Want to quit smoking for good? Try these top ten tips for kicking the habit and coping with your cravings...
1. Identify your triggers
Understanding what drives you to want or need a cigarette, or knowing what drives your desire to smoke is key to helping you quit. Once you know what they are, you can try and avoid these situations (or at least be prepared for them).
2. Take up more exercise
Exercise is the answer to many problems, helping with confidence issues, fitness levels, as well as happiness. Being active will help you quit the dreaded habit, since it will not only make you feel great, but it will also help you to take your mind of any cravings.
3. Learn to de-stress
Making an effort to de-stress and calm your mind is key to being able to cut the cravings. Many people smoke to help relieve their stress, but if you can de-stress without cigarettes then you will be on the slow and steady pathway to success. You will eventually realise that mentally, you don't need a cigarette.
4. Talk it out
It is really important to speak up when you are having a bad day, and are struggling to stay off cigarettes. Often talking things through will help you understand how you are felling, and what it is that is driving you to need that cigarette. Once you know what's behind your cravings, you can go about making changes without the need for a cigarette.
5. Using an alternative
People often use alternative nicotine products to help cut the cravings. They come in a range of products, from gum and patches, through to inhalers and sweets. You can also use e-cigarettes such as SKYCIG. While not a quitting aid, they are a much healthier alternative to smoking since they do not contain the 4,000 chemicals found in traditional cigarettes.
6. Success with Friends
It's really important when trying to quit that you have a support network around you, so that you don't feel alone. It's often good to club together and quit with friends or family members who smoke, as together you can be successful and reach your goal.
7. Reward yourself
With the money you have saved from reducing the amount you smoke (or if you have managed to quit all together), it's a good idea to treat yourself with something nice as an incentive to stay of cigarettes in the future.
Many people often try the replacement technique, replacing cigarettes for something else; often food. This is a good idea, so long as the smoking habit is being replaced with something healthy or productive, such as learning a new skill.
9. Why do you want to quit?
Often making a list of reasons why you want to quit and putting them up in different areas of your house is a good way to keep you on track. It acts as a reminder of why you are quitting and your overall goal.
10. Seek out encouragement
It's often a good idea to tell co-workers, and other people around you, that you are planning to quit smoking so they can help encourage you and spur you on. If they see that you are flagging they will be able to get you back on track.
For more help quitting smoking, visit stoptober.smokefree.nhs.uk
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