Tobacco cravings can be incredibly powerful for smokers, which is why curbing the habit can be so difficult. But there are ways to boost your willpower and make quitting smoking easier. Here are some ideas to help you kick your smoking habit for good, from distraction techniques to prescription options your GP can help you with.
Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy
Your doctor can advise you of the best options in terms of nicotine replacement therapy, but this is a great option for quitting cigarettes and has proven to be effective for many people over the years. Nicotine replacement therapy can involve prescription nicotine in a spray or inhaler, as well as over-the-counter nicotine patches, lozenges and gum, or prescription smoking cessation medications such as bupropion or varenicline, these are easy to get your hands on and can even be delivered straight to your door thanks to Express Pharmacy. These medications can make overcoming intense cravings much easier and over time, they can help you to kick your smoking habit long-term.
Keep Yourself Busy
For many people, smoking is a distraction and a way of passing time. So, each time you feel a craving coming on, try to keep yourself busy by doodling, reading a book or doing a crossword or sudoku puzzle. It can even be as simple as getting yourself a drink of water or calling a friend for a catch-up, so that you have something to occupy your hands when you’re used to holding a cigarette. Anything you can do to stay busy will help you to take your mind off of your desire to smoke.
Change Your Drink
Studies have shown that the drinks you have can actually impact how cigarettes taste – fizzy drinks, alcohol and coffee all make cigarettes taste nicer. It’s a good idea to avoid these when you’re quitting, as simply by switching to juice or water, you can impact your desire to reach for a cigarette.
Skip Triggering Locations
For many people, the pub or after meals at restaurants can be where the craving for a cigarette can strike. Similarly, smoking areas at work on breaks or at lunch are also a triggering location. As part of your quitting strategy, you should aim to avoid places where you know you’ll be tempted to smoke and head to public, smoke-free zones instead until your craving has passed.
Smoking can be used by many as a way of coping with stressful situations, so take a look at the times when you’re most likely to crave a cigarette and the cause for that craving. Maybe it’s when you’re at work and you’re dealing with a never-ending to-do list or when you’re paying bills and worrying about your finances. When these stressful moments strike, find another way of calming your mind so you don’t feel the need to smoke, such as using meditation or mindfulness techniques, deep breathing exercises or listening to some calming music.
Quitting smoking is a challenging task for anyone who is addicted to nicotine, but you don’t have to deal with your addiction alone. There are many support groups you can join to help you through your smoking habit, from online stop-smoking programmes to forums and telephone lines where you can make the most of support from professionals. It’s also a good idea to tell close friends and family that you’re trying to quit – they can help to keep you accountable and help you to stay on track when you feel like you’re about to slip back into old habits.
Exercise is often overlooked when it comes to quitting smoking, but physical activity can actually be a great distraction for tobacco cravings. Studies have shown that exercise can actually help your brain to produce anti-craving chemicals. Even just heading out for a short walk or a jog can make a huge difference and will do wonders for your health overall as well. If you’re at work or stuck at home and can’t get out for a run, try running in place, doing some squats or push-ups, or lift some weights for ten minutes. This is often enough for the craving to pass, so you can avoid relapsing with another cigarette.
Remember Your Why
Everyone has a reason for wanting to quit smoking, whether it’s to improve your health, cut back on your spending or to spare those around you from the negative impact of second-hand smoke. When you have a craving for a cigarette, remember your reasons for wanting to quit and stay strong. It can even be beneficial to write down your reasons why and keeping the list with you at all times, so that you can refresh your memory when cravings hit. With each cigarette you avoid, you’re one step closer to kicking the habit for good and reminding yourself of that fact can do wonders for your willpower.
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