Some people really struggle with the 'quit' particularly the first few days/weeks. So I thought I'd try to put down in writing the way I approached it, by trying to be positive about the actual quit process. It might not help everyone but it might help some people embarking on the quit road.
It's not surprising it's hard, if it was easy there wouldn't be anywhere near as many smokers as there are. Reading and understanding the nature of the addition does help. Remember you are trying to break a drug addiction - there will be physical cravings and mental desires born out of years of habit. You need to break both of these and it's not easy, but it can be a more positive experience if you try to enjoy the quit itself and recognise the achievement in the process.
I'm not talking about the benefits of not smoking, I mean the achievements of actually going through the quit.
1. Be proud of quitting. Many, many people have tried and failed. It's not easy and you're doing it. Be proud of yourself. It takes willpower and determination - and you've got both.
2. Other smokers are envying you. They might not be openly supportive but I reckon that deep down every smoker is looking at you and thinking I wish I had his/her will power.
3. Recognise your achievements. Each day, week and then month without a cigarette is a major achievement and milestone. Celebrate it. Treat yourself to something and pat yourself on the back.
4. Enjoy the convenience. Although your thoughts might still be dominated by cigarettes (it's only natural, you're breaking a long-time habit) recognise the freedom and convenience it's giving you during the quit. Your 'default' position might be having to go outside in the rain for a cigarette, planning your next cigarette break, leaving friends/family in favour of a cigarette break etc. Now you have the convenience of doing exactly what you want to do without being interrupted by having to stop to feed your addiction.
5. Every night and every morning. Every time you go to sleep tell yourself it's another day behind you, and well done. Feel good about yourself for having got through another day. Every morning remember how good it felt to have got through a day and you want that feeling again.
6. Challenge the 'firsts'. Every ex-smoker has a fear of the 'firsts'. The first drink without a cigarette, the first party, the first long drive etc etc. All these are triggers for cigarettes. Instead of avoiding them, welcome them, prepare to beat them and then be proud that you can tick off that trigger and never have to do the 'first' again.
7. Substitutes. Enjoy having something better/healthier to do instead. Whether cooking a new recipe, taking up walking, drinking more water, eating better food.
8. Enjoy the immediates. It is a fact, you now smell better (you might not notice but other people do), breathe easier, etc. You're body is responding positively. Even the down-side of quitting eg mood swings, eating more, spots(!) are all signs that your body is recovering from years of smoking. You should be pleased each time you go through one of them, it's a sign you're on the road to recovery.
9. Real money. If you were smoking a packet a day, that's the equivalent of £35 a week extra in your pocket. Be pleased you've saved that, treat yourself.
10. Profit and loss account. List what you've lost by not smoking, and what you've gained.
11. Freedom of choice. For the first time, you have freedom of choice over whether you smoke or not. As a smoker, you need to feed that addiction. Now you can choose whether to smoke or not. Think back to the first cigarette you ever had. If you could turn the clock back and choose whether or not to smoke it, I reckon most smokers would say 'no'. You have that choice again! This time make the right one and be proud that you are doing so.
12. It's a challenge - and you're doing it. Be proud of your quit.