We live in a stressful world, so it’s no surprise that people continue to look for a release. And for many that continues to be smoking. In fact, it’s still the leading cause of preventable premature death in many countries around the world.
Though its negative health effects are pretty well known at this point, people continue to struggle to kick the habit. It is a highly addictive on every level – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
But with the right tips you can beat the addiction and kick it to the curb where it belongs.
10 Natural Tips to Quit Smoking
1. Write Down the WHY!
Before you decide to quit, you need to have a clear understanding of why you want to quit. Writing down the why will give you more will power to stop, and will give you a physical reminder of your intentions when you feel the temptation to smoke.
2. Set Goals
The more specific you can make this process, the more you will feel accountable to follow through. These goals need to include a quit date, rewards you will give yourself each day instead of a cigarette, and also a list of repercussions or punishment if you break them.
3. Detoxify the Distractions
In order for you to be successful, you need to stay away from all the things that will cause you to fall back into the habit. Throw away all your cigarettes. Clean and remove all ashtrays from your home, work and car.
Make a list of people that you usually smoke with, or who discourage you, and stay away from them for a few weeks while you’re going through your most vulnerable times.
Make a list of scenarios and situations you associate with smoking, for example, driving, socializing in specific environments, etc. For a while, you may need to stay away from these as well.
4. Mind your Moods
Learn to predict your moods and make a list of alternative ways you can fight your moodiness ahead of time, so that you are prepared to deal with any situation and don’t feel like you need to turn to cigarettes.
5. Break the habits
If you usually smoke right after a meal or with a coffee, make a list of things you can do instead. For example, have a cup of green tea right after a meal or taking a walk. If coffee is your smoking companion, change your beverage of choice to another drink, or drink from another cup. It’s all about breaking the familiarity with your smoking.
6. Reward Yourself
Smoking is an expensive habit. Plan on setting the money you spend on cigarettes aside, and reward yourself by buying something nice with that money instead.
7. Announce Your Intentions to Your Support System
Find those people around you that you know will support you and not bring you down. Let them know your intentions to quit and your intended quit date. Ask them to keep you accountable and talk to them when you are feeling down.
8. Take a Breath
Deep breathing is a very effective way of reducing cravings and decreasing the symptoms associated with nicotine withdrawal. Studies have shown controlled deep breathing significantly decreases withdrawal symptoms like feeling tense and irritable, and having cravings.
9. Check Yourself
When quitting smoking, it is important to check in with yourself every day. Journaling can be a great way to do this. Recount your day, the challenges you encountered, and your successes.
10. Invest in acupuncture
Acupuncture is increasingly being used to help fight chemical dependency, including alcohol, opioids, and tobacco. Studies have shown that body and ear acupuncture and acupressure can be very helpful at decreasing cigarette use, reducing cravings, and decreasing general withdrawal symptoms.
Making a Plan to Quit
In addition, nutrition, lifestyle modifications, and herbal formulas can all be helpful for controlling your moods, helping to detoxify your lungs, and reducing your cravings. Talk to your Naturopathic Doctor to see how they can help you put a plan in place to kick your habit for good.
Ausfeld-Hafter B, Marti F, Hoffmann S. Smoking cessation with ear acupuncture. Descriptive study on patients after a smoking cessation treatment with ear acupuncture. Forsch Komplementarmed Klass Naturheilkd. 2004 Feb;11(1):8-13
Bier ID, Wilson J, Shakleton M. Auricular Acupuncture, Education, and Smoking Cessation: A Randomized, Sham-Controlled Trial. Am J Public Health. 2002 October; 92(10): 1642–1647.
American Cancer Society. Lung cancer. http://www.cancer.org/cancer/lungcancer-non-smallcell/detailedguide/non-small-cell-lung-cancer-key-statistics
McClernon FJ1, Westman EC, Rose JE. The effects of controlled deep breathing on smoking withdrawal symptoms in dependent smokers. Addict Behav. 2004 Jun;29(4):765-72
American Heart Association. Why is it so hard to quit? http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/GettingHealthy/QuitSmoking/QuittingSmoking/Why-is-it-so-hard-to-quit_UCM_324053_Article.jsp
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