Smoking is injurious to health! We all know it, but still many people are addicted to smoking and no single day begins or ends without a cigarette.
But every time you light one up, you are increasing your risk of lung, bladder, pancreatic, mouth, esophageal and other cancers. Smoking also increases your risk of heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure, diabetes, depression, Alzheimer’s disease, thin bones, obesity and lots more.
In addition, smoking affects mental capacity and memory as well as increasing the likelihood of impotence and reducing fertility. Smoking during pregnancy also affects the unborn child. Women who smoke while pregnant often give birth to low-birth-weight, premature babies.
1. Clean Your Home
As soon as you have decided to quit smoking, it is time to clean your house. This is an important step as it will remove the cigarette smoke stains and smell, which can otherwise make you crave another puff.
2. Avoid Smoking Triggers
The next step toward quitting smoking is to avoid the triggers, which can be people, places, things and situations that set off your urge to smoke.
Avoiding these triggers will help reduce your desire to smoke, but it will not stop the cravings entirely. Remember that cravings don’t last long, and you can surely let them pass without lighting up a cigarette.
3. Keep Your Hands and Mouth Busy
After potentially years of smoking, some quitters miss the comfort of a cigarette in their hands or between their teeth. So, look for ways to keep your hands and mouth busy.
To keep your mouth engaged, you can chew sugarless gum, suck on sugarless hard candies, or eat cloves, sunflower seeds, licorice sticks, carrots and celery sticks.
4. Practice Deep Breathing
Whenever you feel a strong craving for a cigarette, take a deep breath in and slowly let it out. It will help you relax and calm down.
Deep breathing is very beneficial for those who wish to quit smoking. Apart from strengthening lung capacity, deep breathing also eases nicotine cravings and improves the low mood that smokers often experience upon quitting.
5. Drink Water
One important key to overcoming your nicotine addiction is getting your daily water fix. Your body needs water to flush out toxins, so keep drinking water at regular intervals.
By drinking more water, you’ll urinate more, thereby speeding up your body’s elimination of the toxins.
6. Try Acupuncture
If you need help quitting smoking, make an appointment with an acupuncturist.Acupuncture can curb cigarette cravings quite successfully. It works by triggering the release of endorphins (natural pain relievers) that allow the body to relax. This in turn stops jitters, curbs cravings, lessens irritability and restlessness, increases relaxation and helps detoxify the body.
An 8-month and 5-year follow-up study published in Preventive Medicine in 2001 reports that adequate acupuncture treatment may help motivated smokers to reduce their smoking, or even quit completely, and the effect may last for at least 5 years.
7. Take Up a New Hobby
To help you quit and fight nicotine withdrawal symptoms, consider finding yourself a new and interesting hobby.
Any kind of hobby like painting, pottery or creative writing can take your mind off smoking. This is because the newly found interest can occupy your mind and body to help you deal with cravings.
A 2014 study published in PLOS ONE suggests that doing “self-expanding activities” like hobbies or puzzles can help alleviate nicotine cravings. This in turn can make it easier to quit.
8. Do Some Meditation
Meditation is one of the best ways to handle some of the psychological aspects of nicotine withdrawal.
Meditation helps fight a negative mood and brings about calmness. It relaxes and calms both the body and the mind, which in turn reduces your stress level.
9. Start Exercising Regularly
Taking up healthy exercise like running or cycling not only improves your health but also makes it easier to quit smoking.
Exercise unleashes a flood of endorphins, which often help curb withdrawal headaches. Exercise can also speed up your body’s self-repair process.
10. Eat Fruits and Vegetables
Don’t try to diet while you give up cigarettes. Your body needs all the nutrients to help fight the nicotine withdrawal and recover quickly.
When quitting smoking, keep your diet simple and healthy. Eat more fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein. These are good for your whole body.