26 Sep Top Tips for Stopping Smoking
For most people who are quitting smoking, cravings or urges to smoke can be powerful. However, you don’t need to be at the mercy of these cravings. When an urge to smoke strikes, remember that although it may be intense, it will likely pass within a few minutes whether you smoke or not. Each time you resist, you’re one step closer to stopping smoking for good!
Here are ten ways to help you resist the urge to smoke, no matter where you are:
Delay – If you feel like you’re going to give in to your craving, tell yourself that you must first wait 10 more minutes and then do something to distract yourself for that period of time. This simple trick may be enough to derail your craving. Repeat as often as needed.
Don’t have ‘just one’ – You might be tempted to have just one cigarette. But don’t fool yourself into believing that you can stop at just one. More often than not, having ‘just one’ leads to another, then another – and you may wind up smoking again.
Avoid triggers – Urges to smoke are likely to be strongest in the situations where you smoked most often – such as parties or bars – in the car or while watching television. Identify your trigger situations and have a plan in place so that you can avoid them entirely or get through them without smoking. Don’t set yourself up for a relapse. If you usually smoked while you talked on the phone, for instance, keep a pen and paper nearby to occupy yourself with doodling rather than smoking.
Get physical – Physical activity can help distract you from cravings and reduce their intensity. Just 30 minutes of moderate physical activity can make a craving go away. Get out for a walk or jog. If you’re stuck at home or the office, try squats, deep knee bends, running on the spot, or walking up and down a set of stairs a few times. If physical activity doesn’t interest you, try prayer, needlework, woodwork, or journaling. Or do chores for distraction, such as vacuuming or filing paperwork.
Practice relaxation techniques – In the past, smoking may have been your way to deal with stress. Trying to resist a craving can itself be stressful. Take the edge off stress by practicing relaxation techniques. These include deep-breathing exercises, muscle relaxation, yoga, visualisation, hypnosis, and massage.
Get support – Touch base with a family member, friend, or support group member for moral support. Chat on the phone, go for a walk together, or simply share a few laughs.
Remember the benefits of quitting – Write down or say out loud the reasons you want to stop smoking. These might include feeling better, getting healthier, sparing your loved ones from second hand smoke, or saving money. And if you’re a closet smoker, you may save hours of time since you no longer have to spend time trying to conceal your habit.
Go online – Join an online stop-smoking program. Or read a quitter’s blog and post encouraging thoughts for someone else who might be struggling with tobacco cravings. Learn from how others have handled their tobacco cravings.
Keep using your medication – Whether you are using nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), bupropion (Zyban), or varenicline (Champix), this will help you to become smoke free.
Chew on it – Give your mouth something else to do. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy. Or munch on raw carrots, celery, nuts, or sunflower seeds – something crunchy and satisfying.
Remember, trying something to beat the urge is always better than doing nothing, One You East Sussex can support you for FREE. Each time you resist a craving, you’re one step closer to being totally smoke free.
Dena Ellis, Stop Smoking Specialist.