Quitting smoking is a perennially popular resolution and one that most people fail to achieve on their first attempt. — Glenn Sullivan Ph.D.
Have you recently started quitting smoking? Does it make you feel good that you have finally given up this bad habit? Are you having difficulty in continuing the process? Most importantly, do you find yourself in a situation where you are suffering from smoking relapse?
If you answered all the questions in the affirmative, do not worry because you are not alone. Unfortunately, the process of stopping yourself from the use of cigarettes or other tobacco products is challenging. There will be days when you would miss puffing a stick of cigar. In some days, you will also find yourself wanting to light one. The truth is that smoking relapse happens to everyone and you do not need to feel sorry about it.
What Is Smoking Relapse?
Smoking relapse occurs when a former smoker reverts to his old habit. In this kind of situation, the old smoker starts to smoke again. Several causes can give rise to relapse. Among which are weight gain and stress. A recent study shows that when a person feels too much stress in his life, he has a high chance of going back to his old smoking habits.
…a smoker trying to quit smoking can talk quite a bit about how they are going to resist the urge to smoke. But when that need gets strong, the goal system is going to make cigarettes more and more attractive and is going to make everything else less and less attractive to help make the smoker satisfy their need to smoke. — Art Markman Ph.D.
What Triggers Smoking Relapse?
Aside from stress and weight gain, relapse can also occur due to the following:
- Peer pressure;
- Feeling overconfident about one’s self;
- Experiencing a lack of sleep or insomnia;
- Being isolated from family members or friends;
- Having problems at work;
- Living in an adverse environment; and
- Feeling too much pressure.
There is a need to be aware of these triggers so that you will know how to address your smoking addiction. Take note that you have already survived for too long without using tobacco products. Fight the urge to smoke again. Instead, make an effort to pinpoint what causes the relapse and address it by eliminating the problem. It will probably take time, but everything will be worth it in the end.
What Should You Do?
Are you truly ready to quit? Be honest with yourself. If the answer is “sort of,” then you are not ready. — Marni Amsellem, PhD
Fortunately, you can do many things to deal with smoking relapse. Here are some ideas that you could use:
- Find a new passion that can make you happy. Eliminate the stressors in your life by shifting your attention to better projects or activities. Do not get stuck. Look for something that you are interested in and be passionate about it. For example, you can enroll in workshops or classes to learn new things.
- Surround yourself with positive people. Having the right people in your circle can help you a lot in overcoming the relapse. Talk to a friend about your problems. Do not be afraid to let yourself open up to them. Keep in mind that someone out there cares a lot about you.
- Avoid circumstances that could make you want to smoke. For instance, do not go to bars where alcoholic drinks are overflowing. Having bottles of beers on your hands can increase your urges to light some cigarettes.
The point of this article is that experiencing smoking relapse is normal. Do not feel sorry for yourself if you find yourself in this kind of situation. The best thing to do is to identify the problem and deal with it smartly.