When you decide to stop smoking the most difficult part is to resist the urges. It doesn’t matter that each craving lasts only 3-5 minutes. It’s still the whole 5 minutes to battle with your willpower! These 7 tips will help you to resist the urge to smoke one urge at a time.
1. Remind Yourself Why You Quit
Every time you experience a craving remind yourself why you quit. It’s the excellent idea to take a blank index card and list all the reasons why you decided to quit smoking. List as many as you can, the more the better. If necessary, take the second index card. Carry them with you all the time. Every time you feel the urge to smoke take the index card and slowly read all your reasons why you decided to stop. After you finish reading your urge will pass! (If not, read them one more time or come up with more reasons.)
Write down or say out loud why you want to stop smoking and resist tobacco cravings. These reasons might include:
- Feeling better
- Getting healthier
- Sparing your loved ones from secondhand smoke
- Saving money
2. Reward Yourself.
Make it a habit to reward yourself at the end of each nonsmoking week. Think of something you want (it doesn’t have to be something expensive, a nice home made meal or hot bath will work). Take the index card and write down what would you give yourself at the end of the week. When the urge comes take a look at the index card with your reward. Isn’t it worth coping for 3 minutes? 🙂
3. Be prepared for your urges!
Get yourself prepared for the urge to smoke in advance. In most cases something triggers the craving (certain feelings, people, or places). You have to know what triggers the urge.
Lets do a really quick exercise. Take a blank piece of paper and divide it into 2 columns. On the one side list your triggers (like stuck in traffic , drinking morning coffee , arguing with colleague …) and in the second column write down the alternative course of action.
For example, instead of smoking while drinking your morning coffee you could read a newspaper. Instead of smoking after the hot argument with your colleague you can take a walk around a block or write down everything you think about this person, then tier this piece of paper in shreds and throw it away. Don’t be lazy, write it down! This exercise really works!
4. Avoid triggers.
Tobacco urges are likely to be strongest in the places where you smoked or chewed tobacco most often, such as at parties or bars, or at times when you were feeling stressed or sipping coffee. Find out your triggers and have a plan in place to avoid them or get through them without using tobacco.
5. Distract yourself with a quick task.
Think of a small task you have to do, something what would take you 5-10 minutes. Make a call, send a fax, make yourself a cup of coffee, water the plant in your office. Anything! Your task is to distract yourself until the urge will pass. (Hint: Try to find activity that makes smoking impossible!)
6. Drink a Glass of Water Or Chew Gum
Take a glass of water and drink it with a straw. First of all having something in your mouth to chew on will help, second it will take you a couple of minutes to drink the whole glass and the urge will pass. Plus, don’t forget that you’re supposed to drink 8 glasses of water every day! Give your mouth something to do to resist a tobacco craving. Chew on sugarless gum or hard candy. Or munch on raw carrots, nuts or sunflower seeds — something crunchy and tasty.
7. Power Tip.
That s the disgusting one, but it often works. Print a small picture of smoker’s lungs (you can find one here: http://www.quitsmokingsupport.com/lungphotos.html ) and put it somewhere in your wallet. I know the view is not pretty, but something like this can stop you dead on your track from lighting up. Take a look! Really! THIS could be your lungs! You love yourself, and you respect your body. Why harm yourself?