It’s no secret that quitting is hard. You won’t be able to avoid all of your triggers. And learning how to deal with triggers takes practice. So, when a craving is triggered, it’s important to have a plan to beat that urge to smoke.
Triggers lead to cravings to smoke. Cravings are uncomfortable, and the urge to smoke can be strong. The good news is that cravings are temporary, and there are things you can do to make yourself feel better during this time. Make a list of things to do when a craving hits. Here are some ideas:
- Keep your mouth and hands busy. Chew gum. Suck on a straw. Squeeze a handball. Do beading or needlework.
- Exercise. Go for a walk. Ride a bike. Go swimming. Exercising can distract you from smoking.
- Change your routine. For example, try drinking your coffee at a different time, or brushing your teeth right after you eat a meal.
- Use nicotine replacement therapy. These medications can double your chances of quitting for good. Experiment with combinations of medications to see what works best for you.
- Tell others that you are quitting. Let the people in your life know you are quitting and ask them to avoid smoking around you. This will allow them to support you and might prevent them from offering you a cigarette.
- Prepare to handle places where people smoke. In the weeks or months after you quit,you might need to stay away from places where people smoke. The smell of cigarettes and other reminders of smoking can be a trigger, which might lead to a slip.
- Take deep breaths. Your breaths can become small and shallow when you’re stressed. This makes the physical symptoms of stress worse. Take a few deep breaths to help your body relax.
- Let your feelings out. Talk, laugh, cry, or write to express your negative feelings. You don’t have to deal with your stress and problems alone. It is ok to reach out to your family, friends, counselor, or loved ones for support.
- Visit the Smokefree Women Facebook community. Receive tips and support from other women who are learning to face their emotional triggers too.
It might take some time to find what works for you. Keep trying different things and it will start to get easier.