You may have decided that it is time for you to quit smoking. It is an excellent decision that will save you money, while saving your health. However, the path to quitting is a challenging one and often intimidates smokers. Fortunately, there are things that you can do to ease the pain of nicotine withdrawal and reduce those pesky cravings. Here are some tips to help you quit smoking cold turkey.
Make a Plan- Before you begin to quit smoking, you need to have a plan in place. Firstly, you need to decide how you intend to go about quitting. It is highly recommended to quit smoking cold turkey. Many people try to wean their way off of nicotine slowly. However, nicotine is designed to make you increasingly more addicted with each puff. Therefore, the longer you continue to smoke, the more you will want to smoke. If you quit smoking cold turkey, the nicotine withdrawal symptoms may be initially worse, but they will disappear more quickly, creating less hardship for you to endure.
Don’t put it off- While it is important to pick a day to quit smoking that works with your schedule, you do not want to get in the habit of continually postponing. Most smokers constantly try to make excuses for why today isn’t the right day to quit. The fact of the matter is, there is no perfect day to quit smoking. It is going to be challenging no matter what, so just face the challenge and in a couple short weeks things will be easier.
Exercise- Exercise is a great way to get your mind of smoking. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, creating a natural high that can replace the nicotine buzz. Consider going for a brisk 5 to 10 minute jog every time you crave nicotine. If you usually step out of work around noon for a smoke, step out for a jog around the building instead.
Eat healthy- Studies have shown that certain foods pair well with cigarettes whereas others don’t. People feel a considerably higher craving for a cigarette after a large, fatty, processed meal than after eating a giant salad. People enjoy smoking with a cup of coffee or a soda, whereas a cigarette and fresh orange juice is far less appetizing. By eating healthy, particularly in the first few weeks while you quit smoking, you can reduce your overall cravings dramatically.
No Cheats- It is tempting to tell ourselves that we can handle just one drag of a cigarette. Some people reward themselves for their progress with a celebratory cigarette, thinking they can handle just one. However, as previously stated, nicotine is designed to get you increasingly addicted. Just one puff of a cigarette and you will likely fall off the wagon altogether.
Keep busy- This is perhaps the most important. Many smokers chain smoke when they are bored, but find they smoke considerably less when they are deeply enthralled in their favorite activity. At a boring day job, you may crave a cigarette every twenty minutes. Yet, on the weekend, you may find yourself going for three hours without a smoke, while partaking in your favorite hobby.
The fact of the matter is, much of the nicotine addiction is psychological. While nicotine withdrawal is certainly real, we exacerbate the symptoms by dwelling on them. Prior to quitting, make a list of all of your favorite activities and hobbies that can help distract you from smoking. When quitting day comes, carry the list around in your pocket. Anytime you crave a cigarette, pull out the list and get moving on one of your favorite activities instead.
Delay- Whenever you find yourself craving a cigarette or have convinced yourself to go out and buy a pack, delay for an hour instead. Pull out the list of activities and find something on the list to distract you. By the time the hour is up, you will likely have forgotten. Soon enough, the first two weeks will have passed and quitting will be considerably easier.
Breathing exercises- One aspect that makes it difficult to quit smoking is breathing. Many smokers complain they feel short of breath or have difficulty breathing deeply in the days or weeks after quitting. It may seem counterintuitive that a heavy smoker would notice breathing difficulty after quitting, but there is actually some logic behind it. When you take a drag of a cigarette, it causes you to breathe a lot more deeply than you normally would. Therefore, heavy smokers who smoke every hour or more, tend to take far more deep breaths throughout the day than a non-smoker.
Thus, when you quit, it may feel as though you can’t breathe deeply enough. The reality is, you are finally breathing normally again. Nonetheless, deep breathing exercises can help to ease the desire to smoke in these situations. There are a variety of Ayurvedic breathing techniques that mimic smoking, so you can breathe as deeply as you would when you smoke a cigarette. Doing this every hour or so while you quit, or whenever you find yourself craving a cigarette, can help with the psychological aspects of quitting a lot. Breathing deeply will also help to relax you and ease the extra tension you may be feeling on account of nicotine withdrawal.