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Managing A Relapse After You Quit

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It can be difficult to stop smoking, and for most people, it takes numerous tries before they can do it permanently. If you are considering quitting, don’t let this deter you. The crucial point to remember is that the road to quitting smoking frequently includes slips and relapses. Many smokers who give up the habit eventually relapse and smoke a cigarette or even more. The good news is that smoking relapses can be managed so you can recover from them and eventually quit smoking for good.

What Can You Do To Avoid A Relapse?

A sudden temptation to smoke can lead to a slip or perhaps a full-blown relapse. These cravings and relapses can be triggered by certain settings, occasions, or circumstances. 

Several typical relapse catalysts include:

  • interacting with smokers, particularly in a social situation
  • drinking alcohol
  • cigarette access being simple
  • being in a bar, party, or other festive setting
  • difficult circumstances
  • anger, frustration, or helplessness

You may decrease as many triggers as you can and improve your chances of being able to quit successfully by becoming aware of these triggers and making a plan for how to deal with them. Here are some recommendations for managing relapse triggers:

Create a list of all your triggers and a strategy for handling the major ones.

  • Learn how to manage your stress and consider calming techniques like exercise, meditation, deep breathing, or chatting to a friend.
  • No matter how modest, give yourself rewards for your accomplishments.
  • Refute the notion that one cigarette won’t harm you. Even one cigarette can start a chain reaction that results in a full-blown relapse.
  1. You may eliminate as many triggers as you can by becoming aware of these triggers and making a plan for how to cope with them.
  2. Avoid falling into the trap of considering quitting smoking to be a major sacrifice or of rationalising smoking as harmless. Recognize smoking for what it is—a sophisticated addiction—and assure yourself that giving it up will be beneficial.
  3. Don’t try to handle everything by yourself. Seek as much help as you can from your loved ones, family, and friends. Your doctor and other medical experts can be a source of support if you don’t have a significant support system of friends and relatives.
  4. Think about receiving professional assistance, like medication, nicotine replacement therapy, or behavioural counselling. 
  5. Within the first week of quitting, most slips occur. Even if you make a mistake and take one or two puffs, you can still try again. Focus on staying positive and don’t let one mistake throw you into a downward spiral of self-loathing and hopelessness. The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that YOU are the one in control and that you must continue on your journey to quitting.

Getting Back On Track After A Relapse

  • Don’t let your conviction in quitting weaken if you’ve relapsed once or more. It takes time to stop smoking; it doesn’t happen overnight. If you relapse, take the following actions:
  • Stay optimistic. Even though you fell short of your quit objective, keep your attention on all the progress you’ve accomplished. Going without smoke for a few hours or simply a few minutes is a victory when trying to stop smoking, which is not an easy task. Don’t give up; studies suggest that it often takes 3 attempts for people to successfully quit.
  • Keep in mind that you are not by yourself. Whether it’s the first week after quitting or a few months later, the majority of those who quit eventually relapse. 39% of former smokers who were monitored for more than 20 years by a study reverted.
  • Identify your motivations for quitting, such as a newfound dedication to your health or support for a loved one. You can find your motivation again by reiterating the factors that led to your decision to stop.
  • Learn about the risks associated with smoking. Your commitment to stop smoking can be strengthened by reading up on the negative effects of smoking on the body.
  • Make the most of your relapse to get information. It takes time, effort, practise, and persistence to stop smoking. Consider what caused the relapse and what you can do for the next time. Even better, list the triggers for the relapse; this will help you understand what went wrong and develop a plan for your subsequent effort to quit.
  • Identify your motivations for quitting, such as a newfound dedication to your health or support for a loved one. You can find your motivation again by reiterating the factors that led to your decision to stop.
  • Learn about the risks associated with smoking. Your commitment to stop smoking can be strengthened by reading up on the negative effects of smoking on the body.
  • Make the most of your relapse to get information. It takes time, effort, practise, and persistence to stop smoking. Consider what caused the relapse and what you can do for the next time. Even better, list the triggers for the relapse; this will help you understand what went wrong and develop a plan for your next effort to quit.
  • Even better, list the triggers for the relapse; this will help you understand what went wrong and develop a plan for your subsequent effort to quit.
  • Take it easy on yourself. Treating yourself kindly and patiently will help you in your quit path.
  • Although they can be discouraging, relapses are not the end of the world! Keep in mind that if you are persistent, you can achieve your objective of quitting. Treat quitting like a marathon, not a sprint; every attempt to stop smoking moves you one step closer to your goal of remaining smoke-free. This is one marathon where you will succeed if you have perseverance and dedication.

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