Congratulations for making the choice to heal your body! The first step toward becoming “smoke free” is to identify when and where your smoking cravings occur. This may be after eating, after a cup of coffee, during stressful situations, etc. When you become aware of the triggers that precede your cravings, it will become easier for you to begin to break the habit. As long as you refrain from grabbing a cigarette for about 10-20 minutes after the craving trigger, you will have a much better chance of quitting. As time ticks by, it will become easier to remove yourself from the cravings, and you may even forget you wanted a cigarette in the first place.
Below are a few techniques that have been proven effective in helping to combat your cravings.As long as you employ one or more of these concepts, you take another step toward a healthier and happier smoke-free life.
Use aromatherapy when you feel a craving coming on. You can either wear it on your body, or place a drop or two under your nose or on a piece of cloth. When your craving comes on, take a whiff of the scent, inhaling it deeply into your chest. See the list below for different varieties of scents that may help you.
- Tea Tree
Let your loved ones know that you are choosing to kick the habit. Request that if they smoke, to do so when you aren’t around to aide you on your journey. If you are in a public location and someone lights a cigarette, leave the situation and socialize elsewhere if possible. The desire to pick up a cigarette and smoke, when others are doing so, is strong. Do what is right for you, even if that means establishing some boundaries. The people you have these conversations with will most likely become a support for you and cheer you along.
Refrain From Drinking Coffee
Not only can coffee cause dehydration, it can also lead to cravings. It’s a far too common ritual to smoke and drink coffee at the same time, so many people associate coffee with a cigarette. In order to be successful, you may need to break the coffee and cigarette relationship.
Instead of coffee, sip water frequently throughout the day. It will help to curb smoking cravings and will cleanse and flush the body tissues.
Ear seeds (seeds from the Vaccaria plant) are a common addition to acupuncture treatments. These seeds are held in place on the ear with a small piece of adhesive tape, and are located on specific points in your ear which help reduce anxiety and stress, calm the mind, cleanse the lungs, open the chest, reduce the appetite, and strengthen will power. When a craving occurs, rub each of the earseeds for approximately 15-30 seconds. Rubbing them throughout the day will help fortify and support your acupuncture treatments.
Eat lots of carrots, celery, and other vegetables. They will satiate your appetite, as well as provide your body with the nutrients it needs to regain health and vitality. Candy and other sweets will upset the sugar level in your body, which can aggravate any withdrawal symptoms that you may experience. Be weary of sugar substitutes, as they can cause even more cravings.
Many of us do not take full, deep breaths. It can be hard to remember to frequently breathe deeply when we’re used to shallow breathing. Take time out during the day to focus on breath work. Begin by inhaling into your belly. Then, allow the breath to move up into your chest, making it rise as full as you can. As you exhale, focus on completely expelling the air from your body. In your exhale, making the sound “SSSSSSSSS” activates and opens the lungs and chest. Deep breaths can help you stay grounded, which in turn will help you get through cravings with ease.
An affirmation is a positive statement, which when spoken repeatedly, helps to bolster the positive and desired changes you are embarking upon. Repeating the affirmation helps to remind you of why you are no longer smoking, imprinting in your mind and body a positive image of a “smoke-free” existence. An example of a relevant affirmation might be “I am a non-smoker, and I make healthy choices in my life,” or “I am strong, healthy, and vibrant, and I choose healthy things in my life.” Try one of these or create one of your own! Remember to stay positive and be gentle with yourself.
Cravings may feel like they last forever, but will most likely dissipate within 10-20 minutes. Invent your own ideas to bust the cravings or use the suggestions above to help you manage them when they occur. Plan ahead by writing down these suggestions in your day planner, on notes in your house, car, or at your desk, or even on your screen saver. Remember to make these healing activities fun and enjoyable, as well as easily accessible!
If you need some extra help to combat smoking cravings, schedule an acupuncture appointment with us! Acupuncture is proven to help with transitioning over to a smoke-free lifestyle. Contact us to find out more!