Your first day as a nonsmoker may seem like an unending desire to smoke. Pay attention to those cravings, and you’ll see they only last three to five minutes.
In the beginning, there are two main types of cravings.
Physical cravings signal the reaction of nicotine withdrawal. You may feel tightness in your throat or your stomach. You may feel anxious or tense.
Psychological cravings arise from events in your daily life.
You have unconscious triggers that signal the times to smoke, and they continue to trigger the urge even after you’ve quit. Your cues may be things like driving, eating, drinking coffee or alcohol.
Kick Cravings One at a Time
Don’t tackle a whole day’s worth of cravings. Handle them as they occur, one at a time. Here are some ideas on how to shift your physical or mental activities away from smoking.
1.) Go for a walk.
Participate in physical activity, such as a walk in a park or around your neighborhood. Remember to breathe and enjoy the scenery.
2.) Take a mental vacation.
Think about a place that makes you happy and relaxed. You can visit there anytime you wish. Close your eyes, slow your breathing and visualize each detail.
3.) Hydrate your body.
When a craving comes on strong, gulp a glass of water. It’ll turn off the craving, improve your metabolism, and increase your general well being.
4.) Read your list.
Get out your list of the reasons you wanted to quit. Remembering your personal commitment will help you glide through the tough parts.
5.) Adopt an easy hobby.
Find something that’s enjoyable and easy to do whenever you can spare an extra five or ten minutes. Think of an activity you can take anywhere, like reading, knitting or word puzzles.
6.) Practice gratitude.
Take a couple of minutes and think of all the things you have to be grateful for. A gratitude journal will keep you focused on the positive and further motivate you to keep staying smoke-free.
7.) Acceptance and release.
Learn how to react differently. A craving doesn’t mean you absolutely must smoke – you only need to distract your mind and body for a few minutes. As you continue to be a nonsmoker, the cravings will be further apart, with less intensity and duration.
Practice these seven steps a day at a time. Before you know it, your days of being a smoker will be far behind you.