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How To Help Stub Out Your Smoking Habit

How To Help Stub Out Your Smoking Habit

Smoking is one of the biggest causes of death and illness in the UK, increasing the risk of developing more than 50 serious conditions, including cancer and heart disease. By smoking around your family, and especially your children, you can jeopardise their health too.

Because nicotine is so addictive, many smokers find it very hard to quit, especially as stopping smoking can cause very unpleasant withdrawal systems, including cravings, depression, irritability and anxiety. However, it is not impossible to give up smoking and the improvements it will bring to your health (not to mention your bank balance) are well worth all the effort. Here are six tips, which we hope will keep you focused and on-track to becoming a healthier non-smoker: -

1. Self-Belief Is The Key
Whether you call it willpower, determination or just plain doggedness, you must believe that you can give up, that cigarette cravings will not get the better of you, and that you have it in you to stop this habit that’s doing you and your loved ones so much harm.

2. Find A Powerful Personal Reason To Quit
You may find that you’re getting breathless when you run and that smoking’s ruining your efforts to get fit. You may be trying for a family and smoking is adversely affecting your fertility. You may have met someone special, who objects to the smell of cigarettes on your clothes or breath. You may be concerned about the effect of your smoking on your children’s health or worried about your own health and life expectancy. All these are powerful reasons to quit. Find a reason that means a lot to you and bear this in mind whenever the temptation to light up strikes.

3. Find Alternative Ways To Unwind
Smokers often feel that a cigarette helps them to relax. Try to find different and more positive ways to unwind – listening to music, enjoying a massage, going for a relaxing swim or trying yoga, meditation or a new hobby. When the craving hits, stop whatever you are doing and do something else or take slow, deep breaths. Keep your mouth occupied by chewing sugar-free gum. Cravings are usually worse in the first three days after quitting and may take up to two weeks to diminish. Just keep that goal in mind, taking each day as it comes and ticking off each successful no-smoking day as a success.

4. Get Moving
Physical activity can give you the distraction you need when you’re trying to give up, so exercise away your urge to smoke. Aerobic exercise has been shown to reduce the craving for a cigarette and this effect can last for up to an hour afterwards by improving your mood, helping you deal with stress and making you feel more energetic. It can also limit the tendency to put on weight after you’ve finally ditched the habit by decreasing your appetite.

5. Focus On A Healthy Diet
The temptation to eat more when you’re giving up smoking may be great – after all, things will start to taste so much better and your appetite may increase. This is not so bad, if it’s a temporary thing and you certainly should not be using smoking as a slimming aid. Just try and concentrate on eating healthily, choosing good proteins, whole grains and lots of fresh fruit and vegetables. Planning special meals and savouring every mouthful will reignite your pleasure in eating well and distract you from those cravings.

6. Reward Yourself
Smoking is not only a terribly unhealthy habit; it’s also a very expensive one. Use the money you save to buy yourself little rewards for each smoking-free day, whether it’s a nice cup of coffee, a fruit basket or a visit to the cinema. Or save it all up and plan a lovely weekend away or even a holiday. Life can really be much sweeter and more enjoyable if you can persevere and get past the cravings, once and for all!

For more information, tips and helpful advice, have a look at the NHS website

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