Make your quitting journey a little easier.
Original Source: netdoctor.co.uk
The best thing you can do for your health is to give up smoking. But quitting is easier said than done. Whether you’ve had a stressful day at work or you’re out at a party and have had a few drinks, it can be so easy to waiver on your best intentions when you’re desperate for a nicotine fix.
‘If you want to give up smoking, you need to be mentally ready,’ says Abbas Kanani, pharmacist at Chemist Click. ‘Smoking is a way of life for many and almost becomes a natural reflex in certain situations.
Once you’ve recognised the triggers that cause you to smoke, it can be much easier to give up. Keep the following tools in mind to help you when those cravings strike.
💡1. Try distraction techniques and tricks
‘Identify the times when you’re most likely to smoke and have a plan for what you’re going to do instead,’ advises Kanani.
‘It might sound bizarre but cutting a straw and holding it in the same way you would hold a cigarette can help to keep your hands busy. Inhaling on the straw gives you the same hand-to-mouth action you’re used to, tricking your mind into thinking you’re smoking.’
Alternatively, try snacking on healthy foods such as carrots and cucumbers. Cut them into shapes that resemble cigarettes and eat them when you’re getting cravings. Sounds a little silly, but it’s worth a go, right?
🏃🏾2. Move more
Increased stress levels at work causing you to smoke more? The nicotine in cigarettes provides a release of endorphins (the feel-good hormone), which is why many smokers find themselves lighting up in stressful situations.
But did you know that exercise releases the same feel-good hormones? Whether you go for a gentle walk, join a fitness class or try a workout DVD at home, any form of exercise will help bust stress.
‘These feel-good hormones can potentially reduce your cravings and as you find yourself getting fitter and stronger with exercise, it’ll also give you the motivation to want to better yourself and become healthier,’ says Kanani.
⭐️3. Keep busy
If you find that sitting in front of the TV makes you want to smoke, get up and do something else instead, like walking the dog or doing the ironing.
‘It’s crucial to keep yourself busy to avoid readopting bad habits,’ says Dr. Clare Morrison of MedExpress, who specialises in smoking cessation. ‘We tend to slip back into old tendencies when we’re bored or stressed, so make sure you have a plan in place to help you cope as these situations arise.’
Fill a to-do list each day with productive chores, whether it’s cleaning the bathroom, going to the supermarket, exercising or having a coffee with friends to distract you from reaching for a cigarette.