Magnesium phosphoricum) can also be a good help. The intake in the form of the so-called "hot sieves", for which ten tablets of salt no. 7 are dissolved in 200 milliliters of boiled hot water and then drunk in sips, has proven particularly useful here.
Bach flowers are also an aid to weaning, whereby they alleviate acute negative moods and should also have a positive long-term influence on one's own personal development. In the Bach flower therapy is an alternative medical form of therapy that uses 38 different plant extracts, each of which is assigned to a certain state of mind. The English doctor Edward Bach (1886-1936) developed this concept in the 1930s, based on the assumption that physical complaints are based on a mental imbalance and can therefore only be cured by harmonization on the mental and spiritual level. However, the effect of this therapy cannot be proven.
Aspen (aspen) is often used in Bach flower therapy for anxiety and inner restlessness in the course of smoking cessation. Cherry plum can also relieve the fear of letting go and help with uncontrolled temperament outbreaks. Those who are nervous and easily irritable, quickly overreacting and "going to the ceiling" can find a balance through the Bach flower of Impatiens (glandular balsam). Gentian (bitter gentian) also helps with skepticism, doubt and a pessimistic mood. Furthermore, walnut (walnut) is to provide effective support for the "restart" in a life as a non-smoker. The horse chestnut bud (Chestnut Bud), on the other hand, can be the flower of choice if a smoke stop has been tried several times.
Advantages as a non-smoker
Smoking poses a massive health hazard because it harms almost every human organ. This not only increases the risk for cancer, Respiratory and cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease or a stroke, but e.g. also for Hardening of the arteries, Erectile dysfunction or osteoporosis. Smokers can smell bad and if they are heavily consumed, there may even be a loss of taste. There are also a number of other unpleasant consequences such as Dental problems, increased wrinkling and premature skin aging.
If you want to quit smoking, you are creating the ideal conditions for a healthier life. And it does so very quickly, because the body begins to regenerate just a few hours after the last cigarette, which often causes symptoms such as smoker's cough, blocked sinuses and shortness of breath to disappear after just a few weeks. After about five years as a non-smoker, the risk of cancer of the oral cavity also drops by half, and after about ten years the same applies to the risk of lung cancer.
The risk of suffering a stroke also decreases significantly about five years after the cessation of smoking. In addition, even people with cardiovascular disease can significantly reduce their risk of a heart attack and stroke if they do not use cigarettes.
Smoking cessation also has a positive effect on the psyche. Because the new life without cigarettes is described by many former smokers as being more independent and free, since there is no longer the stress of "having to" smoke at certain intervals. The quick cigarette in the cold after eating in a restaurant or in a stuffy smoking area is a thing of the past, as is e.g. a smoke-free long-haul flight or the birthday party for non-smokers is no longer a cause for agitation and nervousness.
It also has a positive effect on the external appearance if cigarettes are not used. Because smoking, for example, causes more wrinkles and faster skin aging, since the protein collagen responsible for skin elasticity breaks down faster and builds up more slowly. Those who stop smoking, on the other hand, usually get a fresher and smoother complexion, overall look "rosier" and therefore healthier.
The hair and nails benefit by making them stronger and less dull. Likewise, unsightly yellow-brown discolouration on the fingers often disappears, brittle nails grow stronger. The same applies to discolored teeth, which can look more radiant and healthier again after professional cleaning. Even tongue coating disappears. Toi toi toi while holding out - the risk of a heart attack has already been reduced 24 hours after the last cigarette and the volume of the lungs increases significantly after a few weeks of non-smoking. (no, dp)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dipl. Social Science Nina Reese, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
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