As most of us (hopefully) know, cigarettes are addictive because of Nicotine. Your body begins to depend upon it; this is why it's difficult to quit smoking.
However, most advice offered to quit smoking is far too generalised and is unlikely to help everyone. Every person is unique and should use different methods to quit. Hence, your best bet is to personalise the way you go about cutting down on cigarettes. Of course, we're here to tell you how to go about that.
Firstly, find out your personality type through this short, free, online test. This test tells you about the various factors to your personality that broadly categorise you as an individual. These factors are extroversion, emotional stability, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to new things. Go, check out your results, and come back.
Now that you know yourself a bit better, here's how you should quit smoking, based on each factor.
Extroversion tells you if you are an introvert or an extrovert; do you prefer to be by yourself or are you extremely outgoing?
If you scored high on this scale, you're an extrovert. This means that you are more likely to listen to other people and respond to their attitudes. Hence, taking your friends' and family's help to hold you accountable for each cigarette would help you quit smoking.
There is a flip side to this, though. If a lot of people you know smoke, you're much more likely to be influenced by them and join in. If you're trying to quit smoking, try to reduce how much time you spend amongst smokers, especially when they are taking a drag or two.
On the other hand, as an introvert, having other people tell you what to do can be annoying and even have the opposite effect. You prefer to do things your way, instead of listening to others.
You should identify and give importance to your reasons to quit smoking, as you are your best friend. While doing it alone might be slightly harder, the sense of achievement when you've quit will be far greater.
Being less emotionally stable isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just means that you have a larger response to stressful events. This may make quitting less easy, as you could feel irritable or restless without a cigarette. These are common signs of nicotine withdrawal.
Find something else that makes you feel better and can replace smoking as a stressbuster in order to help you quit smoking. You may also benefit more from going to a doctor and using medication to help you quit, so don't be afraid to do so if you're finding it hard to quit.
If you score high on emotional stability, quitting could be a cakewalk. In your case, there's not much that emotional stability does to change the way you quit smoking, so look to the other personality factors to determine your process better.
Scoring high on agreeableness suggests that you are quite cooperative, and often put other's needs at par with or even ahead of their own.
Keeping the impact of second-hand smoking in mind, and also how your close ones would be impacted by you getting sick should help keep cigarettes at bay.
If you score lower on agreeableness, getting someone to challenge you or bet you can't stay off cigarettes could motivate you to rise to the occasion.
Tell people who have an exaggerated image of your habit that you're going to quit smoking, and let their surprise and disbelief fuel your dedication to the decision.
High conscientiousness levels say you are future-oriented and do well with plans and schedules. Create a detailed regime and plan where you gradually cut down on the number of cigarettes you smoke in a day.
Set a quit date, and stick to your plan until then to encourage yourself to quit smoking. The sense of reward acts as the motivation you need.
Scoring lower on conscientiousness suggests that you live in the present and often act on impulse. The best way to deal with the urge to smoke is to make them less available to yourself; this is called stimulus control in psychology.
If the accessibility is lower, you're less likely to go out and seek cigarettes. It's also more likely for you to succeed by going cold turkey rather than gradually cutting down since you don't fare well with plans and regimes.
Openness to New Things (Intellect/Imagination)
High imagination correlates with openness to new experiences. Treat the decision to quit smoking as a challenge, an adventure.
Moreover, take up a new activity or habit to replace the time and money spent on cigarettes. Build a new skill, or finally develop the new hobby you've always been interested in.
While you focus on getting better on your new challenges, it's easier to quit smoking, as cigarettes don't occupy most of your thoughts. Additionally, you're less willing to spend precious resources on smoking rather than the new challenge to tackle.
Being less open to new experiences means that you tend to stick to routines and traditional practices. It can feel chaotic and scary to break out of a habit you've already developed; in this case, smoking.
To quit smoking successfully, examine how smoking plays a part in your routine. Now, change these habits to be able to avoid buying cigarettes in the first place. Drink coffee during work breaks rather than going for a cigarette break.
Creating punishments or payments for each cigarette may also help curb the habit. Each smoke grants you one episode less on Netflix or 5 push-ups. Stick to these religiously and increase the level of the punishments over time to reduce the desire to smoke. If you combine these repercussions with a new, altered lifestyle and routine, you should be able to quit smoking without too much instability.
How To Develop Your Quit Smoking Practice
It's unlikely that you can take up all five practices at equal levels. Instead, focus on the attributes you scored the lowest or highest in. Include the other aspects as well, but not to the degree of the particular characteristics that define you in particular.
This New Year and a new decade as well, take up healthier practices and change your life for the better. Stick to these by adapting your practices to the kind of person you are, and you should be able to create a brighter future for yourself without many obstacles.