If you are a smoker, then quitting smoking is probably something you’ve thought about and probably something that scared the crap out of you as you thought about it. How will you survive without smokes? How will you get through the day at work? How will you survive your next vacation? Well, I have a challenge for you, but I don’t want you to view this as if you are trying to quit smoking. If you do, then it will become too scary and too stressful and you will work yourself up into an anxious mess that – yep, needs a cigarette. But, let me be clear, you will not be smoking for 5 days on this challenge!
5 Reasons To Take The No Smoking Challenge
1. You Will Prove To Yourself And Everyone Else That You Are NOT A Slave To Cigarettes
If you can go 5 days without cigarettes, then it will be clear that you are not a slave to cigarettes. You are the master of your own life, not cigarettes. Even though they may dictate what you do and where you do it right now (come on, admit it), they do not have complete control over you. You control you, and you can prove that by taking this no smoking challenge and ditching cigarettes for 5 days.
2. You Will Prove To Yourself That You Can Survive Without Cigarettes
I know it all too well – you think that you can’t survive without cigarettes. That’s the grip that they have on you. You think that you will literally slump into a pathetic pile if you can’t get your next hit of nicotine in your system. But, guess what, you can survive. And, you will clearly be able to see that at the end of day 5.
3. You Will Get A Taste Of What Life Is Like Without Smoking
Remember a time before you smoked? For many people, that would be the teenage years, so it may be hard to remember. But, let me tell you what it’s like.
- Instead of scheduling your life around cigarettes, you do what you want when you want.
- You never panic about needing a smoke in the middle of a nice dinner.
- You enjoy a coffee anywhere – inside or outside – without needing to smoke.
- You don’t go inside and wonder how bad you smell to other people.
- You don’t stress out when an event doesn’t allow smoking.
- You don’t need to wander off from your friends or family to find a smoking section and miss out on the fun they are having in the meantime.
You will quickly discover that you have more freedom when you don’t need to have a cigarette – at all.
4. You Will Have A Built A Foundation To Keep Going If You Want To
After 5 days of not smoking, you will find it much easier to keep going if you want to. In other words, by committing to just 5 days of no smoking, you will realize how easy it really is to not smoke and you could be on your way to quitting smoking for good.
The good news is that even if you were to start smoking again, you will know that you are capable of going without cigarettes for at least 5 days – and that will help you quit smoking if you decide to further down the line.
5. You Will Have A Story To Tell
Lastly, at least you can say you went 5 days without smoking. I know many smokers consider this a huge feat. Hell, most consider going a half a day without a cigarette a huge feat.
A Thought About Nicotine
It’s not the cigarette that you are going to be stopping. It’s the nicotine. There is only one reason you really need a cigarette. You are depleted of nicotine and you need to fill your levels back up.
You don’t need a cigarette to deal with stress or celebrate something. You need a cigarette to replace the nicotine in your body so you can feel normal again and THEN deal with the stress or celebrate something.
You see, nicotine alters the balance of dopamine and noradrenaline, which affects your mood and concentration levels. This is why you feel good after your cigarette. But, as with all stimulants, as time goes on, you need to smoke more to get the same effect.
But here’s the kicker. In order to deal with life, you need to reduce the stress that comes from NOT having nicotine in your body, so you need to have a cigarette BEFORE you can celebrate, relax, get things done, feel positive, work through an issue, etc.
If you just stopped smoking, you wouldn’t need the nicotine hit in order to feel good. Instead, you could just skip the smoke and feel good on your own.
I know this to be true. Smoking caused me more stress in the long run because I always needed a smoke to accomplish something or manage my feelings. And when I couldn’t smoke, I got stressed and made things harder on myself than they needed to be.
Now, as a nonsmoker, I don’t have the stress of needing a smoke. I can deal with issues that arise immediately. I can relax immediately. I can feel good immediately.
You Are Not Just Getting Nicotine From Your Cigarette
Nicotine is addictive. Chemicals are deadly.
So, Should You Just Use E-Cigarettes?
The above video almost seems to encourage e-cigarettes. I know many people have switched from cigarettes to e-cigarettes. And, the truth is that switching to e-cigarettes will still have your life run by nicotine and smoking if you switch.
- You will still want/need a smoke.
- You will still need to get a hit before you can deal with your life.
- You will still plan your life around smoking.
- You will still feel stress and anxiety when you don’t have your e-cigarette close by.
Why not just go cigarette-free? Why not just live freely instead of being a slave to any type of cigarette?
Moreover, despite what the guy says in the above video, e-cigarettes are still bad for your health. They can cause inflammation in your lungs and constrict blood vessels. Moreover, they can affect the people around you by exposing them to levels of nicotine. Source. And that’s just what we know right now.
But Life Will Be So Boring Without Smoking!
No. It won’t. Believe me, there are a million things you can do besides smoking. In fact, in my case, I found that there were things I could do BECAUSE I quit smoking. For instance, I could travel all day on planes and actually enjoy it because I wasn’t being denied a cigarette!
Life is still fun without cigarettes. I remember when I decided to quit smoking for good, I was scheduled to go on a cruise in a few months. I wondered how I would ever have fun on that cruise without being able to enjoy a cigarette. But, once I got over the mentality of cigarettes equaling fun, I knew I was going to have a great time. And I did!
