When talking smoking cessation, it’s mind over matter! Studies have shown that the craving to smoke a cigarette only lasts a few minutes, so distraction is key. Here are some ideas to help you kick the habit.
1. Keep a journal/start a blog.
Write down exactly what you’re doing and how you’re feeling when you crave a cigarette. Track your behavior over time and see if you can identify specific events in your life that trigger cravings. Reading old entries the next time you crave a cigarette is a great way to remind yourself of how far you’ve come since then. Hindsight is 20/20!
2. Take a deep breath.
The long-term health benefits of deep, mindful breathing are endless, but on a short-term basis it can calm your heart rate and reduce anxiety. Take three deep breaths and use the moment to recharge and visualize yourself living a peaceful, smoke-free life.
3. Feel the clean air refreshing your body as the oxygen is carried to the tips of your fingers and toes.
Hold the breath for a count of four, exhale slowly over a count of four and allow the air to remain expelled from your lungs for another four-count. Repeat.
4. Add up the savings.
Calculate all the money you’ve saved by giving up smoking and make plans to reward yourself with a special treat, whether it’s concert tickets or a mini shopping spree.
5. Play a game.
Spend quality time with loved ones and focus on interacting with friends and family. You’ll be too busy having fun and making memories to think about your craving.
6. Go for a walk.
Exercise releases endorphins into your brain, which naturally reduce stress. A short walk, some jumping jacks or even a handful of pushups will leave you feeling energized and happy.
7. Take a hot shower or bath.
There are few things more relaxing than taking a long, hot shower or bath. Use your favorite body wash and linger for at least 10 minutes. You may forget all about your desire to smoke!
8. Brush, floss and gargle.
Taking better care of your teeth will keep you occupied in the moment and make you think twice about staining your pearly whites the next time you’re tempted to smoke.
9. Chew on a healthy snack.
Eating just a little can help your nicotine craving. Frozen grapes, carrots, bell pepper slices, apple slices and celery will all do the trick!
10. Stop by the library or your local used bookstore.
Take in the aroma of old books and keep your fingers busy by flipping through the pages of a classic. If you find something good, take it home and lose yourself in a captivating storyline.