Walking away from any addiction is difficult. When you take away something your body has developed a need for, there’s going to be cravings, especially when it comes to quitting smoking.
Regardless if it’s a habit you hide or smoking is something you casually do in public, it’s part of your identity. While it may be something you’re desperately trying to quit, a physical and mental need for nicotine is just as much a part of who you are as a job title or your place of residence. Almost every feeling and type of experience you can have, you associate with smoking.
Do you have big plans for tonight, something exciting enough that you are about to explode with anticipation? Smoke a cigarette. It will help you calm your nerves. Are you having a rough day and things aren’t exactly going your way? Smoke a cigarette. It will take the edge off and help you relax. Tired and need a quick pick me up? Have a smoke. Ready to start your day? Light up and let’s get going. See what I mean?
Very few people try to give up smoking once and have success in the first go-round. Normally, several attempts and methods have been used, searching for what will work. I don’t think there’s a right or wrong answer, here. Tons of people have quit smoking in several different ways, including stopping cold turkey. While that’s probably not the approach I would take, I know more than one person who’s made it work.
It’s not uncommon for a few failed attempts to lead people to believe there’s no hope. This simply isn’t true. I think the secret is finding what it is that works best for you. If you can discover something that helps take away the frustration of not smoking a cigarette instead of creating it, you’re on the right path. To get started, let’s address just a couple of reasons why quitting smoking can be so difficult.
Smoking is part of the routine
As I mentioned earlier, if you smoke cigarettes, it’s something you associate with everything you do in one way or another. It almost comes naturally. How could anyone go through “that,” good or bad, and not want a cigarette? When you spend a significant period doing the same thing over and over again, it’s difficult to give up, with or without physical dependence.
For instance, every morning, for as long as I can remember, I’ve started brewing a cup of coffee within 10 minutes of waking up. First, I get out of bed. After using the restroom, I pop my head in my daughter’s room to make sure she’s still asleep and everything is alright.
Then, I head downstairs to let the dogs out the back door. As soon as the door closes behind me, I instantly head for the kitchen counter for the coffee pot. At this point, I’m still half asleep. There isn’t much thought that goes into the process. I’ve been doing this same exact thing every morning for so many years, it happens naturally. It’s part of my routine.
I’m not trying to downplay the physical craving of nicotine and say it’s no different than starting a pot of coffee. I’m saying when you do the same thing over and over again, it just happens without much mental activity. The same concept goes into smoking. It’s very difficult to get out of a habit you’ve been doing for years.
There’s a mental craving
With an addiction such as nicotine, there are two different types of cravings, both mental and physical. Not enough preparation goes into giving up something our minds think they need. You can be as ready as you want to be to fight the physical craving. But if you’re not prepared for what your mind is telling you it needs, you’re fighting a losing battle.
Think about this for a minute. If you talk to someone who smokes and ask them why they do, most of the time you’ll hear answers such as “it relaxes me,” or “it helps me deal with people.” These aren’t “physical” reasons for smoking. They’re mental reasons.
According to a recent study, smoking addiction is based on only 20% physical dependence. The other 80% is mental. These gums and patches people use to try and quit smoking and give up, don’t do anything to address the mental side of a person’s craving for nicotine.
Products like gums and patches can be a huge help for someone who’s trying to quit smoking. The reason they commonly don’t work is that they do nothing for your mind. Because of this, these products aren’t enough on their own. If you are serious about never smoking again, there’s a great chance you’re going to need more help than these products alone.
Using all of the tools available
Regardless if you hate the fact or love it, technology plays a huge role in the world we live in today, and its role is growing. It doesn’t matter what it is you’re looking for, they have an app for it. Looking for the latest political news? There’s an app you need to download. Are you looking for life, up to the second sports scores? There’s an app you’re going to need.
With that being said, why wouldn’t you want as much help as possible fighting both the physical and mental cravings that come with nicotine? Here are five of the most effective apps you can download to help you quit smoking.
The EasyQuit app can be downloaded for free through Google Play for Android Devices. The app offers features such as scientific health stats, motivational badges, money saved, even a mode for smokers who prefer to quit over a short period instead of all at once.
The app features a “memory game” to keep your mind focused on something other than smoking when an urge comes up. It’s been scientifically proven that these mental urges can often last up to three minutes. This game allows you to keep your thoughts occupied with something other than a cigarette while the three minutes pass.
You will also be able to set personal motivations for yourself that the app will use to randomly remind you of why it is you want to quit smoking. These aren’t motivations such as smoking is bad for your health or costs you money. You can be specific with your reasons for quitting, giving you additional encouragement for more difficult times.
