“Cold Turkey” is an expression describing the actions of a person who gives up a habit or addiction all at once. The term originates from the idea that cold turkey is a dish that requires little or no preparation in the kitchen. “To quit like cold turkey” would be to quit in the same way a cold turkey is served, just as to do quickly and without preparation.
There are two ways to quit smoking: either little by little or abruptly. It’s your call whether giving up gradually or abruptly would be effective for you. If you decide to progressively decrease your intake, it is essential to specify and comply with a non-negotiable quit date. Otherwise, you set a quit date and when that day comes, you stop smoking entirely.
Cold turkey is simple, self-managed and low cost. The individual must be highly committed to the goal of quitting. Withdrawal symptoms may be severe for some people, especially if they have been smoking a brand of cigarette with a high nicotine level.
In this approach, do not rely on substitutes for your cigarette smoking addiction. Using products (including nicotine replacement), services or persons as emotive support mechanisms during this extremely tough process must be avoided. If a support mechanism is suddenly taken out of someone’s existence, backslide could come next. Any kind of reliance may probably develop into a fresh addiction that can supplant the old one.
It may be useful to understand that stopping smoking has phases. Stopping smoking will make you feel a sensation of loss given that you’ve had the habit for years. Removing your attachment to it will be the same as a formal separation or the loss of a loved one. You have to experience the denial, rage, negotiation, depression, and acceptance phases for your recovery from addiction to be successful.
Quitting smoking is a dramatic behavior change. Psychologists James Prochaska, John Norcross, and Carlo DiClemente studied individuals who had successfully quitted smoking. They discovered that people who quitted smoking went through the distinct stages of change on their way to improved well-being. The stages of change are as follows:
- Precontemplation. People at this stage see no problem with their smoking and have no intention of changing it.
- Contemplation. In this stage, people come to understand their smoking problem and consequences, and they start to think about taking action to quit smoking.
- Preparation. In the preparation stage, people are planning to take action within the next month and are putting together a quitting smoking plan of action.
- Action. A person in the action stage has taken the leap and is actively quitting smoking.
- Maintenance. After quitting smoking has been achieved successfully, measures are taken to prevent relapse.
Although everyone has different perceptions on quitting smoking, understanding stopping smoking processes may provide you with guidance in your journey of this important and difficult task.