If you’re on a mission to kick your smoking habit, you may well have stocked up on nicotine patches, e-cigarettes and nicotine gum in a desperate bid to stay on the wagon. But all these products do is replace one form of nicotine with another, which defeats the purpose of giving up. Not only that, but they cost a fortune and are not guaranteed to work.
Why not give nature a chance instead? There are lots of natural ways to stop smoking that don’t involve pumping more nicotine into your bloodstream.
Here are some top tips to help you resist temptation naturally:
Make some dietary changes
Some foods make cigarettes taste horrible while others enhance the taste. According to research performed at Duke University in the US, coffee, alcohol and red meat make cigarettes taste better. But juice, vegetables, fruit and milk can make them taste bad. So loading up on these foods can be helpful when you’re trying to quit. As an added bonus, they’re also good for your health.
Prepare 10-minute distraction techniques
Nicotine cravings come in waves. They can be very intense, but they will fade if you don’t have a cigarette. Cravings don’t generally last more than 10 to 15 minutes for most smokers. So, finding a way to get through that 10 to 15-minute period is a very effective strategy for quitting. The key is to find a distraction. Go for a walk, wash the dishes, or play a game with the kids. Do anything that’ll keep you occupied during those times. Once you break the habit, you’ll be well on your way to giving up for good.
Indulge your sweet tooth
In about 30% of cases, when someone craves a cigarette, what they’re really craving is carbohydrates. Grabbing a small sweet treat can satisfy this, and relieve the craving for a ciggie. Of course, you don’t want to load up on sugar, but a fun-size Mars bar or small cereal bar often does the trick, with minimal calories.
What you’re doing isn’t easy, so reward yourself. When you hit milestones, treat yourself with something you enjoy, like a new outfit, day out or nice meal.
Physical activity can help distract you from tobacco cravings and reduce their intensity. Even short bursts of exercise, such as running up and down the stairs a few times, or vacuuming can be enough to make a tobacco craving go away.
Hypnotherapy is a psycho-therapeutic way to help you give up the cigarettes. Whilst in a trance-like state, a hypnotherapist plants a seed in your mind to help you associate smoking with negative feelings.
Find a new way to relax
One of the reasons people smoke is because they think it helps them to relax. In the first few days of quitting, you’ll feel more stressed than usual. That means you’ll need to find new ways to ease the tension so you don’t reach for the cigarettes. Popular methods include yoga, tai chi, long baths and music.
Have a massage
It’s too simplistic to say an addiction can be massaged away, but self-massage is a free solution and easy to do whenever you feel a craving coming on. The areas to focus on are the hands and ears:
- With one thumb, using light pressure, draw circles on the palm of your other hand.
- Start at the bottom of each finger and massage it gently from top to bottom.
- Squeeze the area of your hand between your thumb and index finger. Hold the pressure for 30 seconds.
- Use gentle, circular motions to massage your ear lobes.
However, if you’re looking to relieve major stress and anxiety caused by nicotine withdrawal, have a professional massage instead. It will relax you, physically and mentally, and give you a renewed sense of determination.
At Castle Thai Spa, we offer a range of relaxing massages and treatments, that are guaranteed to take your mind off that pesky cigarette. Call us and book one today, on 0131 629 0794.