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3. Smokers tend to concentrate better when smoking. Stimulant drugs can improve concentration, and mini withdrawal between cigarettes can cause opposite. Concentration does tend to return after about a week of not smoking.
Based on these, we developed some strategies for quitting:
1. When you decide to stop smoking, make sure that you continue to take same breaks of same duration, at same times that you would normally have a cigarette. During these mini breaks, do not eat, but do practice breathing as if you were smoking. You don't need a fake cigarette, but if it helps to have something to do with your hands etc. go ahead.
2. I don't recommend this, especially if you associated smoking with coffee drinking, but if necessary use caffeine to help you concentrate for first little while. Use diet soft drinks or tea instead of coffee if you can because these have less caffeine and will be easier to get rid of when withdrawal is done. This stimulant is not quite as strong and is better than using nicotine patches or gum because it is different. If you choose to do this, only do it for a few days and then cut it out gradually.
Accept that you might have a little, or maybe more than a little weight gain. This is a natural response even if you don't eat significantly more. My experience shows that very often within a year, your weight will start reducing on its own, once your body gets use to metabolic changes. In meantime, increase your exercise. See sections on fitness and overall health.
The overall benefits will be worth it if you give it enough time. If you want more advice on quitting smoking click here.
This article was written in 2003 by Sean Harder creator and owner of WholeLifeGym.
Sean has been a therapist and life coach for 13 years. He is published author and founder of WholeLifeGym.com.