The money statistics the app provides will show you exactly how much money you’re keeping in your pocket as days add up without a cigarette. It encourages you to set both goals and rewards for yourself with the extra money you’re saving. When you’ve reached the predetermined amount, you’ll be reminded to go buy that reward you wouldn’t have been able to if you were still spending your money supporting your smoking habit.
2. Quit Tracker
The Quit Tracker is another app for Android devices available through Google Play that can be downloaded and installed on your phone for free. This is a high-quality app that lets you know an estimate of the amount of time you’ve added to your life without smoking, the amount of money you saved by not buying cigarettes, and exactly how long it has been since your last smoke.
If you’ve been close to quitting for good in the past and simply need that last additional boost to get you over the hump, this app will be exactly what you need. Quit Tracker will inform you exactly how much of your life span you should miss due to smoking in the past. But, this time can be regained by quitting smoking for good and picking up a few additional healthy practices and lifestyles.
You will be able to view your timeline without a cigarette, enabling you to experience just how quickly your body benefits from going without smoking. You will also be able to see exactly how much money you are currently saving throughout your time without smoke and receive rewards for being a step closer to a smoke-free life.
Along with telling you exactly how many days you have gone without a cigarette, according to the personal details you provide about your smoking habit, you’ll also be informed of how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked during the time. Nothing builds momentum like showing yourself the exact progress you have made.
3. My Last Cigarette
My last cigarette is an app available through the iPhone app store. Its goal is to not only help you stop smoking but to stay stopped. The app is used to help you stay both energized and motivated during the days and weeks of mental cravings for nicotine. In the upbeat, fast-paced world we live in today, everything is now now now. Because of this, people who are making a sincere attempt to quit smoking need a tool that’s available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
With the iPhone, this app is just the tool you need. It allows you to visualize necessary stats concerning both the process of quitting smoking and your health. Using the latest stats and medical know-how, the my last cigarette app allows you to see your expected craving and nicotine level readouts.
Through the app, you will be given both facts and quotes to motivate you, every day. Being inspired plays a significant role in combating the mental aspects of the cravings you will face in the days and weeks to come. This app will allow you to see the levels of carbon monoxide through your bloodstream as well as the additional time you’re adding to your life expectancy by not smoking cigarettes.
There have been many years invested in the development of this app. You will use the stats of your own health along with years of medical research on the dangerous effects caused by smoking and what to expect as you go longer and longer without a cigarette.
4. Smoke Free
Smoke Free is another app for Android devices available through the Google Play store. It has many of the same features the previously mentioned apps offer. Smoke Free allows you to track the progress you’ve made quitting smoking and measure the achievements you predetermine, all of which result in quitting smoking for good.
You will not only see the money you have already saved by not smoking, but this app also shows you exactly how much you will save over the next year if you remain smoke-free. By letting the app know how many cigarettes you were smoking a day before quitting, Smoke Free calculates exactly how many cigarettes you haven’t smoked since quitting.
One feature that sets this app apart from the others is that it allows you to track and log the cravings you have. This has two huge benefits. By keeping a record of these cravings, you’ll have a record of what you should be expecting throughout the day as well as the progress you’ve made as the cravings become fewer.
Also, by taking the time to log these cravings as they happen, you’ll be taking your thoughts away from the physical act of smoking. Remember, a huge part of the battle you’re facing is mental, not physical. The busier you’re able to keep your mind, the less likely you are to return to smoking.
5. Get rich or die smoking
This app is huge on the fact that it will only work if you actually want to quit smoking. If living a smoke-free life isn’t important to you, it’s not going to work. They make sure you are fully aware of this upfront.
It comes with many of the other features we’ve already discussed, except for the log to track your cravings. However, get rich or die smoking provides something just as valuable, if not more. This app comes with a community of other users just a tap away on your phone’s screen.
Regardless of the addiction, you’re trying to kick, going about it alone is even more difficult. This app puts you in direct contact with thousands of other people with the same goal you’re trying to achieve. Talk to other people who are quitting smoking. Having a difficult time? Talk with someone who has been smoke-free longer than you and ask how they were able to get through their toughest cravings.
Once you have a few weeks without a cigarette under your belt, reach out to others who are in their first few days and be the encouragement they need to go without smoking.
Recommended Read – Is Vaping Better than Smoking?
Don’t give up
Regardless of the app, you choose to help you along your journey, don’t give up. Even if you’ve already tried to quit smoking a hundred times and have given in every one of them, keep trying. If one app doesn’t provide what you’re looking for, try another one. If you’ve decided that it’s time to kick the habit, do whatever it takes to live a smoke-free life.