I’ve seen comments like ‘Living is no fun anymore. I quit smoking and now I have nothing to do. I hate my life!’
In that case, smoking wasn’t their biggest problem. Not having a life full of friends, hobbies, and passion was. If you are bored because you quit smoking, then you didn’t have much of a life to begin with.
But The Physical Withdrawals Will Be Horrible!
Here’s what I know for SURE! If you think it will be horrible, it will be. And if you don’t think it will be horrible, it won’t be.
“Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.” ― Wayne W. Dyer
“Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.” ― Dale Carnegie
The biggest withdrawal symptom will be the craving for a cigarette/nicotine. That can be beaten with the power of your mind. That’s right. You are capable of changing how you feel and think. You are capable of changing your perception of things.
For instance, I’m sure there was someone you really liked and wanted to be around all the time who you now don’t like. You no longer need them in your life. You can go without hearing about them. You changed your perception towards them and quickly realized that life without them is just fine.
Everyone I know who quit smoking with the right mindset felt fine. Yes, they kind of wanted a cigarette during the times they normally had a cigarette, but they didn’t lose their mind over it. They didn’t cry, throw things, or tell people off. The didn’t break out into cold sweats. They just accepted that they had decided to stop smoking and then they found something else to do.
You can do it too.
How can you get that mindset? For this challenge, remind yourself that it is not about quitting smoking forever. It’s about not smoking for five days. You are strong enough to do that. You are curious to see how it will all turn out. Looking at it in that way will help you approach your five days with a motivational mindset to tackle this challenge.
When I quit smoking for good, I adopted the mindset that I liked to smoke, but it was no good for me. It made me physically sick very often. It was soaking up too much of my time. And it was setting me up for health issues in the future. I didn’t see smoking in a positive light anymore.
In fact, I saw it like an old boyfriend – we were good together once, but we had grown apart and life would be better without him. I had no physical withdrawals and I’ve never picked up a cigarette again. In fact, I’m kind of anti-cigarette and hate the smell of cigarette smoke. My mentally towards smoking changed over time, and now I wouldn’t even smoke if it was offered to me or if it was my last day on earth.
I had no physical withdrawals and I’ve never picked up a cigarette again. In fact, I’m kind of anti-cigarette and hate the smell of cigarette smoke. My mentally towards smoking changed over time, and now I wouldn’t even smoke if it was offered to me or if it was my last day on earth.
The 5 Day No Smoking Challenge
As you can tell, this challenge is about getting into the right mindset.
Get a good book or something from audible and plan to fill in your usual smoking times with reading, listening, or some other activity. It’s important to have a plan to do something during the times you usually smoke because the habit is part of the issue. If you normally smoke on your first break, it’s going to be hard to maintain a positive mindset when you are denying yourself your routine.
Also, get rid of your cigarettes. The chances are good you won’t reach for them if you are serious about trying this out. But, if you have a problem with impulse control, then you may want to give them to someone else to hold onto.
Following is an outline for how to think day-to-day during this challenge. Add anything thoughts you would like to tweak it to work for you. (Download and use the worksheet below to help you write down those thoughts and make them clear.)
Day 1: Wake up with excitement! You are going to spend your first whole day not smoking. When’s the last time you could say that?
Remember, you aren’t committed to anything for life, you are just shaking things up a bit to see what a few days without smoking is like. You are doing an experiment. You are trying something new on for size.
If you normally smoke with other people, there is a chance they will be annoyed when you tell them what you are doing. In part, because you are ruining their habitual smoke break with you and in another part because they fear losing you to the non-smoker side while they hang out in smokeville. Don’t let their reactions keep you from going through with this no smoking challenge. What you do is NOT for other people, it’s for yourself. You want to try it, so try it! You are your own boss and they will respect that in the end.
Day 2: Holy crap, you’ve done one day without smoking. You lived to talk about it. You know that you are capable of this, so you move forward showing everyone (including yourself) just how mentally strong you are as you go through your second day of not smoking.
Day 3: Wake up and think ‘this isn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be’. You’ve heard that if you can make it over day 3, you can possibly quit smoking, so you should get interested to see what today feels like and what tomorrow will feel like.
Your notice that your coffee smells amazing!
Outside smells amazing!
That random person smells horrible!
Yes, your sense of smell is improving, and with that comes a heightened sense of taste. Get excited to go to your favorite restaurant and see if the food tastes any different.
Day 4: The nicotine should be out of your body and, guess what, you are still alive. Reward yourself with something that is actually rewarding to you. You deserve it. You’ve passed the spot where most people give up and are smoking again – feeling bad about themselves and their inability to just do it.
Day 5: This is the last day! Not all of your smoking symptoms may be gone. You may still cough. You may still wheeze. But that doesn’t mean that your body isn’t experiencing benefits.
You still have cravings for cigarettes, but you know that you can live without them. In fact, you are starting to see the possibilities beyond smoking.
This is the point where you get to decide if a life full of cigarettes and potential health problems worth it. Would you rather keep going with this new way of living? It’s not as hard as you thought it would be. You know that you don’t need cigarettes to survive. If you want to keep moving forward, you can!
So, if you want to keep going, tell yourself something like I did. Tell yourself that even though you and smoking had a good run, you know that it’s time to end your relationship and start a new chapter in life.