How to Handle Nicotine Cravings
Once you become a non-smoker you will need something to do instead of smoking.¬† When you first quit you will probably still feel some cravings for cigarettes.¬† Since you know you are going to have some cravings it’s best to have a plan. Just keep in mind the four ‘Ds’ to overcome cravings: Drink Water, Deep Breathe, Delay, and Do Something. These simple steps will get you through the first few minutes when cravings are the strongest.¬† Here are some things that you can plan to do instead of smoking a cigarette.
- Take some deep breaths. Just stop what you are doing and take about 10 deep breaths. Go outside if you can and think about filling your lungs with fresh air. These deep breaths will relax you and decrease some of the anxiety associated with nicotine withdrawal.
- Drink a glass of water. Drinking water is good for you and seems to have a calming effect on cigarette cravings.¬† Drinking cold water with chipped ice that you can slowly chew on seems to be especially helpful.¬† ¬†Avoid drinks like coffee or alcohol that you may have associated with smoking in the past.¬† You should also reduce the amount of coffee or caffeinated beverages you drink throughout the day.¬† Nicotine breaks down caffeine in your bloodstream, reducing it by about one half so when you first stop smoking it is a good idea to reduce the amount of caffeine you take in by about half.¬† The increased availability of caffeine in your bloodstream may contribute to the lightheaded or shaky feeling people get when they first stop smoking.¬† If you get the shakes if may be due to excess caffeine in your system.
- Get some exercise. The average person gains about eight pounds when they are trying to stop smoking. Exercise helps keep the pounds off and also stimulates the brain to release feel good endorphins that fight nicotine cravings.
- Call a friend. Getting support from others is an important part of quitting. Calling a friend can get your mind off smoking. You don’t want to be alone when dealing with cigarette cravings if you can help it.
- Go to a movie. Getting out of the house for a few hours and going to a place where smoking is not allowed, like a cinema, theatre, or museum, will keep your mind busy and keep you from temptation.
- Chew a stick of gum.¬† It may be an old wives’ tale, but cinnamon gum seems to work for cravings.¬† Chew a stick of sugarless cinnamon gum; lots of people swear by it.
- Play a game. Whether it’s a board game with your child or a game outside with your dog, games are great distractions. Playing outdoors with your dog is good exercise and gets both of you some fresh air. Playing with your child will remind you of why it’s so important to quit smoking.
- Listen to some music. Drinking water, exercising, and relaxation are the three most important ways to beat a craving.¬† . You may prefer listening to music, reading, or meditation, whatever appeals to you, find something that helps you relax. .
- Have a snack. Headache and hunger are other symptoms that go along with cigarette cravings. The actual reason for these symptoms may be that your blood sugar is a bit lower after quitting cigarettes.¬† This is because all commercially produced cigarettes contain between 8% and 18% sugar.¬† Smoking several cigarettes a day has been keeping your blood sugar elevated.¬† Several small, nutritious snacks during the day will keep your blood sugar steady and give you something healthy to do with your hands and your mouth. Try snacking on a handful of nuts or a piece of fresh fruit.¬† Crunchy fruits and vegetables are especially helpful.
- Take a shower. ¬†A hot shower or a relaxing bath can soothe cigarette cravings away. After that, you can brush your teeth and enjoy the new fresh taste in your clean smoke free mouth. By the time you leave the bathroom, your craving will have passed.
Comments: none Posted: May 23rd, 2012 under Can I Stop Smoking With No Cravings or Side Effects?, Nicotine Addiction by Tony Warren