Have you caught yourself thinking, “I’ll just have one”? This is one of the biggest lies people tell themselves when going through withdrawals. You feel stress or maybe your cravings feel worse than ever. It’s easy to think that you’ll only have one and that will take care of the craving. It’s a harsh reality but giving in, even just once, is very likely to completely set back your progress. Having “just one” turns into “just one more” then “this will be the last one”. It might be tough, but just tell yourself no. Instead, try out one of these techniques:
Use Nicotine Replacements: One of the most obvious ways to combat the “just one” craving is to take whatever nicotine replacement you prefer. If you’re having a true craving for nicotine, this will help. If you’re just stressed or craving the act of smoking, this might not work as well. It’s a good idea that if you are having bad cravings to take your nicotine replacement and follow up with some of the following techniques simultaneously.
Go for a Walk: When cravings are bad, a great way to soothe them is to get some exercise. Just half an hour of exercise will make many people’s cravings go away. Getting out of the house is the most effective since your mind will be focusing on your surroundings. If you are stuck inside due to work, weather or you just don’t feel like getting out, do some exercise inside. You can try yoga (bonus points since it’s relaxing!), Pilates, walking/jogging on a treadmill, or just simple exercise like pushups and lunges. If you get bored easily check out YouTube. There are many 10-15 minute exercise videos that are fun and easy to follow.
Touch Base with your Network: One of the best ways to stay on track with your new lifestyle is to create a network of people you can talk to when you’re going through a bad withdrawal. If you feel like having a cigarette, call up a friend or send someone in your network a message. If you don’t have anyone in person who can relate you can, try joining a forum for quitters. Their chat rooms can really come in handy when you’re tempted to smoke. While on the topic of online groups, consider finding some blogs written for and by quitters. Reading their struggles and how they got past them can be very uplifting when you don’t have anyone to talk to.
Relax Yourself: Many smokers agree that tobacco is a wonderful way to get rid of stress. Since it is so easy to do, many become so reliant on this method that they forget how to relax otherwise. This process can be a vicious cycle in the beginning of your new lifestyle. You feel stressed so you want to smoke. You can’t smoke which creates more stress. It’s vital for your long term success to learn to curb anxiety and relax your mind and body. Some techniques work better for others but some that generally work well are guided or unguided meditation, massage, deep-breathing, mantras and yoga.
During stressful times it’s easy to think, “why am I putting myself through this?”. Grab a piece of paper and write down all of the reasons you decided to quit smoking. Include how you’ll feel better, your health will improve, your family will be proud, and any other benefit that comes with you quitting the tobacco habit. When you feel at a loss or want to have a cigarette, read this list. Quitting is hard, there is no doubt about that. Reminding yourself of the numerous benefits is a wonderful way to keep an optimistic outlook on the situation and prove that this obstacle will only open doors to a far better lifestyle for you.
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