It's tough to resist the urge for a cigarette. As a smoker, you are constantly bombarded with triggers that make it difficult not to succumb. But, when you finally manage to cut the habit, there is a huge sigh of relief! In this Health Guide, we have compiled 10 of the best scientifically proven ways for smokers to successfully resist the urge for cigarettes and stay smoke free. This blog will provide tips on how you can break your habit so that smoking never again becomes an option in your life!
When you first quit cigarettes, you may get a horrible feeling and it may feel as if every time you wake you’re consumed with one thought and that one thought alone, the urge to smoke.
If you pay close attention though, you will notice that most cravings last around three to five minutes. They tend to rage for a minute or so and then decrease gradually until they're finally gone.
TYPES OF CRAVING
There are 2 types of craving you can get:
A steady craving for a cigarette, which decreases in intensity over several weeks after quitting.
Sudden bursts of intense desire to smoke. These cravings are often triggered by a certain something, such as having a few drinks, feeling very happy or sad, having an argument, feeling stressed, or even having a cup of coffee.
The urges to smoke do get less frequent over time, but their intensity at the time can be a nightmare.
Here are the 10 best ways that may help you to resist the urge to smoke when a tobacco craving strikes:
1 - Go For A Walk
If you sit still, your mind will start playing tricks on you and will mess with your emotions. In this case, the best thing to do, would be to get up and move around. Try going for a walk, whilst breathing deeply. A simple trick is slowly breathing from your diaphragm rather than your chest. This is a great breathing technique because you will inhale more air in and out of the lungs.
2 - Always Have An E-Cigarette On Hand
Don't expect that you'll be able to go completely cold turkey. You'll miss the habit of smoking, which is why you should switch to e-cigarettes. These are much healthier than standard cigarettes and are also kinder to your pocket. They trick your body into thinking it is smoking, as it is the same movement. E-cigarettes are possibly the best tool that you can have while quitting smoking.
2 - Practice Relaxation Techniques
Sit down in a quiet location where you are by yourself. Close your eyes and take your mind to a comforting place i.e. the beach, the country side and again use the breathing techniques from above.
3 - Physical Activity
If you are stuck at home by yourself or at work and have no one to talk to, then why not try a little physical activity. It really does not need to be strenuous, just a quick run up the stairs (but be careful) or getting up and sitting back down in your chair a couple of times may do the job.
Even short bursts of activity can make a tobacco craving subside.
4 - Take a Deep Breath
Taking a deep breath is a form of mind therapy and is known in Yoga as ‘pranayama’.
This type of exercise focuses on the sensation of breathing as you control the rhythm of your inhalations and exhalations. If you do this for around five minutes a day, this can leave you feeling calmer and fully refreshed.
5 - Drink a Tall Glass of Water
During the day, we don’t usually recognise if or when we are getting dehydrated. This can cause a problem and can generate anxiety which then can lead you to cigarettes again.
The answer here would be to drink enough water throughout the day to keep yourself hydrated and revitalised. If you still feel like you are getting cravings when this happens another glass of nice ice-cold water should do the trick.
6 - List Your Reasons for Quitting
Using a list of reasons to quit smoking is a really good tool, and you should put these up in a place where you will see them all day, every day.
The reason why we should do this, is so we have a reminder put in place and when you start to think that we want another cigarette, we have a list in front of us and this discourages the craving from setting into place.
7 - Have a Hobby
When we talk about a portable hobby, we are talking about an interest that you can pick up at any time, like Crossword Puzzles, drawing, Sudoku, bird watching, singing….
This is used as a distraction to keep your mind thinking of anything else other than inhaling tobacco.
8 - Eat a Healthy Snack
If your blood sugar levels drop, then this can lead you to get agitated and want another cigarette.
By maintaining a healthy diet, you are keeping your brain healthy and maintaining a positive state of mind. By having a healthy simple snack like an apple, banana, yogurt etc, this can help you to distinguish between the cravings for sugar and tobacco.
When we talk about healthy foods, that is exactly what you should do as eating baked unhealthy goods can lead you to fill anxious again and therefore want to pick up another cigarette. Fatty foods will not only cause you to put on weight (which can make you feel depressed), it can also send you blood sugar level racing and make your cravings worse.
9 - Call a Friend
If you are finding it hard to give up smoking, when you have a craving, why not call one of your friends. Doing this sort of activity will not only lift your spirits but will distract you away from the thought of cigarettes.
10 - Find Online Support
If you are work and there is no chance of being able to step outside for some fresh air, why not open the window and while you are on a break and are allowed, take a look online for some stop smoking forums.
Reading how others have dealt with or are dealing with giving up smoking can motivate you to keep going. If there is something in particular that you want to discuss, just post a little message.
You will be surprised at how many people are willing to offer support on this subject, if you just ask.
Giving up smoking really does increase your chance of living a longer and healthier life. You will start to notice the benefits within days.
After One Month - your skin should be clearer and more hydrated
Between Three to Nine Months - your breathing will have improved, and you should no longer have a cough
After One Year – the risk of a heart attack will have decreased to half of that of a smoker
If you did not already know theses facts, then hopefully we have given you some really good tools to help the unbearable thought of cravings.
Congratulations for deciding to quit smoking and if you would like to know if there is help along then why not take a look at our SMOKO Starter Kits
, this may be able to help you even more or you can get help from the NHS Stop Smoking online
or call them on their helpline on 0300 123 1044 (England only).