To people who have never smoked in their lives, giving up the habit would a simple thing to do. Smoking is bad for you, so why don’t you just quit smoking, right? Well, if you have ever smoked in your life and tried to give up, you will know that isn’t all that easy to do at all. Smoking is more than just a habit, it is a physical addiction. And that means that you get powerful cravings when you try to quit smoking. Nicotine gives you a high that your body will miss when you quit, and that’s why you will crave a cigarette. To break the habit and beat the cravings you may have to change more than just your smoking habit. Here are ten tips on how to cope with the nicotine cravings and quit smoking for good.
1. Plan your quitting smoking campaign
You may have heard the tales of people who just decided to quit smoking and gave up there and then, on the spot. For most smokers, though, that won’t work and, if you wait for that magic moment, you are probably going to be waiting for a long time. The best thing to do is to plan your quitting smoking campaign in advance. Pick a day that you will stop smoking and figure out what steps you are going to take to beat the cravings when you get the urge to smoke.
2 Make a list of why you want to give up smoking
You will need motivation to stick to your guns so make a list of all the reasons that you want to give up smoking. It’s not just the health issues that you need to think about, it’s the money, it’s not being able to taste your food, and these days, it’s also so you don’t have to stand out the rain every hour or so!
3. Work out what your triggers are
As a part of your planning, think about the times of the day that you smoke and what is usually associated with your smoking. It could be that always have a cigarette after meal, or you always smoke when you have a beer. Think about how you can either avoid these trigger situations that usually smoke in, or find something else that will occupy your hands and your mind instead of having a cigarette.
4. Change what you eat
Have you ever noticed how a cigarette can be more satisfying after certain types of food? A study conducted in the US found that cigarette smokers enjoyed smoking more after they had eaten a meal containing meat than they did after eating fruit, vegetables, or dairy products. You might find that changing your diet will help you to break out of the habit of smoking.
Many smokers also come to associate smoking with the taste of a particular drink. If you have always smoked when you have a cup of coffee, then try switching to tea when you give up smoking. Your usual tipple at the pub will probably also be a trigger for you, so change beers, or switch to soft drinks for a while.
6. Work out your five minute strategy
When you get a craving for nicotine, it usually lasts for about five minutes and then it eases off. Plan in advance some coping strategies to get you through those critical five minutes. It could be going for a walk, chewing gum, or doodling with a pen. It’s anything that you can use to distract your mind from that feeling that that you need a cigarette.
7. Tell everyone you know that are going to quit smoking
Tell all your friends and your family that are planning to give up smoking and tell them when you are going to do it. You will be surprised at how much support you will get and even your friends that smoke will probably give you encouragement. In fact, it’s very important that people who do still smoke know that you are quitting, so they stop offering you cigarettes.
8. Throw away all your smoking paraphernalia
Don’t fall into the trap of keeping an emergency supply of cigarettes, throw them all away. Throw away lighters matches and ash trays too. If you leave any cigarettes around, it will be too much of a temptation to resist when you do get a nicotine craving.
9. Get into the fresh air and get some exercise
Within just a day or two, you will begin to notice the changes in your body and one of the first things that you will notice is that you can smell things again. Go for walks in your local park and you will actually be able to smell the fresh air. Scientific studies have also shown that exercise can dramatically cut down the cravings.
10. Don’t believe that you can have ‘just one’.
When you quit smoking, you really do have to quit. The only reason that you want the next cigarette so badly is because you had the one before, so don’t think you will able to get away with having just the one. Just one sneaky cigarette and you will back to square one again and then you will have to go through all the discomfort of the cravings again.
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