Hi lybrate-user, To some, smoking
a cigarette is more than just a bad habit; it’s a ritual that is used to address many physical and emotional states. In order to finally end the addiction to smoking, and to prevent
future relapses, you need a holistic approach—one that integrates both physical and emotional symptoms along with a real, concrete plan. By integrating the latest research, science-backed natural remedies, and other proven techniques, it is possible to quit smoking
, and stay smoke-free.
1 – Treating the Physical Symptoms of Nicotine
Nicotine withdrawal can begin within 30 minutes of your last cigarette. The first days are the most intense, but remember that these cravings become less frequent and less intense with time. Here are some proven techniques for dealing with those cravings:
Exercise: A study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that exercise had a positive effect on smoking. The trial included 15 different studies that evaluated variables, including the desire to smoke and the strength of the desire. Again and again researchers found that many different exercises, including yoga and high-intensity activities, had positive results on reducing cravings. So, next time you have a craving, try embracing the outdoors and go for a 15-minute walk instead.
Deep Breathing: Techniques that focus on breath
work, such as taking a series of deep breaths, diaphragmatic breathing, and directed breathing, are an effective and easy way to reduce cravings. A study published in The Journal of Addictive Behaviors found that taking a series of deep breaths every 30 minutes significantly reduced smoking withdrawal symptoms
, including cravings and irritability. Have an urge? Try taking several deep breaths and notice that desire begin to slip away.
2 – Treating the Emotional Symptoms of Nicotine Withdrawal
Feelings such as irritability, anxiety, and even depression
can occur as the body begins to withdraw from nicotine. Breaking the psychological addiction can be difficult because the limbic system, also known as the reward center of the brain, is stimulated with each cigarette. The urge to light up can feel uncomfortable as the brain and body begin to detoxify. The good news is that in as little as a month after your last cigarette, a large number of nicotine receptors in the brain will return to normal. Remember that each day will get better, and the cravings will decrease as your brain chemistry rebalances.
3. Addressing the Triggers for Smoking
These are moments in your daily life that exacerbate the craving for cigarettes. For example, maybe every morning you used to have your first cigarette with a cup of coffee. Or perhaps you always lit up when drinking alcohol. Acknowledging these situations and creating new patterns can help. Write down the moments where your cravings are the most intense and think of new, healthier alternatives that can take their place. Here are some ideas to get you started.
/ Coffee with green tea
/ Alcohol with kombucha
/ Hanging out with smokers with joining an exercise class
4. Foods that Help with Quitting Smoking
Nourish the body with foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits, papayas, bell peppers, guava, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, tomatoes, and strawberries. You can restore
lost antioxidants with beta carotene-rich foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach. Increasing your intake of vitamin E will help rebuild your body’s reserves. Try eating fruits, veggies, and nuts. Avocados, almonds, olive oil, and kiwi are some great ones to try.
Hope this helps. Good Luck.