There are countless instances and events that can trigger our need to pick up a cigarette. For many, it becomes a crutch that can be difficult to take off. Here are a few things that might trigger you to take a puff, and ways to circumvent having to do so:
- Stress: Family or job stresses, arguments, memories or, believe it or not, even video games can particularly make it difficult to not ease the tension with a smoke.
- Loneliness: No one likes to be alone. Over time, a cigarette can almost turn into your best friend. The convenience it affords is very seductive.
- Excitement: There may be cause to celebrate, such as a job promotion or graduation day, and often times this means you give yourself a reason to have a smoke.
- Anxiety: Worry is a big aspect of peoples' lives, and a primary trigger for a smoker. A cigarette can give many a feeling of ease and control to allow some dissipation of tension.
- Boredom: Convenience is again a factor here. When a cigarette is easily available, it is hard not to take advantage.
The smoking triggers are documented, but what can we do? Well, here are some tips to avoid them:
There is a lot you can do to replace those days and nights puffing away at a cigarette. Here are just a few ideas to consider:
Physical exercise: There's nothing better to put you in a good mood or give yourself a sense of worth or accomplishment than a good workout. Lifting weights, going for a run, stretching, or even trying yoga have all been scientifically documented to be a fantastic means of deterring
cravings. A workout routine will keep you disciplined and away from a harmful cigarette habit.
Spending time with friends and family: Being alone isn't always a good idea if your smoking habit tends to be a stage 5 clinger. That's why it's best to be with people that you love. Allow yourself a good support system of friends and family that respects your needs to quit, and encourage it.
Pick up a new hobby: Never stop learning. There's nothing wrong with picking up an instrument or building things. Joining a band, writing, working on figurines and models, painting, drawing; express yourself! There are so many different outlets for creativity out there that can prove to be an enlightening, joyful experience for you.
Read a book: Feeling adventurous? Want to travel back in time to see what it was like during medieval times? Or how about enjoying a world of wizards and kings? All possible when you pick up a book. Everyone enjoys a good story, and it's a much better alternative than having a smoke.
Take a Deep Breath
If you're having trouble with triggers, just take a breath. Sometimes breathing in deeply is all you need to bring you back to the present moment.
Take a deep breath and hold it before slowly counting to 10. Once finished, slowly breath out. Take another deep breath and reverse it this time; count backwards from 10.
Engaging with the mind and grounding yourself is sometimes all you need to get through for the moment.
Keep an eye out for those triggers and track them. As soon as you see it, make notes of it. Habits repeat themselves, and smoking is a prime example.
Overall, it's about embracing a new you. Quitting smoking can be most successful when you approach it from a lifestyle-changing perspective.