The Simplest Way to Avoid a Smoking Relapse

avoid a smoking relapse

How many times have you tried to quit smoking? Just once?

Congratulations! You are in the minority.

According to the American Cancer Society, most people try to quit smoking several times before they succeed. All too often, they relapse, mindlessly returning to old behaviors and bad habits, automatically reaching for cigarettes and learn what to do when quitting smoking.

Relapse may be common, and so many of us have been there, but you don’t have to be one of them. You can quit smoking successfully — and without relapse. You just need to avoid the common pitfalls associated with them.

 

You’ve Probably Relapsed in One of These Ways

 

Relapse is optional.

 

If you’ve relapsed in the past, rest assured that you don’t need to do it again. And if you’re just about to embark on your journey to quit smoking, you don’t need to to do it at all.

 

How familiar do the following scenarios sound?

 

You’re hanging out with friends at a bar on a Friday night, enjoying music, conversation and a beer. A friend lights up and you do the same, without a second thought. You’re on the same old playground with the same old playmates. You forgot what games — and habits — typically come into play at your favorite hangout.

 

Ever sat down for a cup of coffee with a friend to find yourself tempted to share their cigarette because caffeine and nicotine are the perfect pair? You don’t even realize you’re considering smoking again until you’re done exhaling.

 

Sure, we could all do with less stress in our lives, but it’s there and is often the number one downfall for a relapse. But smoking has been there to help us through the rough times, hasn’t it? When no one else was around to pat our backs or lick our wounds, we had our tried and true companions: cigarettes.

 

Maybe your boss called you out at a team meeting. You were mortified. You hold your head high, but inside you’re falling apart. At long last, the meeting’s adjourned, and you race out to find a nice, quiet place where you can smoke. Every time you inhale, you feel better. You slowly exhale, watching your anxiety, and thick smoke rings, dissipate into thin air. But let’s face it, the relief, though immediate, is temporary.

 

According to Quit.org, the cigarette only seems to relax you because the nicotine gives you a brief hit from dopamine, a brain-reward chemical. But it also gives you a spike in heart rate and blood pressure. As long as you’re smoking, you won’t actually achieve the same relaxation and stress-relief as a nonsmoker. Oops.

 

avoid a smoking relapse 2

 

Of course, a smoking relapse can happen when we’re in a seemingly good place, too. I smoked in good times and bad, through highs and lows. Let’s go have a drink to celebrate a promotion or new job. Your best friend got engaged. “What? He asked you to marry him?” Time for a cigarette.

 

Relapses also tend to happen when you’re dieting. That pizza that just magically appeared at the house warming party is tempting and would be great with the Lambrusco you’re drinking. But you’re trying to stick to the diet, so you excuse yourself, step outside and smoke instead.

 

Or you’re back at work, and a client sent over an obnoxious basket filled with everything from caramel corn to chocolate-dipped pretzels. You’re not even hungry, but it’s sitting in the open office area, mocking you and your lack of willpower. You snarl back, sneaking out to indulge in something else: calorie-free, but poison-laden tobacco. Relapse. Still, you have some bizarre sense of satisfaction mingled with the guilt of your relapse. After all, you showed that basket who was boss, didn’t you?

 

These may be different scenarios, but they share a common denominator: Deep down, you still wanted to smoke. You “said” you were going to quit, but you weren’t convinced. You hadn’t committed.

 

The Solution

We know that relapse is common, but it doesn’t mean you have to go down that road. Others have done it for you, demonstrating time and time again that having “just one” never really works out that way. I’m here to tell you that maintaining a smoke-free life isn’t only attainable, it’s easy.

 

Here’s the key: a genuine desire to quit.

 

To successfully quit smoking, you must have a strong, genuine desire. With that desire comes a painless, powerful solution. What? It sounds too easy? That’s because it is. We’ve seen it work time and time again with thousands who have used The Method. Once you have the genuine desire to quit, you have the key to a life free from relapse.

 

avoid a smoking relapse 3

It’s similar to escaping a dysfunctional relationship. Sometimes you don’t know how emotionally or physically damaging it is until you are removed from the situation. Don’t fool yourself, smoking is physically damaging and hazardous to your health. No one who smokes wants to  hear or believe it, but every single cigarette has a direct impact on your insides. There are no freebies. Not one flies under the radar.

 

When you slam the door on your smoking addiction, you find yourself opening another door to a whole new world of living, feeling, and looking better.

 

When you know what to do when you quit smoking you’ll find yourself embracing new activities that are conducive to healthy living. Instead, you’ll discover and embrace new solutions like exercising, journaling, or cooking. It sounds corny, but your thinking will shift. Instead of adding onto your already stressful personal situation with a relapse you’ll be inclined to do something that actually makes you feel better, not worse.

 

The Real Deal

When you find yourself in a bad spot physically, mentally or emotionally, you won’t be inclined to find temporary relief by relapsing with “just one” smoke. Because here’s the truth of the matter: after you let yourself smoke that one cigarette to make yourself feel “better”, you end up feeling worse. You’ve now added another entirely new source of stress to your life on top of the one that prompted you to smoke in the first place: you just picked up smoking again.
Addiction is a finite experience, with a beginning and an end. Your genuine desire will help lead you to your smoking “end.” In doing so, you may discover a new beginning.

 

Roxana Saidi

In June 2011, Roxana became the third founding team member of The Kerry Gaynor Method. Kerry’s mission to rid the world of cigarettes was a very personal one as many of her friends and acquaintances had already quit smoking thanks to Kerry. Roxana regards her role at the company not as a position, but instead as a leader in a movement to eradicate death, suffering and illness due to cigarettes.

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